Two and a half weeks are in the books for our new virtual-Friends Life Community. I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you, how our program is adapting during this time. Our prayer is that everyone stays healthy and we are able to welcome the Friends, and you, back on campus very soon.
The FLC team went into action, preparing to sustain programming outside of in-person interaction. Not willing to accept an absence of community, the FLC team worked tirelessly to recreate our daily program into online ZOOM classes. The Friends can log on for morning meeting, songwriters’ class, drama, art, chair exercise, cooking class, daily reflection, and so much more. We have modified our regular schedule to make the day similar to our normal schedule – helping to provide as much constancy for the Friends as possible and something for them to look forward to each day. We are now up to eight hours of programming and have surprise guests pop in when possible.
For the first day of online class, we modified our routine morning meeting and hosted a morning meeting check-in with prayers and praises. Our hearts were filled seeing the Friends chatting, visiting, and catching up with each other. And it was good for us to check-in with them to see how they are doing. Here is a short video of the first day of class. (First Day)
Friends Life Community has chosen not to isolate ourselves, rather to re-envision Community with the resources available. We are going to share joy, happiness and laughter together during this time because our Friends remind us each day that those are the ingredients of the best medicine. The Friends have a unique gift and that is they see beauty in everything and they more than ever want to share it with the world. So yes, we might have to be distant from each other for a while, but it is not going to stop us from being social. We want the Friends to know that they are known, supported, and cared for in this time of uncertainty and that when this is all over, there will be a place for them to belong.
During this time of social distancing we have a glimpse of the harsh reality that for many years, if not decades, the disability community has been socially isolated and working relentlessly to breaking down the barriers of inclusion. At Friends Life Community our mission is to promote social development, personal growth and enjoying community together, and with the right support systems in place, the Friends are thriving in the community! May we leverage this time to never take for granted the value of belonging and being a part of a community. Together, we will build a long-lasting support system for the Friends to continue being social with each other and not lose the connection of belonging that we ALL need and desire!
Stay well. Be safe.