Over the past two months, the staff at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Okanagan have been giving it their all. We have provided a wide array of services, including child care for Essential Service Workers (ESW), housing for young people, youth drop-in support, and food security in communities. We have adapted our services to include virtual programming, and are continuing to foster a sense of belonging and connection with children, youth, and families in the Okanagan. We couldn’t be more proud of our staff. Our staff show up every day, either in person, or virtually, and make sure that our clubs are safe places for children and youth to be. We have carried out all our programs and services under the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer, to ensure everyone is safe. We are excited about the BC Restart Plan and are working on resuming full operations as deemed appropriate.
To those who have already contributed equipment to our clubs, thank you from the bottom of our hearts, we are all in this together and our staff appreciates your continuous support.
We want to share what our amazing staff members are doing during these times.
Our first story comes from our Early Years staff member, Janet Brown, in Penticton. Janet knew that because families were unable to come to the club, they were feeling distant from one another and needed support to help keep their young children busy. So she got to work. Janet came up with the idea of “Busy Bags” and filled them with items to keep the little ones busy and entertained, but she didn’t stop there. She knew that parents needed something to get their minds off of things as well. She found matching coffee mugs to remind them of each other and placed a poem in each of them. She has since started “Virtual Coffee Talk”, a virtual spin-off of the programs that these parents miss so much during isolation. Virtual Coffee Talk allows parents to come together and connect with a group where they feel safe and respected.
Janet continues to do amazing things that mean so much for the families in our community. She is a hero and incredible support to our early year’s team.