As we mark the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 in our community, it is important to reflect upon the unprecedented impacts this pandemic has thrust upon us. We at Children’s Friend mourn the loss of life and physical suffering this virus has caused. In addition, the economic and emotional tolls have been intense in our community and across the globe.
Many of the families we serve at Children’s Friend were the first to be impacted economically, and have had some of the worst medical and emotional impacts. One year later they are less stable and more at-risk. The implications of this pandemic are deep and long-lasting for those we serve, and yes, many others as well.
While the negative impacts were quick and severe for the most vulnerable, the response from those in a position to help was immediate and very generous. Within weeks of the first COVID-19 cases occurring in Rhode Island, thanks to innovative and dedicated employees, and generous supporters, Children’s Friend was delivering over 500 meals per day to families without food. This continued for six weeks until our families could be linked to more traditional food security supports.
Over the past year, we have worked to support and stay connected to our kids and families in-person and virtually. Until this pandemic we did not know that virtual visits could be effective and efficient in some situations, nor did we understand how delivering food and supplies would be such a critical lifeline to so many. Thanks to all of you, this 187-year-old organization adapted and adjusted to support our kids and keep our staff and families safe.
In many ways, this pandemic has actually strengthened the Children’s Friend family. While we remain socially distant, we are actually closer and more connected than ever before. We have found new and effective ways to communicate, connect, and support each other. Mostly we have seen the amazing outcomes of what happens when we all pull together and march forward in even the most challenging and chaotic times. No matter the role you played over this past year, thank you, we could not have done it without you.
While none of us know what the future holds, I am confident that by sticking together, supporting each other, and focusing on our mission, Children’s Friend will continue to be a strong and relevant agency.
Thank You and Stay Safe.
David Caprio, President, and Chief Executive Officer