Taking Action to help daycare

By Gary Brode | gbrode@wcia.com

Published 03/03 2014 10:34PM

Updated 03/04 2014 09:13AM

RANTOUL -- A daycare will be closed again Tuesday and maybe longer. The Anabel Huling Daycare has taken care of two generations of children. Now it needs help. WCIA-3's Gary Brode tells us how the town is Taking Action.

It's the middle of the afternoon. Usually this daycare is full of children, but Monday, it was empty.

Sam Burdette says, "One major piece of the boiler was cracked and it was unusable."

Now this giant building is without heat, so nearly 80 kids had no place to go.

Burdette says, "I think my biggest concern is we want our families to go back to work. Rantoul is a hardworking community and they work in jobs where they are given a limited amount of time before they lose their jobs and I don't want to be the reason this happens."

The school is using three rooms at the United Methodist Church, but the daycare wants to get back into its building. The boiler could cost as much as $40,000 and it simply doesn't have the money.

"We can help with the other 25 percent of it. But we do need the other or we will not be able to buy the boiler. So we really need the community to step in and help us."

Many in town have stepped up.

"The immediate reaction is, 'Let's do something to help because this is the only place I trust to watch my kids,'" says Sarah Gamel.

She and others started a fund to help the daycare raise money.

Gamel says, "I emailed pretty much everyone I know from work and said, 'Hey, this is where my children go. I talk to you daily. Share this. Let's get the word out.' The more we get the word out."

The effort means a lot to Burdette.

"We truly appreciate it and we couldn't do this without them. It's the kids and the families that make Anabel."

Burdette is expecting to be in temporary classrooms at United Methodist for up to a month. So far, $400 has been raised.

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