CMHA’s Team Time Social Club is never short of activities to do, places to go, or things to see. From camping trips to advocating at the Capitol, they’ve done it all. What Team Time really wants to do now though is much more ambitious – and magical.
For the past nine months Team Time members have actively collected recyclables in hopes of going on the trip of a lifetime: Disney World! In that short amount of time, members have collected just over $900, however, they still have a long way to go.
Director of Community Programs Karolina Wytrykowska explained that Disney was not their initial goal in collecting cans. “This was an idea we got from another agency, one that helped with employment services, and was really a side project.”
Wytrykowska elaborated how the collections were initially a way for clients to gain “work experience – to help them learn a schedule and commit to hours.” At first, participation wasn’t very high, but now there are 15-20 Team Time members consistently going to CMHA locations three to four times a week to make collections. The money collected was used for smaller trips or events, but eventually the members thought to try for something bigger and better, and so began the Disney aspirations.
In an effort to boost funds raised, Team Time is expanding their outreach and will be putting collection bins in participating restaurants in downtown New Britain. For that, Team Time Social Club gives a special shout-out to Mofongo Puerto Rican & American Restaurant for being the first to participate – thank you!
“This is really important and meaningful because things like going camping, seeing a ballgame, theme parks, beach days with their parents, going to Disney – the members weren’t able to experience them. With Team Time, with staff they know and trust, they can do these things.”
As Team Time hopes to get to Disney in January 2021, in addition to cans & bottles or cash/check donations, airfare mile donations are encouraged. “The biggest cost to this is flying, and then the park passes”, said Wytrykowska, but clearly for her and Team Time, the uphill climb is worth it.
Smiling as she continued, “To watch them experience these things, for the first time, it’s wonderful. You’re seeing it through their eyes, and it’s like seeing it through kids’ eyes.”