Life looks a little different for all of us right now. The I Pour Life team is working as hard as ever to serve our community, even from our home offices. With the shutdown of business and services, I Pour Life programs are needed now more than ever. During this time of isolation, everyone is at risk of battling loneliness and it’s harsh effects. The I Pour Life youth may face these thoughts when life is normal so it is especially important to make sure that they don’t feel alone, even if we are required to be physically apart.
Our staff knew that the youth rely on their weekly meetings with LifeCoaches, so I Pour Life pivoted all coaching to be virtual within 24 hours of the statewide shutdowns. To no surprise, the youth have adapted very well as coaches are leveraging apps, virtual hangouts, texting, and other Generation Z connection tools that the youth are already frequenting.
Several youth do not have close access to an authority figure aside from their coaches. One of our youth said “I see everything on the news and just get scared. I want to talk to an adult that I trust to tell me what is really going on.” Our team is working hard to make sure our youth are receiving factual information to keep them safe and healthy. The I Pour Life staff has also been utilizing their many talents to bring joy to our youth stuck at home. Here are some fun things our coaches have been doing to connect virtually.
- Playing Would You Rather
- Playing group games on HouseParty
- Watching tv shows at the same time
- Online Pictionary
- Cooking lessons
- Drawing tutorials
- Poetry writing competitions
- Playing video games together
You can help too
Our staff have been able to adapt well in Missouri including increasing the youth caseload by 25%, but we have learned that some of the former foster youth are not having their physical needs met. These youth need water, hygiene kits, and food after losing their jobs due to the pandemic. Many of these youth don’t qualify for services, or the local support programs are not able to meet their needs because of increased demand.
I Pour Life has set up an emergency fund to support these foster youth, and former foster youth, during this critical season, positioning them for self-sufficiency and independence again when the community resumes to normal. You can read more about our response to COVID-19 and help us meet these needs by donating here! ipourlife.org/covid19