As we mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic in our community, St. Francis Children’s Center is reaching out for your support. The American Psychological Association reports that closures and changes due to COVID-19 have been particularly difficult for families who have children with special needs. According to the APA, caregiver stress is up as a result of being socially isolated and managing multiple therapy appointments for the children they love. In addition, while COVID-19 seems to affect children at a lesser rate than the adult population, those youngsters who have special needs are often in a “high risk” category due to secondary health issues. This increases pandemic anxiety in the families we serve.

How is St. Francis Children’s Center supporting families during the pandemic? In addition to providing high-quality, in-person childcare and virtual tele-therapy and service coordination, we are serving parents, caregivers, and siblings through our compassionate Family Activity Center (FAC). The FAC provides free and low-cost programming that helps families reduce isolation, focus on self-care, and connect with other families who simply understand and lend a strong shoulder. To keep families safe, all of this incredible work is being done virtually, so families can participate from the safety of their homes.

This winter, the FAC has provided:

  • Parent compassion groups: helping caregivers build resiliency as a team;
  • Sibshops: allowing the siblings of children with special needs a safe space to discuss their concerns, while engaging with a fun peer group who understands the journey;
  • Mom’s Nights: connecting women in a relaxed setting and helping them build a circle of support;
  • Mindfulness classes: giving families physical coping strategies to reduce stress in these hectic times.

Today we are asking for your financial support, so we can continue offering free and low-cost programming to ALL families in our community who have a child with special needs through our Family Activity Center. Our FAC was created to help families reduce isolation, focus on self-care, and connect with other families who simply understand and can lend a strong shoulder. Here’s what your gift can do:

  • $50 helps to provide a mindfulness class for a family;
  • $100 will provide 5 children with a Sibshops experience;
  • $250 provides materials for take-home care packets and art activities for families;
  • And, a gift of $500 allows us to expand our programming to even more families who need our help.

Please donate now: On our website – click on the green Donate button at the top of any page. Or, mail your check to us – no cash, please!

Thank you for your support! 

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