October, 2020

Thank you Gretta, my grands, and their father really appreciate you being here for us.πŸ’–πŸ™ NO ONE ELSE even considers helping men, women, and the children of these people that are incarcerated. Trust me when I say, your kindness goes a LONG WAY!πŸŽ‰πŸ˜ŠπŸŽ Looking forward to seeing you on the 14th.

Sent from a caregiver after our October Covid Emergency Giveway

Throughout the Pandemic, I have felt as though the days are melting into weeks and the weeks into months. How can it already be November? The good news is that COIPP has remained active, creative and busy meeting the needs of our families. Below are some October highlights.

The Office Is Open- Starting in October, we decided to open our office every Wednesday from 11:00-1:00. Two COIPP board members are there to greet visitors, share some of our resources, and answer all questions. Please stop by with your mask; we would be proud to share our great space with you. The address is: 22 South Market Street, Suite 101 A, Frederick.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Covid Emergency Giveaway- For many years COIPP held Sharing Fairs outside the jail. As we have mentioned before, COVID made the face to face interactions during visiting hours no longer feasible. We started to have COVID Emergency Giveaways- and we have not looked back.  In October we gave away coats, boots, books, hygiene supplies, gift cards and so much more.  We had about 35 participants-and all were so pleased with what we offered. At this time of need, it is exciting to see how COIPP finds solutions to current problems.

Fundraising Event– COVID has made us rethink a number of activities. We will not be able to hold our Annual December Silent Auction. A number of us have been attending different podcasts and Zoom meetings on alternative ways to raise money during this pandemic. Thanks to the hard work of both a special fundraising committee and our board, we came up with the idea of putting together a letter outlining what we have been doing for the children and their families in the past months.  We are proud to say that our fundraising letter raised about $8,000- and the money continues to come in. Thanks to all who helped. We are now on to our next fundraising idea. Stay tuned.

Respite Meeting- I have mentioned in the past that we have continued with our Respite meetings, but this time on Zoom.  In October during our Respite Meeting we did Part I of a two part series on Helping Children Manage Their Feelings. We included strategies, discussion and gave out many appropriate resources. The caregivers attending loved it. We do Part II in November. We hope to offer this session to more caregivers and offer new topics to those who attended this workshop. Since we know our caregivers and the families, we are able to individualize the resources we give out based on the interests and ages of the children.

 Wertheimer Award- Thanks to the nomination by Pat Rosensteel, I have been named the Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism. by the Community Foundation.  Clearly this award was for Children of Incarcerated Parent Partnership and also belongs to so many board members and volunteers who work tirelessly.  The award consists of a grant for $25,000 that may be used to set up a fund of my choice.  I chose COIPP.  This means that the Community Foundation will be investing the money for the next year and then each year after COIPP will receive a check equaling 5% of the fund.  I chose to share this for it means that COIPP will continue long after I am gone. I am so happy!

I do want to welcome Lesha Chandler to the Mental Health Association (MHA). She will be overseeing our collaboration, Families Impacted by Incarceration Program (FIIP). She has already been busy publicizing the FIIP mission statement, creating a new FIIP brochure, and working on the FIIP Facebook page. I know we are going to be improving upon a really great program..

The month has had so much more happening than what is listed above. We have received donations of resources from so many, including beautiful handmade quilts from The Clustered Spires Quilt Guild. We have attended community meetings, including the United Way’s sharing of their newest Alice Report. We have attended meetings on fundraising, and we have worked hard on new grant applications. We have continued to provide the jail with pre-stamped postcards for those in jail so they have a communication tool for staying in touch with their children, and we have mailed off books to the children of several moms who participated in our parenting classes before the classes were ended by COVID. In other words, the work continues!

I cannot wait to see what we accomplish in November.

Shari

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