A visit to the CYDC

This week one of my knitting pals and I paid a visit to the CYDC (Carolina Youth Development Center), in hopes that we could touch base in person with the charity we have chosen for the Big 10 Knit-a-Long. We took a few things to donate from their wish list, and kinda sorta hoped we might get a little tour. I have driven near the campus of the CYDC many times over the years and never realized it was there, so imagine my surprise to find there was so much I'd been missing.

There are multiple programs that operate within the Center, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, an emergency shelter for children in crisis, leadership programs, group homes, and a career center that offers career education and life skills training.

The Mission of CYDC is "...to empower and equip our community's most vulnerable children...". I love that they "empower and equip"--an excellent strategy for giving these kids the chance to have a better future.

 

This painting shows the original building, demolished in 1951. Before becoming the Charleston Orphan House in 1790, it was a Revolutionary War barracks. 

This painting shows the original building, demolished in 1951. Before becoming the Charleston Orphan House in 1790, it was a Revolutionary War barracks. 

Celebrating their 225th year this year, the folks at CYDC have been digging through the archives for interesting facts to share. So far my favorite has been that in 1877, the Charleston Orphan House "started the first Kindergarten in South Carolina, and one of the first in the nation." For more historical facts, check their Facebook page for a new one every day for 225 days.

This lovely Tiffany window had been in the original building.

This lovely Tiffany window had been in the original building.

The kids are working on this donated car to turn it into a racer, learning valuable mechanical skills in the process.

The kids are working on this donated car to turn it into a racer, learning valuable mechanical skills in the process.

Inside the Linda and Tony Bakker Career Center, a beautiful modern building with a library, computer lab, garage with hydraulic lift, and cafeteria. Business leaders from the community volunteer their time and expertise to help train the kids in multiple fields.

Inside the Linda and Tony Bakker Career Center, a beautiful modern building with a library, computer lab, garage with hydraulic lift, and cafeteria. Business leaders from the community volunteer their time and expertise to help train the kids in multiple fields.

All of this and more sits on a large, pleasant campus with beautiful landscaping and caring workers everywhere we went. It would be wonderful if some day organizations like this were no longer necessary, because every child was loved and safe in their own families. Until that day, however, I am proud to know that the CYDC is there, supporting children in need and helping them grow into happy, healthy adults.

If you'd like to support the mission of the CYDC, you can visit their website to learn more about how you can get involved. And of course, there's our Knit-a-Long, making blankets for the children who come through the Center. If you've not yet joined us in this endeavor, won't you consider contributing in some way?

Shannon and I with a few of the knitted blocks that will become awesome afghans. Photo by CYDC.

Shannon and I with a few of the knitted blocks that will become awesome afghans. Photo by CYDC.