Feature image taken by Kenji Tan
The weekly service routine has been disrupted but Hope for Kids has persevered throughout this time. Due to health concerns related to COVID-19 risks for the children diagnosed with cancer at the CCC House, we have been unable to carry out our usual visit and playtime with the children. Instead, we have found innovative ways to continue our support for these families by external means. One such way involved a mini food drive organized back in December where we bought sugar, tea, and milk powder as requested by the CCC House. We then sent these rations to the house along with some arts and crafts supplies, the latter of which being a substitute to what we would have done if we could have gone there. Furthermore, as a group, we created several videos in Sinhala giving instructions on how to create certain Christmas-themed arts and crafts items. This was the closest way we could continue to connect with these children even if we couldn’t actually meet them.
After the winter break, we received information that families at the CCC House had a shortage of diapers. Thus, the diaper drive was born and we began a campaign to get as many diapers sent to a box at school as possible. In the process of outreach, teams of Hope for Kids members went out to each of the Primary school classes in the morning to make an announcement. In total, we were able to receive more than twenty packets of diapers which we are happy to send off to the CCC House. Now that that is over, we have plans to launch a brand new food drive like the one we have annually involving the entire school. This will include getting foodstuff like rice, dhal, sugar, samaposha, and more. These items will be divided across all the grade levels so that, hopefully, we can get an even number of items from all categories.
Finally, my personally highest reaching project during Hope for Kids, on top of being a service leader and organizing all the prior events, is the creation of oschopeforkids.com, a website featuring everything from a photo gallery to an information page on the service group. I’m hoping to also create a donation page and am actively working with the technology department to pursue that matter. This will hopefully be a lasting outlet for the service group that future members may also utilize to spread awareness for supporting children diagnosed with cancer in Sri Lanka and specifically how others may contribute to the cause as well.