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Our Response to COVID-19

For the individuals affected by disabilities and their families whom we serve, these are especially trying times. With schools closed, many no longer have access to the various therapies they were receiving and families are struggling to provide the social and life skills their children so desperately need. Change is the new norm and, if you know our kids, you know they struggle with change—especially when it comes to their schedules.

COVID-19 forced us to cancel our June family camp and the August day camp we had hoped to offer. With schools closed, our after school program currently is closed, too. Our spring and summer fundraisers are on hold as well.

While COVID prevented us from hosting our respite nights and other events in person, Embrace is staying active and we are doing our best to remain helpful during this time of uncertainty. Through a safe virtual approach, we are carrying out engaging and educational activities with the children and hosting opportunities for families to remain connected during this isolation. We also converted our spring respite nights to virtual gatherings to give the children a chance to connect with some special fun and their families a little down time while the kids were engaged online.

Since March, Embrace Director Abby Stewart has provided daily activities children can do at home and led nightly Zoom group chats for Embrace children and their siblings. For those children who need some extra one-on-one attention, she also has offered virtual lunch dates. We have lent out activities from our storage unit to families looking for something new to entertain their children while stuck at home. And all the children have enjoyed surprise drop-offs at their homes throughout the closure. Since the stay-at-home order has lifted, Abby has visited the homes of some families to check in with them and stay connected to the children.

We are doing our best to make sure our children and their families know how loved and special they are and that we remain committed to supporting them.

We recently have rebranded ourselves to Embrace Delaware, the programming we are best known in the community and trying to alleviate the confusion caused by the Arise Delaware name. Our new website also aims to make it easier for families and supporters to see what we do and the impact we are having in our community.

We are excited for what’s ahead when we can resume in-person services, including the return of our after school program and respite nights. We also soon will be launching a lending library that will provide our families the opportunity to try different sensory supports to see how they help their children before investing in their own. We are rethinking our fundraisers to find fun, safe alternatives that will work in our COVID-19 world.

We are grateful to our financial supporters who have helped us sustain during these challenging times, especially as we have lost the income of our fee-based after school program. Please consider giving a monthly or one-time donation to help keep our organization strong. Thank you so much for your support and for keeping smiles on the faces of those we serve!