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A weekend of renewal

First, let me say thank you to all of you who have written encouraging notes or called and who have given so generously in many ways during this time of COVID-19. I can tell that so many of you want to help even more than you do normally, but with all the distancing practices it is hard! We miss seeing you and are looking forward to when we can be together again.

Through the #CTLcares Fund, this week has been all about making deliveries to families – food, diapers, cleaning supplies, activity baskets and more. In Arlington alone, 54 families came to pick up activity baskets for learning at home. Food deliveries have been made to families house-bound throughout the county. So many of our clients are without transportation and fear taking their children on the bus. (This is one of the many families who received groceries this week).

Some of the families are doing well. Others are expressing extreme stress at being so isolated and with worries about food running out. We’ve been able to reassure them that we are still there for them, even in the midst of all of this. We are able to work through strategies on handling anxiety, frustrations with children, looking for work after they’ve lost employment. There are no easy answers right now, but our frequent supportive interactions are making a difference.

Many of you have also asked about our staff. Yes – some are also showing signs of stress – which we assure them is normal – but they are showing up every day – at the center or in the shelter – or remotely. All doing an incredible job of juggling their own concerns with those of the families we serve. But yes – I worry about them and we’re trying to constantly keep their mental health in mind as well as their physical health. This week we offered a workshop on Coping with Stress and Anxiety and more than half the staff attended, many pouring out their hearts with all they are handling. What an incredible group of people I’m honored to work alongside!

Thinking of you all during this Easter and Passover time. You are a person who believes in compassion and community – otherwise you would likely not be reading this. May this weekend bring you time for reflection, connection, peace and renewal.