Community Update #3 - October 2020
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, we reflected on the ways that the community has supported children, youth, and families over the last seven months.
To say we are grateful would be an understatement.

The last time we wrote, we shared that we were worried about families with children at home and youth living independently. Thanks to the generosity of the community, we were able to offer supports to both groups and we’d like to share a few stories with you.
Community support made it possible to provide care packages for almost 300 youth. This includes Youth 21+ (some housed, some unhoused) and youth 16-21. In addition, several special birthday and graduation care packages were distributed. As Youth Services Worker Denny Aschnaki told us “the isolation these youth were experiencing was intense.

As we delivered the packages, the joy and heartfelt appreciation from the youth was unbelievable. They didn’t expect this. Some even called to say thank you again, to tell us what it meant to them. They felt like someone truly cared. We told them ‘yes we care and so do people in this community!’
Kelly Farrell, a Kinship Services Worker, said: “Thanks to the support of the community, we were able to put together activity kits together for 90 kinship families. These 90 kinship families combined together have approximately 180 children all of whom were offered some new activities to provide some fun during a challenging summer of COVID-19 restrictions. In total, we made 135 kits (48 indoor kits, 42 outdoor kits,
12 jam kits, and 28 baking kits).”
We know that we can’t help children without helping parents and that
supporting parents is a major part of preventing child abuse and neglect.

Here are a few of the things we are doing to help parents care safely for their children:

  • Exploring options to offer groups like Trusting Loving Connections to a limited number of in-person participants
  • Determining what mental health supports might be needed as families find themselves overwhelmed by increasingly complex situations
  • Figuring out how parents can access counseling and respite (if possible)

There is so much we don’t know about what lies ahead. But we do know that children, youth, and families still need support.

During an uncertain time, it is reassuring to know that you are here to help and that we are sticking together to make sure that we all come through the pandemic safely.

With gratitude,
Karen, Jill, Christine, Jennifer and Sydney
The Family & Children’s Services Foundation Team
P.S. Dress Purple Day is October 27th and we hope you will join us as we raise awareness about the important role that each of us plays in supporting vulnerable children, youth, and families. On #DressPurpleDay2020 we celebrate our caring community and make sure families know that help is available. We want families to know they are not alone. To learn more please visit our website where you will find information on how you can participate and tell the world #IDressPurpleBecause
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