Smart from the Start’s COVID-19 Response: Reaching Out to Support Families

While our on-site programming has been suspended in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Smart from the Start continues our commitment to supporting families with young children. We are one of the few agencies still on the ground, looking out for those living in often-overlooked neighborhoods of Boston and Washington, DC.

As we take appropriate precautions to keep our staff members and families safe, we are providing essential services to help mitigate the economic and emotional impact of the crisis on some of the most vulnerable families, all of whom have infants, toddlers, or preschoolers.

As others have said, the effects of the pandemic will not fall equally across society: Our families, already on the economic margins and coping with traumatic experiences, are among those losing paychecks and needing the most support. Meanwhile, the call for social distancing to prevent the spread of disease runs counter to the need for social connections, which are essential to strengthening resilience in the face of adversity. All of this comes on top of the concerns we all share about contracting the virus.

Our families depend on Smart, and Smart depends on you for the financial support to keep our work going. Please help us support the following activities:

·   Delivery of emergency food care packages, including learning materials and cleaning supplies;

·   Establishment of a crisis intervention fund, to help families with rent or other bill payments;

·   Telephone counseling to provide both individual and family therapy to caregivers and children;

·   Support groups and play groups, including our Address the Stress groups, conducted over phone and video, complete with story times, singalongs, and more;

·   Weekly (or more frequent) phone check-ins with families as well as on-call crisis intervention, advocacy, and support.

We cannot continue this vital work without your donations. Please consider giving whatever amount you can afford. We can all get through this together. Thank you for your support!