While the pandemic has been a scary time, we have learned so many things this year. Blessings are all around, you just have to look for them. The management team had a call this week and reflected on the positive things that have come from this challenging experience.
We want to share 10 things we have learned in 2020 and plan to continue for years to come!
- The Glenwood campus and its camp-like setting has been revitalized and the pandemic gave us plenty of time to enjoy it! Hiking trails, canoeing, and fishing are now favorite activities that will continue.
- Bringing the outside world to campus through parades and Zoom dance parties helped residents feel less isolated. They were a huge hit for residents, staff, families, and community groups, including local police and fire departments. Staff families even got to take part and see the impact their loved ones have on the people we serve.
- Several students have thrived using the distance learning model. It gave the opportunity for fewer transitions between activities. Transitions are often one of the most challenging things for students. The new model will be used as an option going forward as a tool for students to get used to new structures and routines.
- Technology helped start a Parent Support Group that takes place weekly. In the past, the service was needed, but scheduling a convenient time with multiple families was a challenge. Now, families are getting together weekly to learn ways to better support their children.
- Zoom is our friend, and we used it for so many things! The technology gave more people the opportunity to participate in residential care planning meetings. Care meetings have always taken place, but scheduling conflicts with off-campus participants often proposed a challenge. Now, caseworkers, attorneys, and extended family can easily join a Zoom call and join in for the important planning meeting.
- FaceTime and Zoom gave more opportunities for families to participate in daily activities with their loved ones. They could be a part of day-to-day tasks like never before.
- Glenwood continued to hire staff throughout the pandemic. With 24-hour care, hiring was crucial. Technology provided opportunities for enhanced training. The management team was able to “meet” new hires through Zoom. People could put faces with names and immediately feel like a part of the team.
- We already knew it took special people with a heart for others to work at Glenwood. Staff creativity has been at an all-time high as they created opportunities for residents and students to stay active while quarantined at home. Arts and crafts, gardening, dancing, exercising, and creating videos were just a few engaging activities.
- Teamwork between staff programs has increased, as well as cross-training. School staff and others were reassigned to the homes when distance learning was implemented or day programs were suspended. This has enhanced the collaboration between school and residential staff.
- The staff continued to care for the students and residents like their own family. When we had our first positive COVID case with a resident, several team members stepped up to take care of the individual in quarantine, putting their own health at risk to make sure the resident was well cared for.
None of this would be possible without the help of donors like YOU! Thank you for stepping up during a time when we needed it most. Our work is not done! Can you help us with a year-end gift?
While we hope that next year we will see an end to this pandemic, we still need your help. Please consider a gift to support a resilient team and most importantly, the people we serve who have adapted to challenging circumstances and continued to thrive.
Thank YOU for supporting those we serve through your gifts of time, money, prayers, and advice. We are blown away by the help we have seen throughout this challenging year. Happy New Year, and we hope your next year is happy and healthy!