Bags of groceries now line the halls of Operation Breakthrough. Temporary shelves have been added and are filled with diapers. All wearing gloves, a small donations team is working hard to organize and distribute supplies. Operation Breakthrough is committed to helping families through these uncertain times.
Even though most of our families are now sheltering in place due to concerns about the coronavirus, they are still under the OB umbrella. Thanks to our incredibly kind donors, we are able to provide food, diapers, toiletries and other essentials to 350+ families in need.
Families with transportation are invited to pull up to the back door in the afternoons to pick up supplies. Everything is loaded directly into the trunk or backseat to limit face-to-face contact. Staff is delivering food to families who can’t get a ride.
“It’s so hard to practice social distancing when we are handing out the bags,” says Jessica Kibby, social work supervisor. “Families are so grateful—they want to hug us, but I tell them we need to stay well so we can keep doing this through the crisis.”
Families are provided a pack of diapers a week for each child that needs them. To feed the children’s minds as well as bodies, the grocery bags contain educational activities for families to do at home.
Through Operation Breakthrough’s partnership with Connecting for Good, about 30 families have received a laptop or computer to help with virtual schooling or working from home. Hotspots have also been provided for those families who don’t have access to the Internet.
Mental health is as much a concern for our children and parents as physical health. Our therapists are continuing their regular schedule of meetings with families, remotely, using FaceTime or Skype.
Social workers are contacting all parents at least twice a week to make sure they know we are here for them, especially as some begin to lose wages in the shutdown.
“Our families are scared, like anyone else,” Jessica says. “But this is what they do; they are used to this. They are always in survival mode.” Operation Breakthrough continues to rely on guidance from several medical partners and government agencies regarding the status of the center and helping families through this crisis.