My dear family and friends,
What a year! We are all watching the scenes from a world turned upside down by the coronavirus and endured unprecedented social restrictions. Unemployment, homelessness, food insecurity, COVID-19 infections, and virus fatalities are concentrated in under resourced and underserved communities like central Richmond. We know this because these are the families that my colleagues and I serve at the Early Childhood Mental Health Center. We see the fear, economic disparity and increasing need everyday. It is shocking.
This health and economic crisis has hit our clients extremely hard, and the stress and severe adversity can have a dangerously negative impact on struggling parents, but the impact is especally difficult for their children.
In past holiday season's community members have offered to support our families by undertaking toy drives, donating jackets, clothes, or pajamas for our clients. This year over twice as many of our families are asking, not for gifts, but for food, formula, diapers, and basic necessities. Many of our families are hungry.
This year, for those who would like to participate, we are simply asking for cash donations. Our goal is to raise $5,000.00 in order to provide 50 of our families most in need with a $100 grocery card to help ease their financial hardship and stress this holiday season.
We are in uncertian times when our health, our relationships and our safety are being threatened from both nature and from our own institutional systems, yet despite the tragedies we may face and or challenges we endure, examples of heroism and campassion can be seen all around us...through people like my colleagues and all our child-parent therapist, teacher-therapists, our mental health consultants, our social workers, and all of our clinicians and administrative staff. I am proud to work with them and humbled by their selflessness, their courage, their emotional strength, and their dedication to the families we serve.
I encourage all of you to pass this campaign on to your friends, extended family, and others in your network who are looking to support an important local cause this holiday season. 100% of all donation will go directly to the families served by Early Childhood Mental Health Center.
Wishing you the very best of the season,