Let me start by saying I hope everyone is happy, healthy, and keeping active as we move into our third month of “staying at home.” It has been about a month since our last formal Thrive update, and much has happened since then. With things beginning to open in Massachusetts, we are planning for a “soft or limited opening,” of the Thrive office on June 1. This opening will be contingent on and follow the state recommendations in the governor’s multi-phase plan. You will see more details on that in the coming weeks.
Our residential staff has banded together to ensure that the Thriver’s in our four community homes stay safe and engaged. A round of applause for the Thrive community supporting the staff and residents by sending monetary donations, sponsoring meals, writing letters of gratitude, making masks, and donating much needed disinfecting supplies. Your efforts and generosity are truly appreciated. To learn more about how to help visit our website at www.icanthrive.org//support-thrive-covid-19.
Our management staff, including myself, have been working hard to ensure that Thrive’s direct-care team, and other direct-care teams across the state, are recognized for their risks and sacrifices. We have spotlighted the issue through a variety of channels:
- Penned an Opinion/Editorial article in Commonwealth magazine titled Residential Direct-Care Workers Are Essential.
- Introduced a legislative resolution in the city of Worcester advocating to regard residential and group-home staff in the same light as other “essential” workers such as hospital care, fire, police, and EMS.
- Received supportive messages from US Congressman Joe Kennedy and State Senator Harriette Chandler, recognizing the heroism of Thrive’s direct-care staff.
- Displayed Heroes Work Here signs at Thrive’s four community residences.
- Sponsored roadside billboards displaying words of appreciation to Thrive residential staff and other direct-care workers.
These efforts serve one purpose, to support Thrive’s team, who has found themselves on the front-line of the pandemic caring for individuals near and dear to their hearts.
On the youth front, we are expanding our virtual programming. We have just added two new virtual groups:
- TASC Meetup – Zoom meeting Tuesdays 3:00-3:30 for ages 16-25 and 3:30-4:00 for ages 10-15. To register text Tia Houde at 774-245-9280.
- Mystery Monday Challenge – Challenge distributed on Fridays, challenge completed by Monday. Challenges include chalk challenge, bubble, watching things grow, and more to register email email@example.com/.
In realizing that things may not be getting back to normal soon, the youth staff are implementing a personalized plan for our youth participants. We know that this has been a tough time for families, and we are here to help you. We can s
upport your child with socially distanced home visits, 1:1 video or phone meetings to assist with challenges brought on by the pandemic, and guidance on additional assistance or clinical resources. Email Caitlin Devaney-Fortwengler at firstname.lastname@example.org/ if you are interested in any personalized supports.
Family and Individual Support
This group is supporting families and individuals in the community by assisting with essential needs and offering guidance accessing pandemic related services and benefits. Also, Thrive recently had a parade of cars passing homes of our individuals who live alone in the community. The caravan was a wonderful way to reconnect and see people face-to-face while remaining socially distanced! As you can imagine, it took a lot of coordinating, and we were not able to see every participant. For that reason, we are planning another parade next week to try to reach more Thrivers.
We are moving some of our community workshops to the virtual space. We have three upcoming workshop opportunities. To register, email Patty Carlson at email@example.com/.
- IEP Clinic. An individual 45-minute consultation with educational advocate and consultant Gayle R. Greene, M.Ed. $50 consultation fee.
- Coffee & Conversation. The second Wednesday of each month 9:30 am starting June 10. Share ideas and experiences with Thrive family support staff and other families. FREE.
- Parenting/Caregiver Support Group. Meeting once a week, Wednesdays at 8:00 pm, starting June3. Parents will meet through Zoom and share ideas, decompress, and feel supported. FREE
I am happy to share these happenings with you and hope that you are taking advantage and staying connected with Thrive. If you have ideas or comments about new or existing experiences, please feel free to share them at firstname.lastname@example.org/. Enjoy your long weekend and the unofficial start to summer!