Family Partnership Coordinator Carolyn Morowski at Dickinson’s Community Action Head Start/Early Head Start had such wonderful things to say about the community of Dickinson and its citizens as well as Dakota Community Bank & Trust (DCB&T).
Head Start assists families at or below the poverty level. Though headquartered in Dickinson, this non-profit Head Start program serves all eight counties of southwest North Dakota. This division is currently serving 190 children. The angel tree program through Dickinson’s Community Action Head Start provides gifts for those children who may not be receiving anything for Christmas, which is made possible through community donations.
Since 2011, DCB&T sets up an angel tree annually on behalf of Community Action Head Start to give these families a chance at a wonderful Christmas. Every year, there are over 100 children ages newborn through 18 that get an angel tree gift through the bank. Morowski boasts “We are lucky we have a very generous community that takes those tags. DCB&T employees usually take any that are not taken by community members” to make sure all children’s tags are filled year after year.
“We have children that ask for literally anything. Most families simply ask for clothes, but our community steps up. We have received bicycles. Families have received gas cards. We overflow our office area with all the wonderful gifts that the community and Dakota Community Bank & Trust provide for our families.”
The angel tree not only helps the community of Dickinson come together to rally around a common cause, but as Morowski mentions “This program, I especially love because it is so anonymous. People are doing it, literally, just out of the kindness of their hearts. And it impacts these families because they would not be getting anything for Christmas without this program. It keeps that magic alive for children that wouldn’t necessarily have it otherwise.”
The number of gifts each year stays fairly consistent as enrollment in the program stays steady based on the fact that the Head Start program is grant funded. Morowski credits the success of the angel tree program to the generous citizens of Dickinson who step up every year with donations as well as their partnership with DCB&T. “Dakota Community Bank & Trust is a huge blessing to our community. They reach out to the community in ways some other banks don’t. The angel tree is just one example of that.”
To improve the quality of life in Dickinson’s community through education, resources, and service, Community Action Head Start/Early Head Start provides children ages zero to three an early childhood experience in a center Monday through Friday. Once those children turn three, Head Start provides a free preschool program to children who would not otherwise be able to attend to give them a “head start,” so that when these children enter kindergarten, they are on a similar level to their peers. Additionally, CAP Head Start/Early Head Start provides a center in Mott, and home-based services to the eight counties of Region VIII.
For more information on Community Action in the Dickinson/Williston Regions, please visit: https://dickinsoncap.org/head-start-early-head-start/.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director