How to approach your match relationship during the COVID-19 health emergency.
March 20, 2020
Dear Bigs, Littles and Parents,
I’m reaching out to fill you in on our latest policies on mentoring in this challenging moment, and to make sure you know how to get additional information or resources you might need.
To maintain public health and reduce the spread of Covid-19, Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters is suspending all in-person meetings and contact between “Bigs” and “Littles.” While we have not determined how long this suspension will last, we can say this will be our policy until federal and state policies on social distancing are relaxed or ended.
During this time of change and uncertainty, Little Brothers and Sisters need our support more than ever. Given children’s needs at this time, we ask you to maintain your great bond via virtual outreach – Skype, FaceTime, other video applications, regular phone calls, texts, and other mutually workable approaches that will keep lines of communication open. Using an approach you and your Little are most familiar with is probably the best way to start.
The Virtual Mentoring Guide and Toolkit following this letter provides a wide range of ways you can engage your Little, even though you will be meeting virtually rather than in person. Our Match Support team created this guide, and, if you need additional guidance, please reach out to your Match Support specialist (further info below).
During this challenging time, Big Brothers Big Sisters is committed to having children and volunteers remain safe, while ensuring the emotional well-being of our Littles. We believe that Virtual Mentoring is the best way you can help meet the social and emotional needs of the children we serve right now.
How To Get In Touch
Should you have questions or concerns, I encourage you to reach out directly to the Match Support team member who helps support you or your child’s match. Below are names and contact information for each Match Support team member:
Tara Gill, Lead Match Support Specialist
Jackie Lundie, Lead Match Support Specialist
Wendy Duran, Match Support Specialist
Jamain Naidoo, Match Support Specialist
Follow the Center for Disease Control’s Recommendations
As a reminder: Our agency recommends that you follow the advice of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) by following guidelines that can help keep you and others healthy.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; if you have no tissue with you, turn away and cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve.
Per CDC recommendations, we encourage you to seek medical attention if you have been in close contact with a person known to have Covid-19, or who has been experiencing flu-like symptoms.
For more information and additional resources related to Covid-19, we encourage you to visit the State of Connecticut’s Department of Public Health website: www.ct.gov/coronavirus
You can also get answers to more general questions by dialing 2-1-1 for assistance. This information line is available 24 hours a day, and has multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access for those with a hearing impairment. The hotline is intended only for individuals not experiencing symptoms, but who may have general questions related to Covid-19.
And once again, whether you are a Big Brother or Sister, parent or guardian, our Virtual Toolkit has a wealth of information on resources that will help you support children during this period of social distancing – please use it!
Thank you for your patience and understanding as our team addresses this rapidly evolving situation.
President & CEO
Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters