From the home office of Lauren Reicher Gordon, VP and Director of Family Visit Programs
Dear Kidsave Friends and Supporters,
As days turn into weeks of isolation and social distancing, we understand in more vivid detail the difficulties our families, kids in foster care and orphanages are facing during this time. Our staff is doing all we can to support our kids and families. We are spending many hours on the phone to keep our programs going and our families and kids connected.
At this time of a “new normal,” I wanted to give you an update on our major programs and what we are doing to keep our community connected.
About the Summer Miracles Program
5-21-2020 Update: With great disappointment, we announce that we will not facilitate our Summer Miracles hosting program in August due to the travel restrictions announced in Colombia on Wednesday, May 21, 2020. Along with our partners, we are putting all of our efforts into building a strong winter hosting program in December.
Colombian President Duque has extended isolation measures in Colombia to May 31, with the Health Emergency extended to August 31. According to the officials, the restrictions for international travel parallel those for the health emergency; therefore, it is not expected that travel can be resumed before September.
We continue to advocate for every child who has waited so long to have dreams of having family come true. Please join us NOW in our advocacy efforts on behalf of these forgotten kids and consider hosting this December. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information today.
We are on calls with our Colombian partners, navigating our next steps and accepting referrals for more kids who need families. We are meeting new families virtually who are hoping to host this year and are processing applications. We are working with agency partners that are doing virtual family interviews as part of the process to host.
We are also talking with families who are waiting to travel and who are navigating this new reality knowing they were so close to seeing their children again.
One mom-to-be, Amy, was scheduled to travel to Colombia last week to complete her adoption before all was put on hold. “When you are trying to be optimistic and talk with your child, it’s hard,” she says. “I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get her.” Her 11-year-old Valentina was calm and brave on video chat when they talked last, and both continue to be hopeful. “She puts on a really good face,” says Amy. “It’s lovely to see her, to see her face and see her smile and reassure her that I’ll be on a plane the moment I get the OK.”
When grappling with this new reality, Amy says it’s comforting that “We are all in the same situation with different stories.”
Another mom-to-be, Linda, was hoping to be able to travel to Colombia in May. She says her summer with her soon-to-be daughter Maria was life-changing. “I felt the connection with her right away,” says Linda. She is particularly grateful for her local Kidsave community during this time.
“I feel connected with the Kidsave family,” says Linda. “I know this is all going blow over and I will be with my daughter soon. That gives me hope.”
About Weekend Miracles in Los Angeles
As you know, due to social distancing, we have had to suspend our much loved Weekend Miracles events.
April 7th Update: We are excited to share that we launched our first virtual event April 4th and will continue to hold virtual events by invitation every week. Our Kidsave staff continues to reach out to our Kidsave kids, hosts and prospective families to let them know we are thinking of them and that we will bring our community back together in person as soon as it is safely possible.
We continue to check in with our Weekend Miracles kids, families and caregivers. We want them to know we care about them, we’re thinking about them and if there is anything they need, we will do our best to provide it. We are making sure all our kids have laptops and internet access to complete their school assignments. Please contact me if you want to help with this.
We are providing our hosts with virtual activity ideas to keep up with their host children and are grateful for their commitment. We are encouraging our hosts to respect social distancing recommendations as outlined by the CDC and opt instead for online games of chess, video chats, and virtual visits to museums and landmarks and more!
As always, we want to thank all our supporters. The impact we make on our kids’ and families’ lives is all because of your continued support.
We can’t do this without you.
To get through this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis and continue to serve our kids and families, we need your support now more than ever.
Please give a donation of any size. We are all in this together and together, we will get through these challenging times!