It has been a challenging week for staff at an early learning centre in Morell.
Lynn MacInnis is an early childhood educator with Morell and Area Early Learning Centre and on Wednesday she made her way outside with 36 kids, as she does every morning.
She and the other staff found cigarette butts, beer cans, tire tracks dug into the soccer field and, to top it all off, broken toys.
"We were all a little bit upset of course," said MacInnis. "We had to just clean it up quickly and not let the children notice."
Included in the damage were two children's pedal cars.
The early learning centre's usual playground is currently blocked off due to construction and staff have been using the basketball court as a play area for the children.
Vandalism 'was just the icing on the cake this week'
Earlier in the week, the early learning centre flooded.
The centre is located in the basement of Morell Consolidated School and although staff got everything cleaned and disinfected by the next morning, they still lost many area rugs and books.
The vandalism outside "was just the icing on the cake this week," said Paige MacLaren, the centre's director.
But after MacInnis posted about the damage on Facebook, support started coming in from parents and others. Some have offered to bring in barely used kids' cars.
"The response to the post has been amazing," said MacInnis, "and we've had people say 'I have an extra one and I'm going to drop it off tomorrow,' which we are grateful for."
The centre is a not-for-profit, so donations help cover all the losses that have happened this week.
'An apology would be all we're looking for'
The staff called police about the damage. But MacLaren really hopes for a simple "sorry" from those who caused it.
"We have incredible support in this community," said MacLaren. "So, I'm sure that we'll have donations and all of that. Really an apology would be all we're looking for at this point."
"Everybody deserves the opportunity to apologize and have a second chance," said MacInnis, "and we're definitely open to that."
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