When we applied to Impact100 Oakland County for a Parent Support Program, we did so with plans for well thought out, in-person, connective programs.
Our plan was a series of monthly programs to meet the needs of parents with ill children. Parents who deal with isolation, lack of connection to the outside world, worry about germs and being in public places.
Little did we know how needed this would be as a month before launching Covid-19 would hit and the world would turn upside down!
Now everyone was dealing with the same issues that our families of ill children deal with. Wiping down surfaces, wearing masks, fears of getting sick, staying home for protection.
To counteract this, Kids Kicking Cancer pivoted all its programming online. Our virtual offerings included everything from therapeutic martial arts classes, to one-on-one Zoom classes, to virtual dance parties!
Our desire to wait for our parent program to be in-person was soon outweighed by our parents needs to be together. So, adapting as we had been doing-we created new ways to meet the needs of our parents and the goals we had set for ourselves.
Thanks to the grant from Impact100 Oakland County, we were able to create a Family Pizza & Game Night. What one of our staff dubbed the Great Pizza Party of 2020! Over 30 pizzas were delivered to our families along with brownies. This followed with the Family Game Night and Pizza eating together on Zoom. What a success! Our families said it was so much fun! They were grateful for a meal together with their greater Kids Kicking Cancer community-something they were missing.
To further this connection, we moved forward with a Culinary Arts Therapy Series. Gathering in the kitchen to make Mac & Cheese facilitated by a Social Worker was really a highlight of our time at home. So many words of positivity, creating connection with their own families, connections with other families, expressing themselves through cooking, overcoming isolation and building confidence-all goals of our program. The photos sent to us by the families wearing their branded apron and using their kitchen tools were a highlight for all of us! Our surveys illustrated further the extreme satisfaction with the program and that we had met our goals.
We look forward to baking bread with our families tomorrow in the 2nd of our Culinary Arts Therapy series. Thank You Impact100 Oakland County!! You continue to provide the much-needed support to support our Kids Kicking Cancer Parents! Power Peace Purpose