Hello GreenHouse friends! In this season of rapid change in response to COVID 19, we wanted to share an update. The GreenHouse closed our formal programming for kids, teens and parents on Monday, in coordination with the closure of our local Twin Rivers Unified School District. Like Twin Rivers, we plan to reopen on Tuesday, April 14, circumstances permitting.
In this season of necessary physical distance, we're exploring new ways of walking alongside GreenHouse families. Deborah, our Elementary Director, is designing a three-week reading, math and activity challenge for GreenHouse families, to provide daily, accessible educational activities for students. Teen Director Brenda is reaching out to all teens and their families to connect them to the myriad online resources available for teens through the public library, and help them sign up for a library card if they don't already have one (hey Sacramento County, the library is accepting online applications for library cards for 3 months without requiring ID - check it out!) Janelle, our Faith Formation Coordinator, is posting daily opportunities for teens to share prayer requests, hear scripture, and encourage each other, and continues to host our high school leadership group via Zoom. Johanna, our Volunteer Coordinator, is gathering food and economic support referrals for parents and families.
And we find ourselves returning to some of the simpler ways to connect. We're writing physical letters to kids and teens, to let them know they are loved and thought of in this season (and to invite them to write back - great writing practice!) We are calling the parents of each GreenHouse family to ask, "How are you? How can we pray for you? How can we support your family in this time?"
There is much anxiety in the air right now, but also opportunity. It is, in a surprising way, a chance to remember what's most important: relationships. Connection with God and each other. I read recently a powerful statement from Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky about this time in our community's life: "Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern. ...Every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise." May this be true in our communities!
Thank YOU for walking beside us in this season. We'll be sharing news soon about Big Day of Giving and ways you can partner with The GreenHouse in place of Kids At Heart this year. As always, we welcome your support in our ongoing work of walking alongside kids and families. Thanks for your partnership!
--Rena & the GreenHouse team