This time last year we were talking about how much change that children and our other clients were undergoing because of the pandemic, such as depression, job loss, and a rise in substance misuse. Fast forward a year, and it’s hard to believe we’re still in the midst of a battle with the relentless COVID-19. I, like you, am very concerned that we find ourselves back here again.
Harper Wrinkles and Kaylee O’Brien have a lot in common. They’re both second-graders at Anchorage school, they’re best friends, and they share the same birthdate. It’s the latter of those facts that lead them to make a special request for their “shared birthday” this year. Instead of presents for themselves, they asked their friends to buy school supplies to donate to the kids at Bellewood & Brooklawn.
We’re almost through July, and it’s hard to believe many kids will be returning to the classroom full time and in person in just a few weeks. Children have endured so much change and uncertainty during the pandemic and we know their symptoms may just now show up as they transition back to more structure and normalcy at school.
We’re finally coming out of the pandemic and there’s so many wonderful things to look forward to personally and professionally. I’m especially happy thinking about the kids getting back to school with more normalcy this fall and being with their friends and beloved teachers. Our school-based counselors will also be in the schools again to help the kids with the transition back into the classroom full time. The kids will have some apprehension and anxiety about another major transition, but we’ll be with them along the journey to help ensure their success.
For more than 17 years, Paradise Tomato Kitchens has been one of our most impassioned corporate partners. The company, which specializes in tomato-based sauces for the food service industry, began its involvement when its founder, Ron Peters, became a board member at what was then Brooklawn Child & Family Services. This was long before Bellewood & Brooklawn joined forces to become one of the state’s largest agencies caring for vulnerable youth.