As I write today, I’m aware of how difficult it is to put the present moment into words. As our communities grapple with the Coronavirus, the news updates are unrelenting. It feels like the sand is constantly shifting under our feet. We are inhabiting a world with norms we scarcely could have imagined a few months ago. We pray that you and your families are safe and healthy, and that you are centered by God’s peace at this challenging time.
In moments of great adversity, we’re drawn back to the heart of things. I’m reminded that at its core, The GreenHouse is not a service provider, but a community. Don’t get me wrong – we provide a rich variety of programs for youth and families. But at the core, The GreenHouse is a community of people that love God and passionately want the best for our youth. Everything flows from that.
In this present moment, The GreenHouse community is living out that love for youth and families in innovative new ways. We are focusing in three critical areas:
1) Academic Support
- Supporting the home/school connection. As families function as “home base” to the educational process during school closures, many are encountering barriers of language, technology and familiarity with the school system. We are partnering intensively with parents and schools to ensure that each student has the technology, online access, and materials they need for distance learning.
- Individualized academic support. As students attend full or partial Virtual School, we offer personal support for kids and teens through virtual tutoring, weekly academic check-ins, and small in-person cohorts focused on academic skill development.
2) Mental Wellness & Safety
- Access to positive relational, creative, and physical outlets. We offer virtual and outdoor workshops for 1st-12th grade to provide art enrichment, indoor physical activities, and fun social connection. These positive community spaces help combat isolation and support mental well-being.
- Safety. When stress rises, it aggravates pre-existing struggles and traumas. Throughout the coronavirus season we're working with GreenHouse parent and teen leadership to identify the top safety risks in our community at this time and proactively offer resources and support.
3) Strong Relationships with God and each other
- Connecting with each other. Healthy relationships anchor us and reduce the impact of trauma in people's lives. GreenHouse staff are in close touch with kids, teens, and parents through a variety of mediums: phone, social media, care packages, online groups, and small socially distant gatherings that provide ongoing relational support.
- Connecting with God. Youth are growing in relationship with God through prayer, Scripture study and sharing in our weekly youth groups and interactions over social media. We're in regular conversation with parents about their needs and prayer requests.
The GreenHouse is strategically positioned for this moment! We have years of deep relationships with the families we serve and a wide network of resources and partnerships in the Sacramento region. The GreenHouse is centered at the heart of the community, and we’ll be here supporting kids and families on a daily basis – whatever the season holds.
Thank you for walking with our community in this critical moment! Your support through generosity, prayer and partnership mean the world to us.
Grace and peace,
--Rena Crocker, Executive Director