In May of 2015, Merage Foundations successfully merged David and Laura Merage’s visions of increasing the quality of child care and inspiring community service and volunteerism through the launch of the MERAGEhelp program. Through this program, Early Learning Ventures (ELV) and Project Helping partnered to match up child care providers needing a little TLC with willing volunteers interested in making significant impacts in their communities.
PD2_cropIn less than six months, MERAGEhelp served 12 child care providers across the Denver metro area with painting, cleaning, basic maintenance, playground building, and beautification. While the centers expressed heartfelt gratitude for what they felt was invaluable help, the true savings realized for the providers exceeded a monetary value of $36,000! A generous grant from the David and Laura Merage Foundation procured materials for the projects while the many, many hours volunteers donated saved thousands of dollars for services that would otherwise have been paid for out of pocket.
Additionally, the work accomplished through the MERAGEhelp program was designed with ELV and focused specifically on measures that would increase a child care provider’s Colorado Shines quality rating. Quality ratings are important indicators for families in search of high quality care, and contribute to a center’s overall licensure and compliance standing. Far more than feel-good events, this partnership met the missions of both organizations while performing cost-saving, quality-building services to child care providers.
The partnership will continue in 2016 with plans to branch out to ELV sites in Mesa, Garfield, and Pueblo counties in Colorado.