A nice surprise awaits newcomers to Nampa, Northern Sunrise County

Nampa/Northern Sunrise County Family and Community Support Services director Amber Houle shows off the Welcome Wagon bag that is given to new members of the community.

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

If you are new to the Nampa or Northern Sunrise County communities, there’s a Welcome Wagon that’s been introduced to make you feel a little bit more comfortable in your new domain.

“The program was established as a way to ensure that newcomers feel welcomed into our communities,” says Nampa/Northern Sunrise County Family and Community Support Services director Amber Houle.

“And also, to give them a sense of what is offered in the region as far as programs and services go.”

Included in the bag provided is Village of Nampa and Northern Sunrise County swag items, a colouring book, Nampa and District Museum pass and swag items, teas and hot chocolate, lip balm, and various resource items from the area.

“The Welcome Wagon program extends a friendly reception to newcomers and encourages them to become involved in their community and the region as a whole,” says Houle.

“Often, the hardest part about relocating to a new community or area is tracking down all the available services and their contact information. The Welcome Wagon makes relocation simple.”

Houle says they provide a Community Directory featuring emergency service contacts, utility contacts, school and school board contacts, FCSS Office contacts, campgrounds contacts, library contacts, Ag Society and Community Hall contact information, childcare contacts, and family resource contacts, to help transition to the community a little easier.

They also provide the Nampa Daycare’s information, and how to register for the In the Loop e-Newsletter (a monthly newsletter that features all the programs and services offered by the Nampa/Northern Sunrise County Community Services Team).

“It is important to note that the items in the bags may change month to month depending on the resource information, coupons, and swag items received,” she says.

“The Welcome Wagon program aims to alleviate some of the stress of relocating to a new community.”

Also provided is Outreach Service information, The Block Party Guide (funding available to host block parties in your neighbourhood), The Just in Case Program file, and the current edition of the Move Up Magazine.

“It will connect the new residents to programs and services within the region, and to essential services,” says Houle.

“It will make newcomers feel welcomed and ultimately, feel as though they are already home in their new place of residence.”

Other information gathered is the Peace Valley Snow Riders information, councillor business cards, Community Resource Card and magnet, Wheels to Meals program information, Community Van information, and Home Support program information.

“New residents to the area (moved to the County or Village of Nampa within the last three months) are encouraged to contact their local Nampa/Northern Sunrise County FCSS Office to arrange to have a Welcome Wagon Kit,” says Houle.

The kits can be picked up their local FCSS office.

When new communities pick up their Welcome Wagon bags, the FCSS staff will also introduce themselves to the residents and provide an overview of the services and programs offered by the community services department.

“In addition to the Welcome Wagon Kit, they will receive a warm reception,” says Houle.

“Welcome Wagon packages are available at three of our FCSS offices; Northern Sunrise County administration building, St. Isidore FCSS office, and at the Nampa FCSS office.”

For more information on the Wheels to Meals program and for businesses and organizations interested in providing their program information or swag items for the Welcome Wagon, are encouraged to contact Amber Houle, director of community services, at (780) 625-3287 or by email at ahoule@northern sunrise.net.

Various items are given to new members of the community, including Village of Nampa and Northern Sunrise County swag items, colouring books, Nampa and District Museum pass with swag, teas and other items.

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