Along with their responsibilities at White Birch Center, the administrative staff at White Birch Center chooses to join or volunteer in various organizations around town. The Executive Director is a member of the Rotary Club of Henniker and sits on the Human Services Advisory Council. Teachers and administrators provide a crafts booth for children at the annual Chilifest Event held at Pat’s Peak and organized by the Rotary Club. White Birch Center participates at the Music on Main Street Festival by having a booth and organizing several children’s teams to participate in the Bed Race. Our Directors of Operations and Education have organized and chaperoned Henniker Community School children for the ski program. Local organizations have borrowed the White Birch Center bus at no charge to help with their events and activities. Also, White Birch Center routinely promotes and advertises activities and events sponsored by other organizations such as the Summer Concert Series, Annual Rabies Clinic, and Music on Main Street to name a few. All of these commitments speak to the Vision of White Birch Center which is to enrich life and strengthen community.
Economically, White Birch Center is one of the largest employers in the Town of Henniker. The New Hampshire Economic Employment Security Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau lists the largest employers in Henniker and at 30 employees White Birch Center ranks as the seventh largest employer in town. When one includes the additional 45 to 50 White Birch Center volunteers then the raking jumps to fourth. The annual budget for White Birch Center is approximately $1,200,000. Of that total budget, approximately $275,000 is paid to employees who live in Henniker and pay rent or have mortgages and pay local property taxes. $60,000 goes to LRE Realty of Henniker for our rent and we spend approximately $70,000 towards Henniker businesses for goods and services. All told, White Birch Center’s direct economic impact on the Town of Henniker is over $400,000. This figure is offset by a $50,000 grant from the Town of Henniker to support our senior programming.
In December of 2014, the White House Council of Economic Advisors released a report titled The Economics of Early Childhood Investment. This report concludes that children who have quality early learning (ages zero to five) are more prepared for school, have higher earning potential after school, and are less likely to end up in the criminal justice system. There is an overwhelming amount of research to support these conclusions. The White House report alone references over 125 research papers, articles, and references to support its conclusions. As a License Plus designated child care center, White Birch Center is committed not only to quality child care for children ages 1 to 5 but also to early learning. This benefits the children in our community and the parents who choose to enroll their children at White Birch Center for Early Learning.
Child care and early learning are not just important to children but also to parents. Our society and economic condition today has fundamentally changed from the 1960’s, 1970’s and even the 1980’s. Today, as reported by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 60.6% of families where the parents are married are families where both parents work. Obviously, a majority of the single parents work. That means for working parents with young children (children not yet in elementary school) they must have some sort of child care arrangement. When one also considers that many working parents commute to work, the amount of time children spend in child care each day is significant. In some cases, at White Birch Center, children are in our care from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm. Without care, parents would have a hard time working. However, with the amount of time that children spend in our care, it is also critical to both the child and the parent that we play a positive role in their child’s development.
White Birch Center has a significant impact on our senior citizen population. The White Birch Center for Active Living is a collage of programming, combined with strategic partnerships, aimed at enriching the lives and strengthening the community of older adults in Henniker and the surrounding areas. According the National Council on Aging Senior Center Fact Sheet “Compared with their peers, senior center participants have higher levels health, social interaction, and life satisfaction and lower levels of income.” By offering a variety of programs such as fitness, educational, field trips, social, dining, games, etc. there are many opportunities for older adults to lead an active and connected life in Henniker. A complete listing of programs is available under the Active Living tab of the home page Provide Link. Also, by teaming with organizations like ServiceLink, Concord Regional Visiting Nurses Association, and others, White Birch is able to leverage our resources to have a greater impact on our clients and the town. From July 1, 2015 to June of 2016, 363 individuals have participated at least one of the 86 different program types that have been offered. White Birch Center for Active Living 2015-2016 totals for programs offered and participants in those programs are 700 and 4,682 respectively. Additionally, our programming generated 1,250 hours of service valued at nearly $30.000. According to Independent Sector, a hub for nonprofits in the United States, the value of a volunteer hour of work in 2015 was $23.56. In addition, our volunteers drove 4,387 miles while taking seniors to medical appointments.