Generous donors and Child Care team members work to support WoodGreen’s youngest clients during COVID-19
Just as March Break was about to start, the stark announcement came from the Province of Ontario: as a result of COVID-19 reaching Canada’s communities and beginning to spread quickly, the Province needed to take strong measures to keep Ontarians safe. As part of that strategy, the Minister of Education made a historic announcement: there would be no more school or child care services for millions of children in Ontario for at least 2 weeks.
Ready or not, every family across Ontario was suddenly faced with the reality of homeschooling their kids, perhaps even while trying to work from home and maintaining some level of normalcy! It was a pivotal moment, and families in Toronto were reeling.
There are more than 700 children enrolled in WoodGreen’s seven licensed Child Care centres, and our agency has been providing high-quality child care services, enriching learning opportunities and parenting supports that promote healthy child development since 1937. The closure of Child Care centres like ours, as well as all schools, left a gaping hole for the families who rely on us.
Our incredible Child Care community members decided to act quickly to support during this unprecedented challenge, and they worked together to come up with ways to help some of WoodGreen’s Child Care families who may have limited access to resources needed to keep their kids entertained during this extended time. One of these ways includes engaging with families and hosting activities for children through virtual communication applications, and the response has been terrific!
As a local mother to three children, Clara couldn’t stop thinking about parents who were coping with this new reality with little or no support and limited access to resources that could help them keep their kids busy.
“When the reality of COVID-19 and children missing school sunk in for me and my family, my mind immediately went to single mothers and other families with limited resources to keep kids engaged and entertained at home,” said Clara. “I wanted to do something to help them get through the long, sometimes lonely days, provide some activities and fun distractions for kids at an uncertain time, and remind other mothers who might need a boost that they are not alone.”
Through the Facebook page Moms4Moms Toronto, Clara rallied other moms in the area to come together and help by creating activity kits for WoodGreen families in need.
“I knew that partnering with WoodGreen would ensure that families in need across our city would be helped in a timely and meaningful way,” said Clara. “WoodGreen is on the front lines every day, helping all Torontonians thrive – it just seemed like a great fit for what we were aiming to do, and it’s been an honour to contribute in a very small way to the wonderful work this organization is known for.”
Through donations of fellow mothers and from the support of local business Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore, the Moms4Moms Toronto group successfully packaged a total of 40 activity kits for WoodGreen families in need. Each activity kit was filled with various fun items to keep children of all ages entertained. Kits included a children’s book, playing cards, colouring books, stamps, and stickers.
With the Moms4Moms Toronto group in the works of preparing a second wave of activity kits later this month and a generous donation from SpinMaster, WoodGreen expects to have enough packages to keep all youth enrolled in our Homeward Bound After4 program entertained as our country continues practicing physical distancing.
If you are interested in supporting WoodGreen from a corporate perspective, please reach out to Kathy Koch, Director of Corporate Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.