Sensory walk installed at the warehouse of Love Our Community


LAKE TWP. – Images of a meandering river, a pond with lily pads and a hopscotch motif are part of a sensory walk created by 16-year-old Ian Palinkas for the Love Our Community warehouse.

“A sensory walk is a path that someone can take to help them release their energy or refocus,” he said.

Palinkas, a student at Lake Middle High School and a member of Boy Scout Troop 330 at Green Valley United Methodist Church, recently installed the printed vinyl flooring that includes the Sensory Walk. It is located in the children’s area of ​​the Love Our Community Thrift Store and Warehouse, 1236 Sunnyside St. SW.

Ian Palinkas, a student at Lake Middle High School and a member of Boy Scout Troop 330 at Green Valley United Methodist Church, and his assistants installed printed vinyl flooring as a sensory walk through the thrift store and warehouse in Love Our Community, 1236 Sunnyside St. SW.

Palinkas started his Eagle Scout project in 2019 and has faced delays caused by the pandemic. Eagle Scout is the highest attainable rank in Boy Scouts.

“It basically stopped the whole process because all the businesses and things we were working with kind of shut down during that time,” he said.

Another obstacle was the uncertainty surrounding the location of Love Our Community.

Kelli Viscounte, Executive Director of Love Our Community (LOC), founded the nonprofit in 2018 and purchased a former school in 2019 with the intention of converting it into a service center for families in need of food, clothing or shelter.

However, Hartville Village Council denied zoning change requests that would allow the project on Woodland Street SW. During a meeting, speakers raised concerns about safety, parking and other potential effects on the surrounding residential area.

Viscounte said the LOC sold the old school about a year ago and bought a trailer park at the corner of Sweitzer Street and Cleveland Avenue NW. There are currently families staying temporarily in four motorhomes on the site.

Future plans call for eight mobile homes to provide transitional housing to those in need and an apartment to house those displaced by emergencies.

“They will have a period of time to stay with us with intensive support services around them,” said Viscounte, stressing that transitional housing is not housing “halfway” or for the suffering. of active dependencies.

Since November, the association has also operated the 6,000 square foot thrift store.

“It’s a place that is much more than a store,” said Viscounte.

The warehouse sells donated items and all proceeds go to LOC’s mission of helping those in need and also provides meeting space for the association. The current store hours are 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

A design for vinyl flooring.

Ian’s mother Brenda Palinkas said her son was passionate about helping children and the LOC, and that she was proud that he overcame the obstacles to install the Sensory Walk in the store.

“He never gave up,” she said.

Ian Palinkas worked with KrzyMnky Designs, Kingsway Pumpkin Farm & Storage, Craft Adhesives and Continental Graphics USA to create the Sensory Walk. He raised almost $ 1,000 to pay for materials and graphics.

Brenda Palinkas said they have yet to determine the total cost.

“Any money that is left will be donated to Love Our Community to fight housing inequalities in our community,” she said.

A design for vinyl flooring.

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