Dear Relief Nursery friends,
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, Relief Nursery has remained focused on our work of supporting Relief Nursery children and families. Nothing could be more important as already vulnerable families are facing unprecedented challenges which increase the risk to their children.
I am reaching out to assure you that we are doing all that we can, and to share details about Relief Nursery sites and services, and our plans for Main Event.
With the closure of schools and the increasing spread of the Coronavirus, Relief Nursery has suspended on-site Therapeutic Early Childhood Program classes and Outreach Respite indefinitely. All evening classes for parents, staff trainings, and agency tours have been suspended until further notice, as well.
Adapting to the new reality of social distancing has been a challenge for us at Relief Nursery. Personal engagement and face-to-face contact is a tenet of our agency, mission and programs.
Our teachers, home-visitors, parent educators, and Outreach team are still very busy, checking in with families frequently by phone and other electronic communication methods. Phone calls include things like helping parents create a schedule for the day, and FaceTime sessions for the children with their teacher. A highlight of the day for both.
Relief Nursery staff is also delivering food and diapers to families, as this is an urgent need. Deliveries and care packages include activity kits and books for the children.
We’ve written a grant to supplement our emergency fund which is used to help families cope with unforeseen financial and personal hardships.
While we are currently unable to accept donations of household items, clothing, and toys, we are accepting donations of non-perishable food , diapers and monetary support. Arrangements have been made for Relief Nursery staff to work from home whenever possible, however, management and development staff are often on-site and can receive donations.
Relief Nursery continues to receive daily updates from Lane County Public Health and we have an emergency plan in place should it be necessary to close our buildings completely. If we need to take this step, you will be notified immediately.
With the prolonged restriction of public gatherings, Relief Nursery is unable to host Main Event as originally planned. Our ever-flexible and solution-oriented Development team will not be deterred — we simply cannot fail the children. Main Event 2020 will be a Virtual Gala culminating on Saturday, April 25th.
This undertaking would not be possible without the selfless generosity of our loyal sponsors. To that end, we will host a celebratory gathering in their honor, tentatively scheduled on June 27th. We envision a festive party, when it is safe for all to gather, with a few live and silent auction items and a report on our Virtual Gala. We look forward to sharing updates with you about these plans.
In closing, a Relief Nursery teacher/home visitor recently shared this thought with me, “I believe that this experience is causing stress and fear for many of us, but I truly believe it is also teaching us new things … we will reinvent ourselves and do things that we never thought we could do.”
From the entire Relief Nursery team, we share our hope that all stay well, and our gratitude for this generous and resilient community.