By Jadon Khor
Forever dedicated to serving children in need, A Kid’s Place is transitioning from its summer quarantine practices to a fall, school-time schedule. But COVID-19 has not made that easy.
“The pandemic has affected us in a bunch of different ways,” said the CEO of A Kid’s Place, Brad Gregory.
A Kid’s Place has seen its children isolated to the campus exclusively, with few options to venture away from the area, and only supervised visits to parks and open areas to ensure social distancing.
According to Gregory, it has been challenging for the team to convince about 60 kids to stay inside and on-site.
“Keeping the children on-site exclusively also creates a negative emotional impact,” Gregory said, adding that it creates feelings of irritability and anxiety.
However, there is a plan for that.
As summer comes to a close and schools are looking at the reopening, A Kid’s Place is looking at getting their kids ready to move back to a school-year schedule. To combat the emotional strain that locked up children often get, ranging from young children to teenagers, Gregory said school stands as a steady consistency that helps them maintain a healthy mentality; “a major emotional factor is school.”
As the community moves towards reopening and residents are becoming more comfortable with engaging in local businesses while maintaining social distancing, local nonprofits like A Kid’s Place are seeing a return of overall communal support.
Recently, several local businesses, such as Kona Ice and Mission BBQ, came together to provide the kids with food and treats made outside of the kitchen. Over the last few months, the Hillsborough County Community Block Grant has also allowed the home to spruce up its campus.
For the community, Gregory suggests everyone remain “smart and respectful” in maintaining safety standards. He encourages residents to spend at local businesses, where a recent charity contribution consisted of community members buying meals at local restaurants and directing those meals to A Kid’s Place.
Despite recent economic struggles, including cancellations of several fundraising opportunities, A Kid’s Place, Gregory said, is remaining open and will continue to remain open with the safety of its children kept in mind at the highest regard. “We’re not shutting down.”
To learn more about A Kid’s Place and to help with donations of needed items, visit www.akidsplacetb.org or call 381-3839.