Submitted by Craig Boyle, Housing Support Worker

On the afternoon of July 5, a bus arrived at our Brentwood location to take four families in our Housing Support Services program to IKEA in South Edmonton Common. The store was hosting our second annual household management and budgeting skill-building activity. Terra staff and a volunteer, as well as Brentwood Community Development Group staff attended to coordinate the excursion.

Families and staff arrive at IKEA for the activity.

When the group arrived at the store, everyone had dinner in the IKEA restaurant and then set out on a mission to design a child-friendly space, considering budget, safety, creativity and community resources. Families would have the chance to win a $300 IKEA gift card, donated by Debbie and Rob from Brentwood, and everyone would go home inspired by the day’s events.

Having a bite to eat at the IKEA restaurant.

Parents dropped their children off at the Småland playroom with IKEA child care workers and then teams scattered throughout the store to complete the challenge. They found their items, wrote down the product names and prices and drew their room layout.

Participants drew plans for child-friendly spaces.

Several hours into the challenge, teams presented their ideas to the judges who took into account all of the factors that make for a great child’s space. There were a lot of great concepts, but it came down to one participant who had an extremely well-thought-out space. Diandra took home the $300 IKEA gift card and got to realize her design idea. She was focused and thorough, and accessing the IKEA clearance section to utilize reduced-cost items.

Diandra took home the prize!

Everyone had a fantastic time. We are thankful to Debbie and Rob from Brentwood Community Development Group for donating the $300 gift card to Diandra’s family and to Robert from IKEA for being such a welcoming host. He even gave some gift cards to our families as a token of appreciation.

We look forward to next year!