Dear Easter Seals Families and Supporters,
I hope you are staying safe in the midst of all this uncertainty. In recent weeks, we have all felt the drastic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another. Everyday seems to bring a new challenge, and yet I applaud our government and Public Health officials for their continued leadership as well as all the health care workers for their selfless, heroic efforts.
Supporting and providing the best possible service to Easter Seals children and families is always at the heart of everything we do. The current situation, however, has regretfully required us to make a difficult decision which I want to share with you today.
Easter Seals 2020 Summer Camp
After very careful consideration, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Easter Seals Ontario, in consultation with its Board of Directors, has made the extremely difficult decision to suspend its summer camp program for 2020.
The health and safety of our staff and all of the children and families we serve are at all times our absolute top priority. Given the continuing high risk factors, government restrictions and general uncertainty surrounding the current COVID-19 situation, we regretfully have no other option this year.
I realize this is very disappointing news. However, I want to assure you this decision only relates to the 2020 camp season. EASTER SEALS CAMP WILL BE BACK IN 2021! We will be using the months ahead to work on the camps in preparation for an extra fun camp season next summer. Our Camp Directors will also be putting together some virtual camp activities for campers to take part in online over the summer. We will begin taking camper applications for 2021 in September.
Please check EasterSealsCamps.org for updates.
Easter Seals Fundraising
COVID-19 has created an extreme situation for our fundraising efforts. All of our spring fundraising events have been suspended for the coming months, and although we are hopeful some of these will be rescheduled in the fall, this leaves us with limited sources of revenue in the face of increasing need by our families.
At present, Easter Seals has received over $1 million in requests for essential mobility and accessibility equipment, and we are acutely aware of how many additional children and families still require our help. We need to do all we can to provide support to as many families as possible. But, we can’t do it alone – just as families rely on us, we rely on our donors.
Through the generosity of our donors, Easter Seals has been supporting kids with physical disabilities for the past 98 years, and we will do everything in our power to be there for them now. We continue to reach out for donations through our annual giving program, online campaigns and foundation grants. If you are able to make a gift now, our families would be most grateful.
For those who typically direct their donations to our camp program, we respectfully ask you to continue to make your contribution and, for this year, permit us to direct it to our equipment funding program where there is the greatest need.
If you are able to help us raise funds, create an online donation page and ask friends and family to make a contribution.
You can also lend your support by taking the C21 Times Challenge for Easter Seals Kids, an online
Challenge to help spread awareness and have some fun while we’re staying inside. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and give us a shout out on your page to help create awareness.
Regardless of what you are able to do, any and all support is most welcome and truly appreciated.
The COVID-19 crisis has presented us all with unprecedented challenges and uncertainty. However, it is in times like these we realize how much we depend on each other. Let’s all do our part to stay safe, be strong and come through this together.
Kevin J. Collins
President & CEO