‘A place where children can just be children:’ Playroom at the Tri-Cities Union Gospel Mission set to open

PASCO, Wash. — Books, toys, musical instruments, games, and more fill 1,400 square feet inside of the Tri-Cities Union Gospel Mission’s Women and Children’s Shelter.

It’s a newly-renovated playroom made for the children who stay at the shelter. Employees said it’s been a multi-year effort that’s finally come to life, thanks to organizations like HAPO, Hayden Homes, and the Mid-Columbia Libraries working together to provide for the community.

“I was involved in the start to the finish,” said Crystal Contreras, HAPO’s community relations director. “Our involvement with UGM’s new playroom was to basically come together and bring our community together.”

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Kaitlyn Wormington, the director for the TCUGM’s Women and Children’s Shelter, said it’s an “amazing, overwhelming feeling” to see the playroom completed.

“We’ve had some kids come down here already and you know they love it,” Wormington said. “I feel like that missing piece is now here.”

Wormington said the children at the shelter can have movie nights, storytimes, and arts and crafts hangouts. All of the toys and supplies are donated by the organizations.

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“The community definitely helped us out,” Wormington said. “I’m just really excited for the kids and their moms.”

She added that the playroom can also act as a safe and calm place where “children can just be children.”

“It’s great for children with trauma because they’re able to decompress and not worry about the adult issues that they often have to face,” Wormington said. “It also helps the moms too you know be able to relax and have their kids burn off energy.”

The playroom will officially be open on Christmas Day.

If you want to volunteer or donate, click here.

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