Please join us on this special global day of giving to support the youth and families of CHOICES! We continue to serve over 350 kids in all of our programs and have been able to switch to a virtual platform for most of our operations. Our mission is to bring change to the kids we serve; using our core values like innovation and teamwork we have been able to achieve success in maintaining our services and programming. A key component is having donor funds available to meet unique needs during this time. Check out the highlights from the past couple months:
Overall, your donations have been able to provide kids in each program art supplies and fidget spinners to use as coping tools in therapy. Your donations and partnerships with other community organizations have provided access to technology and helped relieve food insecurity for youth and families.
In foster care our parents continue to be the MVPs, having to adjust to virtual schooling. Also working to explain and comfort children through the loss of face to face bio family visits, delayed reunification, seeing friends at school, lack of sports or extra-curricular activities.
- One youth has started to care more for her own health, making better food choices and shooting hoops as a self-calming technique and as a break from schoolwork.
- One foster parent has started to work out with the youth in the home, they enjoy working in the yard and going on runs.
Our independent living (IL) and bridges youth were the first to experience the effects of the pandemic. Availability of food in stores in early March became a hurdle, with consistency and many grocery trips we were able to set them up with a stocked pantry. Our staff has been intentional with communicating with our youth daily. In general being in IL can be isolating, we want to be sure our kids do not feel alone during this time.
- This month we had a former youth stop in our office to say hello to his case manager. He wanted to thank him for all the guidance he received in our program regarding budgeting. He has been laid off but because of his knowledge to prepare, he has been doing okay financially during this time!
- We had our first IL group session via zoom to discuss the emotions of COVID-19. All of the kids adapted well and were very participatory.
- A couple of our kids have continued or pursued jobs on the front lines. Both have identified that it is nice to serve others during this time with their jobs at Target and Meals on Wheels.
Our home-based services program provides mental health services to youth as well as family support services. We have been able to continue to provide services to many youth and parents via tele-health. Families in our home-based programs have experienced the greatest need during this time, and we continue to work alongside them to provide support, connect to resources and manage crisis as needed.
- The biggest struggle for these families has been food insecurity. Your donations helped provide 23 families gift cards for groceries.
- The kids have loved doing yoga, creating story books and art work in virtual sessions.
- Many of our kids continue to work on their trauma timelines and have breakthroughs related to meeting their goals!
Donors like you and our community have been consistent in stepping up to meet the needs of our kids. We know that our delivery of services may look different for some time. We also know there are many kids who have been home for 2 months that will be in need of our services. The reality is that child abuse reporting is down, in some places as much as 50%. Teachers and doctors most often recognize the signs of abuse and neglect, and without schooling or doctor visits many kids are living in unimaginable situations. We know kids (and adults) are struggling with a variety of emotions related to grief and loss. We are committed to meeting the mental health needs of youth in our community.
Your donations during this time will help us meet the needs of our kids, provide them a safe place to experience positive change and the tools to achieve overall wellness! Any amount you choose to donate will help sustain our mission in the months to come. With your support we will continue to provide hope and security during uncertain times! Donate easily online by clicking here. Donations can also be mailed to us at: CHOICES, Inc. 1785 Big Hill Rd. Dayton, OH 45439.
Thank you for your commitment to our kids and our mission on this #GivingTuesday
Questions? Contact Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-264-0084 ext. 122