I hope this finds you safely home, and keeping well. “A Red Carpet Evening” may seem long ago and from a far away time, but I want to share the important impact your support is having right now on the individuals served by CLH Developmental Support Services.
Your generosity as gala guests, sponsors, auction bidders and donors raised more than $54,000 and is helping to sustain an engaging community of support. This year’s gala theme of “Community” has been demonstrated in so many meaningful ways over these past few weeks – with your help, CLH’s supported individuals continue to thrive.
Early on, CLH Developmental Support Services made the decision to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our CLH community by closing programs at our Olive Street location, and eliminating non-essential visits at CLH residential locations. The effect on those we serve is significant: not being able to see friends and family in person or attend much-loved programs and workplaces has been a difficult adjustment for many. Direct support staff quickly adapted to the “new normal’, going above and beyond in their service to CLH supported individuals.
CLH Virtual Program
One impactful new initiative is a residential “Virtual Day Program”, with scheduled “group activities”, provision of online workshops, art classes, special guest instructors and more. To ensure connectivity, iPads were sourced and supplied to each house to help individuals engage in the virtual program, as well as visually communicate and connect with family and friends. Now in its third week, the program is successfully keeping everyone engaged while safely at home.
CLH Foundation saw an opportunity to further support this virtual program, and assembled supplies for weekly activities that everyone could enjoy together, including arts and crafts, cupcake baking, window decorating, and mini greenhouse planting. Six bags of goodies were delivered to the doorstep of every one of our CLH residential and Host Family homes, and these have added greatly to the program’s success. A #CommunityStrong window-decorating challenge was made by one of our residential locations to all the others, leading to a demonstration of creativity and community spirit – and a Papa’s Pizza dinner for every participating home thanks to CLH Foundation. This weekend, with CLH Foundation support, Grounded Coffee Company cookie decorating kits will make their way to all of the residences as well as to our Host Family homes.
CLH direct support professionals provide support with many aspects of daily living for members of our CLH community, many of whom have complex medical needs as well as developmental disabilities; they are very vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. Our staff are literally hands-on, directly on the front line of trying to keep their CLH supported individuals (as well as themselves) healthy. This is a 24/7 commitment and one they serve with generosity and care.
Recently, we made a request for help sourcing hand sanitizer, gloves and masks to protect our supported individuals and their direct support staff. Through the CLH Foundation Facebook page community support for CLH came quickly: Thank you to Silver Bridge Vapes + Chrissy Robinson, Huronia Historical Parks + Mary Mandley, Gail Dumais, Whitney Faragher, Sue Charlebois and Frances Fuller.
CLH Community Hub
I encourage you to follow CLH DSS and CLH Foundation on Facebook. You will find an inspiring source of photos, videos and stories that capture the great spirit of the entire CLH community as we stay #TogetherAtHome. You will see for yourself what a difference you have made!
We are grateful for your continued involvement and support of CLH Foundation. By your actions, you have truly demonstrated what it means to support, include and empower.
Chair, A Red Carpet Evening
President, CLH Foundation Board of Directors