Letter from Carissa: Updates regarding COVID-19
Dear Friends of Jack’s Basket,
I wanted to write a quick note to update you on the changes we’ve made at Jack’s Basket as a result of the COVID-19. Everyone has been impacted in one way or another. Our lives won’t be the same as this pandemic has caused loss of life, loss of jobs, loss of finances, loss of education, loss of plans, loss of freedom…and the list goes on and on. We know that in loss, the stages of grief are real and don’t come in a specific order.
“Are we going to be okay?” is a question that I’ve asked myself throughout many unexpected events in my lifetime, searching for the answers, yet sometimes searching in all the wrong places. Experiencing these last few weeks reminded me of when we heard the words ‘Down syndrome’ at Jack’s birth…
When I heard the words, Down syndrome after Jack was born, I immediately scanned my memory of all the people I knew at the time that have Down syndrome and the fears crept up based on my limited knowledge and assumptions.
I frantically searched the books and tried to find it.
Find the part of the book that would tell me what Jack’s life would look like, who he would grow to be, and if our lives would ever be ‘normal’. I thought ‘normal’ was no longer an option. Our lives would forever revolve around those two words, Down syndrome.
Every time I saw a person with Down syndrome when I was out and about, I asked myself if that is who Jack would grow to be.
And after many, many books, articles, blog posts, conversations, meeting other children with Down syndrome and their families, I finally found it. I found someone to answer my questions about what our lives would look like.
Would we be okay?
And guess who answered them?
Jack. Read more here…
The best lessons in life I have learned have been at life’s hardest moments. Surrendering the control and leaning in have provided great growth and learning. Jack has taught us that we can handle the unexpected. I don’t always understand, but I do trust the process as we’ve come out stronger, more resilient, and better because of it.
We are hopeful there have been moments of gratitude and appreciation of the things we do have, and most importantly, hope you are staying safe physically and mentally during this time. We also know that greater community can be born during uncertainty. We find ourselves extending a little extra grace, love, and understanding to all, because we all know we need it.
What we do at Jack’s Basket is we give HOPE. Thank you for all the ways you help us in providing hope to new families. Together, we are hope carriers. Even in the unexpected, we have hope. Be a hope carrier to those around you.
Sending so much love from our family to yours.
You make me better,
Below you will read a few of the changes we have made to ensure our basket deliveries are safe for both the families and our parent volunteers.
CHANGES TO NOTE:
We still are receiving basket requests. We are responding to the requestor and providing connection to the local parent-volunteer and new parent(s) by phone call, text, and/or email. There are no hospital or home visits happening until further notice. The parent letters are sent to the families via email until basket arrives.
We are resuming the shipment of baskets to the new family’s home address on Monday, April 13th (after the end of the MN shelter in place order).
Our staff is working remotely from home and available via email. Medical outreach presentations are happening virtually until further notice. See social media outlets @jacksbasket to see daily celebrations of babies, flashback memories, updates, and presentations we are doing over the course of the next few weeks.
Areas of Need:
We still need to fill baskets for new babies and with your help, we can do that. Babies are born everyday, in every circumstance. We believe the impact is greater as new families are already feeling alone and needing to processes this diagnosis while at home, while resources are only available virtually.
Imagine a package arriving on your doorstep. Filled with gifts and resources in celebration of your baby.
They are not alone.
Be a hope carrier.