2013 Project – YWCA “A Special Place”
April 8, 2013
Mr. John Bly. Executive Director
Mr. Rodney Sichel, Board President
Engineering Contractors Association
1000 Apollo Way
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
Dear John and Rod,
On behalf of all of us at YWCA Sonoma County, thank you most sincerely for your efforts to vastly improve our patio area at “A Special Place” Therapeutic Preschool. Being chosen as the recipient of your Community Relations Project has left us deeply touched by your generosity of spirit and your tender concern for the children in our care.
As you know, YWCA Sonoma County operates the County’s ONLY preschool which addresses the counseling needs of children ages 3 to 5, many of whom are first hand witnesses to domestic violence. As the County’s leading provider of domestic violence services for local families in need, we see first hand the conditions under which many families live while entangled in the cycle of abuse.
“A Special Place” Therapeutic Preschool Director, Teri Porter had this to say about your visit:
”When I enroll children here at A Special Place I hear stories or read restraining orders and see the aftermath of men behaving poorly. I see the shattered lives of the mothers whose self esteem is diminished as they try to put their lives back on track. I see the children who are traumatized by the experiences they have witnessed and display behavioral issues in an attempt to cope. I have to admit this can give me a slanted view of men in our community. But, to have the guys come in here, do what they did, and give so generously of themselves, leaves me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Rodney had his crew cleaning the gutters in front of the preschool when one of our little guys slipped in the collection of wet leaves, he fixed the broken border that surrounds the play yard, moved the stake that we were forever tripping over, even hung a lucky horseshoe over the doorway. They brought full crews who worked in the rain, with such precision and finished the job in less than two days time.
I know the children enjoyed seeing the big crane and the playhouse being moved and the little boy, who after watching the process, made a crane out of blocks and yarn and was allowed to sit on the big truck and wear a hard hat! This was a positive experience for a boy who has experienced first hand the trauma of domestic violence. I hope somehow we can express to them that they did so much more than pave a patio that day, and for me, it is such a gift. With all the budget cuts from the state on Title 5 preschools, a project like this would have been out of reach if it were not for these men and their donation of time and spirit.”
Gentlemen, we love our new patio and we love the ECA! Please know that it will be the spot for social gatherings, games and meals shared with the children, staff and volunteers for years to come. You are forever an important part of what makes our preschool “A Special Place”.
With our collective heartfelt gratitude,
Madeleine Keegan O’Connell
Chief Executive Officer
YWCA Sonoma County
Previous projects the ECA is proud to have been a part of!
- Patrick Scott Pathway
- Jack London School Path
- Home Aid’s Aston Avenue
- Kid’s Street Theatre Parking Lot Renovation
- Forestville Youth Park
- Valley of the Moon Teen Center
- Luther Burbank Parking Lot in Sebastopol
- Santa Rosa Boys & Girls Club
- YWCA “A Special Place”
- Pony Express
- Miracle League
The Forestville Youth Park serves over 1000 youth in West Sonoma County annually. For the past 50 years this non-profit, all volunteer park has operated through community investment, we receive no federal or state tax dollars for our operations. The Forestville Youth Park serves Little League, West County Soccer, 4-H, Boy Scouts, Future Farmers of America, and is a facility for any other youth organizations free of cost.
In 2006 the ECA transformed our rural park with a gravel parking lot into a fully accessible youth park and made it possible for our organization to offer more year round activities. The Forestville Youth Park and the community we serve are grateful for the work of the ECA. Your organization designed, built, paved and striped our parking lot, it made a tremendous improvement to our facilities and improved the safety of our park. Your investment has given back to our community in so many ways, you paved the way for our programs to provide the future leaders of our community a safe place to play and develop the team building skills that will build our future.
Our sincere gratitude goes out to the ECA and all of it’s members.
Fred Von Renner
Forestville Youth Park