Like so many charities and organizations that were planning the luncheons, galas, and fashion shows that were major fundraisers for the year, Bryan’s House had to cancel its April “Pathways to Inclusion” luncheon after it became very, very clear that the novel coronavirus was not going to skip Dallas, but instead was going to hit the city head-on.
The organization, which got its start 30 years ago, serves children with medical or developmental needs, as well as their families, by providing specialized childcare, respite care, and other social services.
Obviously, concerns about the often medically-fragile children and families served have been at the forefront for the organization, which is still working to shift the way it helps clients.
So through the spring and summer, the organization moved every program to a virtual format and continued to oversee 800 children for a variety of needs, including mental health help, basic necessities, food, medicine for children, baby items, and more. Bryan’s Place also worked to help suddenly out of work clients find work and has helped others by advocating with employers.
The agency also provided educational programming and is training parents on how to suddenly become teachers.
“We’ve provided $78,000 in Emergency Assistance since March 2020 to August 6, thanks to community support to provide rent, utilities, food and groceries,” said Bryan’s House CEO Abigail Erickson.
But now as many schools make plans for on-campus instruction, the nonprofit is also gearing up to begin serving children on-site — starting with a back-to-school drive through in early August that provided a contactless way for the organization to provide families with supplies for students ages 2 through 17, including backpacks, laundry items, and transportation vouchers.
“We are getting ready for back to school on site in early September, with all COVID-19 new safety protocols in place,” Erickson said.
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