Perry farmer directs donation to Acorns & Oaks Intergenerational Christian Daycare

COURTESY OF PERRY LUTHERAN HOMES
Special to the Chief
Acorns & Oaks staff and kids enjoy sack races in the newly fenced in area.

Local farmer Brad Golightly recently directed a $2,500 Bayer Fund America’s Farmers Grow Communities donation to Acorns & Oaks Intergenerational Christian Daycare. Acorns & Oaks has used the funds to make a secure and safe grassy play area at Perry Lutheran Homes’ King’s Gardens Campus on Willis Avenue.

“We are so thankful to Brad for choosing Acorns & Oaks to receive the funds,” said Mandi Dakin, Director of Acorns & Oaks. “The children now have two different areas to play in. Our first fenced in playground is hard surfaced and great for driving, climbing, playing in the sandbox and more. Our new fenced in area is fantastic for races and sports, sun and shade, and is just a soft and safe place for our kids to play. And, the best part is that our grandpas and grandmas that live at Perry Lutheran Homes can sit on the side patio to hear the laughter and watch the kiddos play.”

Since 2010, the America’s Farmers programs have awarded more than $59 million to nonprofits, aspiring ag students and public schools across rural America. Farmers are leaders in their communities, which is why America’s Farmers programs rely on them to help identify the most worthy causes.

Local Perry farmer Brad Golightly presents funds to Acorns & Oaks director Mandi Dakin.

Dedicated to making a difference in rural farming communities, the Grow Communities program asks farmers across the country to participate by nominating nonprofit organizations with resources to strengthen their local communities. Last August, farmers entered for the chance to direct a $2,500 Grow Communities donation to a local eligible nonprofit of their choice. Farmers have directed donations to food banks, emergency response organizations, schools, youth agriculture programs and many others that reflect the spirit and support the vibrancy of rural America.

Acorns & Oaks Intergenerational Christian Daycare, a ministry of Christ Lutheran Church Bouton, opened in 2017 and occupies the newly renovated lower level of Perry Lutheran Homes’ King’s Gardens Campus on Willis Avenue. One of the most unique aspects of Acorns & Oaks daycare is the integration into the daily lives of the residents living at Perry Lutheran Homes (when safe to do so). Studies have proven that intergenerational living and programming has numerous benefits to both the children in the daycare and the elderly residents living in senior care communities. Currently, Acorns & Oaks is near capacity with 30 babies and children age six weeks through five years of age. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Acorns & Oaks daycare remained open and committed to serving the families of essential workers throughout the community of Perry and beyond.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, including those in rural regions, and farmers play a critical role in helping communities overcome challenges, like the ones we’re currently facing” said Al Mitchell, Bayer Fund president. “Bayer Fund is proud to work side-by-side with farmers to identify local eligible nonprofit organizations that are able to provide their residents with solutions that leave a lasting impact.”

Little “acorns” enjoy the soft, shaded and safe grassy area.