Updated: Jun 10, 2020
COVID-19 has created both barriers and opportunities for the Collaborative. One way we have continued to (literally) show up for our kids and families has been to bring nutritional and recreational bags to their homes.
The Collaborative runs several after school programs, one of which is Compass. Kids qualify for Compass if they need additional academic, social, and/or emotional support. Through active family engagement and collaborative leadership (two Full-Service Community School pillars), the Collaborative staff and Compass families have formed strong relationships that make doorstep deliveries possible. With food and household goods from Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank and funds from various donors, we were able to provide all 27 Spring Compass students with one bag full of food, soap, and toilet paper, as well as one bag full of art supplies, jump ropes, stress balls, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and positive messages.
There’s something powerful about presence. Seeing the kids and their families in person, even from six feet away, provided a new sense of inspiration. It served as a reminder of why I do this work. I hope that when the kids saw me bringing bags specifically to them, they felt important. Even though we are isolated, we’re still a team. I think about them every day and I’m willing to do anything, including drive to each of their homes, to provide support. There’s no better time than right now to serve the Central Hillside.
Right before distributing the bags, one mom texted me saying, “Thank you. They will love it and so will I... You all have been so kind, caring and thoughtful in all this craziness.” During the drops, I saw kids smiling ear-to-ear, jaws dropping as they sorted through their new supplies. I heard “Thank you!” after “Thank you!” as I walked back to my car. In the days following, I received an email from a third grade student. “I liked the snacks you brought! Also thanks for dropping off snacks for me.” Regardless of this virus and the related uncertainty, I’ll always remember bag distribution day as hopeful and heart-warming.
I can’t wait until the kids are the ones showing up-- back to school.