With the warm weather arriving, our numbers are rising. Those who stayed home when it was cold, dark and dreary, are starting to come back in spite of the risk of leaving home. We want to find a way to provide some safe, meaningful interactions and slowly begin adding some activities for those who are struggling.
It would be much easier to connect if everyone had a phone or computer, but that is not the reality for the majority of our guests. Many guests were already mentally fragile prior to Covid-19, and the pandemic put them at a greater risk of over or under reacting to new reality during the last 10 weeks.
Until now we focused on getting food to the hungry, and housing for those without a place to sleep. We are beginning to see the impact of weeks of isolation and social distancing. With your support, we found a way to respond to the requirements needed for providing an essential service. With your continued support, we will find new ways to support those, like many others who "have hit a wall, are grumpy, and fed up with living physically distanced, socially isolated lives."
I''m sure, you, like me, have read many articles talking about the social and mental health implications of Covid-19. I believe its impact is compounded by poverty, where it isn't likely they can Facetime with family and friends; click the "Add To Cart" button on a shopping website; watch funny cat videos on You Tube; or binge watch a Netflix series. Our guests can't go for a drive if they are bored; or afford to go on a baking frenzy; take up gardening; finish that renovation project; or head to the cottage for a change of scenery.
Pre Covid 19 the hall at Oak Table was filled with the sound of laughter and conversation. Some guests found meaning in art, some making moccasins, others creating paintings or cards. Some participated in a seniors club, or in a meditation group.
Our challenge will be to reach out and slowly offer activities to help people stay safe and reconnect. We started asking our guests as they come for lunch, what would be helpful to them at this time. Many of them simply want conversation and connection.
Thanks to all of you for accompanying us on this journey and for providing us support to meet the needs of the vulnerable in our community. So many of you contributed on-site or behind the scenes, making it hard to keep track of all your little acts of kindness. Thank you for keeping Oak Table in your circle of care, with your time and/or your money.