Helping the community — 1 child at a time

Published 9:00 am Saturday, February 24, 2018

NORTHWOOD — As a way to give back to the community that funds it, the Northwood Community Center hosts many events looking to help those in need.

For many people, especially children, the community center is a place where they can go to have a fun and safe time with their friends after school. On top of that, however, the center hosts many events that aim to help many individuals and families in the area.

Ran by Worth County Community of Promise, the community center hosts a monthly mobile food pantry, puts on exercise classes and craft programs, hosts senior socials and teaches a class aimed to teach children basic skills in the kitchen.

Angela Wright, director of Worth County Community of Promise, said the number of children usually in the community center varies greatly and can be anywhere from five to 15 children. She said when she started in May, the community center was lucky if it had two children in at the same time.

The Northwood Community Center is complete with two pool tables, and air-hockey table, a ping-pong table, two TVs, gaming consoles, computers and much more. Tyler Julson/Albert Lea Tribune

Putting in around 40 hours of volunteer work per week, Wright said she does it because she likes the challenge.

“When I was asked to join in May, what they really needed was programs,” she said. “They needed to get the kids coming back, and they needed help finding a way to do it. I think the reason I keep doing it is because I enjoy the challenge.”

She said the children are a big motivator for her to keep going. Over the years, Wright and her husband have raised 26 foster children. She said she has spent a lot of her life doing social work, and she enjoys being a part of their lives.

The community center is open from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It is complete with two pool tables, an air hockey table, ping-pong table, two TVs, gaming consoles, computers, board games and much more.

Wright said the only volunteers the community center has are the board members of Worth County Community of Promise, which is five people. She said there is always a need for more volunteers and they will take all the help they can get.

Funded only by donations and grant money, the community center is still able to help out many families in need throughout the area on that alone.

Wright estimated that through all of its events and efforts, the community center is able to help more than 150 families every month.

By the numbers

10 – Months Wright has been the director of Worth County Community of Promise

26 – Foster children Wright and her husband has raised

15o – Families impacted by the Northwood Community Center every month

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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