Throughout 2017, it became evident the Nawican Friendship Centre in Dawson Creek, B.C., was in need of a transformation.
Tara Ray, the facility’s youth co-ordinator, described it as being dark, gross and desperately needing paint. “I was embarrassed to put up any pictures of the facility on our Facebook page,” she explained.
The goal of the youth program is to provide a safe place for Dawson Creek’s younger citizens to hang out. Tara has a vision of doing more than just providing shelter – she wants the youth to be inspired. It was clear the Nawican Centre needed Co-op’s help to give the children a brighter vision of their future.
The mission of Co-op’s Communities in Full Colour program is to to preserve, enhance and beautify local communities. Providing CO-OP® IMAGINE paint products, Co-op hopes to inspire the places in which it operates through colour. It was no surprise, then, that when the Dawson Co-op Association heard about the youth room, team members were more than willing to provide the resources needed to rejuvenate their facility.
The Dawson Co-op Association provided 13 gallons of paint for the project. The friendship centre’s employees teamed up with youth members to repaint their facility and inspire the community. Tara describes the youth room as the kids’ “happy place,” further stating, “It’s kind of like their coffee house – they come to hang out, and it keeps them off the streets.”
The friendship centre is a pillar of the Nawican Community. While the youth room is the heart of the facility, much more goes into the day-to-day operations of the organization. The centre serves many functions, most of which revolve around helping the less fortunate by providing food, clothes, job searches and even bus tickets to rehabilitation facilities.
Karyn Holland, a Co-op Home and Agro Centre employee, worked with Tara to find a “soothing” colour to enhance the experience of its members. The centre is no longer plagued by dull white walls – instead, a sense of peace is instilled by using new colours like Winchester and Gentle Rain.
The community was very excited when they discovered there would be leftover paint from the youth project, which could be used to preserve the building’s exterior. Their appreciation of the Communities in Full Colour Program and their local Co-op’s efforts to give back to the community demonstrate that something as simple as paint can genuinely make a difference to the community and strengthen the people within it.