VANCOUVER VIRTUAL FAMILIES
A COVID-19 Support Hub for Parents and Caregivers
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented changes in many societies and many of us are either stuck in survival mode or are desperately scrambling to find our 'new normal' for the time being. Some of you have lost your job, some of you are trying to navigate online university classes, and some of you are healthcare and essential service workers who risk exposure on a daily basis. Regardless of your situation, everyone is likely feeling overwhelmed in one way or another but families affected by school and daycare closures face an enormous additional challenge. Vancouver Virtual Families (BC) is a parent-run initiative aimed at supporting local families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to providing a place for isolated parents and caregivers to connect and socialize in unique ways, we will be continuously updating our numerous resource lists to support your family through this. From virtual home learning supports to mental health and financial resources, we will have it all. Please be patient and check back frequently - we are a small group with big ideas so technical glitches and spelling errors are par for the course! Thank you and welcome to the family.
While our reach may extend beyond these lands, we would like to acknowledge that most of our families live, work and play on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.
VANCOUVER VIRTUAL FAMILIES STANDS WITH #BLACKLIVESMATTER
It's never too early OR too late to start the conversation.
FAMILIES TOGETHER AGAINST RACISM
In support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, we have added a page specifically dedicated to resources that help explain race and racism to children and youth. In addition, we are offering our platform to all Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurs in Vancouver who wish to advertise their services free of charge.
CREATIVE WAYS TO KEEP CONNECTED AND SUPPORT LEARNING AT HOME
Our primary goals are to promote virtual community connections during this period of physical distancing and provide resources to support home learning plans. Many teachers - some of whom also had children learning from home now - worked tirelessly through the end of the school year to navigate new technology and completely revamp their lesson plans for our kids. This is certainly no easy task for some! However, we want to acknowledge that we have heard the voices of our fellow families and realize that not all schools were consistent in their new e-learning approaches or communication with families, which can be challenging for some. We wish to support you in any way we can and, while this initiative is not directly associated with the Vancouver School Board (VSB), we hope our efforts to provide resources and social connections will help bridge this gap to benefit everyone involved. Our wildly successful Kindergarten Connections 2020 Program is almost wrapped up. Please visit our Kindergarten Connections page for more information - if you were unaware of this initiative and would like to be connected with a school group whose virtual meeting was already hosted, please email us. In the meantime, please feel free to browse our additional resources or join our Facebook community chat and resource center - we would love to hear what you want to see on our website in the future!
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the overwhelming interest in our Kindergarten Connections 2020 Program, we have temporarily suspended our Virtual Pen Pal Program. We will revisit this program in the future to determine if there is still interest. Thank you so much for your ongoing support!
YOUR MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS.
Maintaining a positive outlook and finding time for self-care can be challenging, even for those who don't already struggle with their mental health. We are continuously updating our Mental Health & Wellness resources, so check back frequently for more great programs and services for children, teens/youth, adults, and older adults.
Science Lesson of the Day:
"Water is the most essential element of life because without water, you can't make coffee."
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
"Sean's Gift of Sharing" Toy Drive for BC Children's Hospital Oncology Unit
Being part of a community involves supporting those who need it most without expecting anything in return. We are using our platform here as a voice for local community initiatives who wish to spread awareness and/or raise funds for a local project. Currently, we are supporting the Sean's Gift of Sharing Toy Drive for BC Children's Hospital Oncology Unit. Please visit the 'Supporting Our Community' page for more about Sean and Tina's story and to learn how you can help our local families.
If you have a local initiative and/or fundraiser and wish to have your story shared with us, please send us an email and we will be happy to help!
CONTACT VANCOUVER VIRTUAL FAMILIES
We love hearing about new resources that we can add to our site! Please send us a message if there is anything you think we have missed or if you have any questions about what we do and/or how to get involved. Thank you for your support!