CHIPS President explains why she became a volunteer in Wetaskiwin

Around three years ago, when Desiree Graham started her new journey in the City of Wetaskiwin, she tried to find ways to connect with locals!

She found her passion in taking care of kids in the city.

That’s how Graham landed her new volunteer position as a board member for the Children Indoor Playground Society (CHIPS) in Wetaskiwin.

“I was looking at ways to socialize with other adults, as when you have a day home and you don’t have children of your own, you kind of feel a little bit isolated,” Graham said.

“So I started looking at opportunities of what the committee had to offer. And I found out about CHIPS.” She added.

Volunteering at CHIPS connects Graham with her childhood, as her mother was running a day home and that’s how she became a nanny at a young age.

She explains that after all these years babysitting doesn’t seem to be a job anymore, but rather a passion!

“I’ve always worked for childcare. My passion is childcare. I was born and raised in a day home, my mom ran from our home. So I started babysitting at a young age; I was a nanny, and I’ve always been involved in volunteer work in the community,” Graham said.

While running CHIPS as the President of the non-profit in the city, Graham, 31, is also running a day home out of her house for a living.

“Being a day home, I have six, usually about five to six kiddos in my care at all times. But I believe that getting them out into the community and doing that socialization, getting to interact with even different adults and parents and other kids is really, really huge,” Graham stated.

In response to a question about whether it would be nicer to run CHIPS as a for-profit organization, Graham said that the facility then wouldn’t be as affordable for users as it is now.

She added that CHIPS has kept enrollment prices at $40 per year — unchanged for years.

Moving forward, Graham would continue serving the community as a babysitter — probably for the rest of her life.

“I’ve worked in childcare; this is my passion. I could see myself doing this until I’m a grandma; this is something that I truly believe in.”

Qiam Noori, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Ponoka News