Wainwright families in need of respite relief will now have the opportunity due to the Snowflake House expansion.

Executive director Shelly Wieringa says the decision to expand to Wainwright came after the request from the public for the care in the community.

“Up until now, we have never been able to provide that. We have made arrangements to hire staff there and we will be able to offer respite to families in that area.”

The foundation specializes in the temporary care of sick or disabled community members up to 18-years old in Lloydminster to provide relief for caregivers. The organization offers a number of programs including the mentoring program for kids, which teaches them things such as social skills.

The non-profit currently assists 30 families in Lloydminster. The organization also services Onion Lake and Thunderchild First Nation. Wieringa says four families in Wainwright have signed up to receive care through the foundation.

Wieiringa, who has been Executive Director since June, says the expansion shows the organization continues to follow the dream of the original founder. The foundation has serviced Lloydminster for the last seven years.

“I am so excited. Snowflake is a non-profit and we have worked very hard since 2012 to become a valued entity. I love working with kids, we do a lot of mentorships. I am involved with some of the kids myself, it’s very rewarding.”

With expansion on the mind, the respite service plans to build classrooms in their office space, adding on to their current craft room. The organization plans to use the new space to hold workshops for parents and employees.

“The more we get out there the more people are coming forward with their need. We just keep hiring more and more staff, try to do the expansions and work with the government to get contracts in place.”

The foundation is carving out a plan to eventually have an overnight respite house in Lloydminster as well as services in Vermilion.