Care Kits give a much-needed boost

Raissa Tetanish
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AMHERST - A little care package can go a long way during a stressful time of year for post-secondary students.

That's why the Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association is accepting registration for the 2010 Care Kits.
Amanda McInnis, youth retention and attraction co-ordinator, said almost 70 have registered for the packages that will be sent out in time for year-end exams.
"The Care Kits are just a little reminder of home during that stressful time of year. It's full of good things that can be put to use, and includes labour market information," McInnis said.
Also included in the kits is information on what's happening at home in Cumberland County, what the hot jobs are and how real estate here compares to other places, such as Halifax or Calgary.
"It shows them how far their money could go here in Cumberland County, and also shows them commute time."
The kits were created last year as an outcome of the youth retention and attraction project McInnis put together.
They're sent out to students at post-secondary institutions to a number of places, including Delaware and Maine.
Of the 112 kits that were sent out last year, Kaitlin Moores was one recipient.
Moores, in her final year of an education degree at Acadia University in Wolfville, is enthusiastic about the program.
"I've been good friends with Amanda for years, so I had heard about the program, but then I was also hearing about it by word-of-mouth," Moores said after a day of teaching music at West Highlands Elementary School.
Moores said the process was a simple one - all she did was go to CREDA's website to register.
"I know Amanda's been working hard and encouraging a lot of people to return to Cumberland County for work, and I support that. I think it's a great thing that young people are coming back here to work."
Moores said she got her Care Kit in the mail at a time when she had a lot of papers due.
"It definitely put a smile on my face," she said, adding she knew exactly what it was when she saw it in the mail.
Among the treats, information and gift certificates inside, Moores said everything inside was extremely useful, especially the pens.
"As a teacher, I'm always looking for pens," she said.
"And the information from the businesses got me aware of some of the places in town."
Parents or other loved ones are able to sign up their students, and McInnis has been surveying graduating students each year and sent an e-mail to those addresses she had informing them of the registration if they were interested.
"Of the ones that are registering for this year already, we've seen a lot of students that had registered last year," McInnis said, adding students are able to refer friends' e-mail addresses as well.
This year, McInnis is aiming for 150 kits, but it depends on how much the area businesses contribute.
She said if she gets enough content, she could do more than 150.
During last year's run, almost three dozen businesses were involved, said McInnis.
Anyone wishing to register themselves or a loved one can do so at www.creda.net, or by calling Amanda McInnis at 667-3638.
Any businesses wishing to participate can also contact McInnis.
rtetanish@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association, Halifax, Acadia University West Highlands Elementary School

Geographic location: Cumberland County, AMHERST, Calgary Maine Wolfville

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