Greetings Network faithful. We are excited to share with you the work of two great organizations that are committed to making a difference for families impacted by the recent devastating tornados in Oklahoma - Sesame Workshop and the Oklahoma Federation of Families.
Let's start with Sesame Workshop - We are thrilled, but not surprised, at how responsive Sesame Workshop is with their development of quality materials that can be used with families and providers to help children make sense of traumatic events. We encourage you to download their resource kit specially designed for use in the aftermath of a disaster - Here for Each Other: Helping Families After an Emergency. The kit is a downloadable pdf that is written in English and Spanish.
- Here for Each Other: Helping Families After an Emergency
- Cuidándonos uno al otro: Consejos Para Las Familias Después de una Emergencia
Sesame Workshop also has a host of great videos, print materials and emergency PSA's that are worth checking out:
Thank you Sesame Workshop. Tell Cookie Monster we are sending him a box of homemade chocolate chip cookies to show our appreciation!
Next let's move to the Oklahoma Federation of Families who have been working around the clock identifying ways to meet the needs of families who have lost everything. I spoke with Executive Director Susan Boehrer and asked her how Network faithful could be most helpful. In addition to the great resources from Sesame Workshop, which are so easily accessible, she said that what is most needed now is money. The Oklahoma Federation of Families has set up a fund to help families in need and we at the Network encourage you to make a contribution. One thing we know from experience is that when the national news cycle shifts focus to other events, the overwhelming needs of families impacted by the tornado will still be front and center. Here is the kicker - money or no money, the Oklahoma Federation of Families isn't going anywhere, isn't going to turn anyone away, and through grit and determination is going to stand by families in need. So time to pony up folks. Any size donation helps so show some Network love and help this family organization ease the burden for families devastated by the tornado.
Please read this message from Executive Director Susan Boehrer and then take 5 minutes to make a difference in someone's life:
- A six year old wakes up excited about going outside to ride his bike, a toddler keeps asking to go outside and swing, a young teen is anxious to learn a new song on their guitar, and 3 siblings can’t wait for the next Xbox marathon. Now imagine the moment when each child and youth remembers that none of those things exist. There is no bike, no swing set, no guitar, no video game, and in fact they don’t have anything. Their life as they know it was swept away in the Oklahoma May 20th tornado.
Oklahoma Federation of Families would like your help to rebuild the life of these young victims of the tornado. Each day we are working with families struggling to secure housing, rebuild records and documentation, feed their families, replace automobiles, and provide the basic necessities for daily life. We want to lessen the burden for parents and caregivers by providing direct support to the children and youth.
We are asking for donations to help children and youth rebuild their lives through our Youth Gifting Program. All children and youth affected by the tornado can fill out a gift request card to replace item(s) that bring fun and comfort back to their lives. We will fill all possible requests from donated items and use donated funds to purchase and fill as many requests as possible. All gift requests will be reviewed and approved by a committee of 50% youths and 50% family members/Federation Family Advocates.
- Donations can be made online. Click here if you would like to help support the Youth Gifting Program.
Susan Boehrer, Executive Director
Oklahoma Federation of Families
Okay Network faithful, you know what to do. Thanks as always for being the finest collective voice for children's mental health around.
President & CEO
Children's Mental Health Network