COVID-19 has changed our lives in unprecedented speed.
Mandy Fuller at the Castor & District FCSS (Family & Community Support Services) missed the community activities, cooking with kids and even attending the meetings that come with the job.
As the full extent of being shut down as a country sunk in and the Easter egg activity, volunteer and seniors appreciations were cancelled, the focus became, “How do we support the community going forward into an unknown time never experienced before?”
Through posted information from the provincial chief medical officer and other sources, the community needs began by supporting people in filing for their financial supports if they were laid off or had to stay home with children.
This went to providing an opportunity for people to drop off their income taxes to be completed and filed in a manner that was fully respectful of social distancing and cleaning to keep everyone safe.
Through social media there was a lot of discussion on running out of ideas of what to do during this extended time at home.
This brought some ideas to Mandy to bring the after school, cooking with kids and other community activities to the families.
The first family craft/activity kits went out in April and continue to be available once a month. They have contained craft supplies and ideas and other game ideas and supplies.
May had a cake mix and icing available for Mother’s day, June has hot dogs and marshmallows for the Father’s Day barbeque or wiener roast.
Within each of these kits there is information on things to do, places to seek support, and people to talk to – all of our local pastors and Mandy have made themselves available to talk for anyone wanting to check in.
Thank you also to ACCA (Association of Communities Against Abuse) and PCAL (Paintearth Community Adult Learning Council) for contributing to the family kits. The only requirements to receive the family kit is to live in this FCSS area and contact Mandy.
Going forward there will be the added requirement of responding to the three questions in the previous family kit so Mandy has outcomes to report for the program. This program will end after the August family activity/craft kit.
Castor & District FCSS has also received a couple of grants to provide support to community through this difficult time.
One was to buy plants to give to families and others to learn about, plant and care for.
Some are flowers but most are vegetables. Being outside and involved with gardening may or may not be new for families but it can contribute to positive feelings. The second grant has been to provide a meal a week to people who are self-isolating, especially seniors and making sure they eat healthfully.
For some, it is the smiling face (behind the mask) and a hello.
Mandy and the Castor & District FCSS board want to say thank you to everyone for doing their best in all this, for being kind and taking care. Please continue to social distance and wash your hands.