A resource fair on April 24 hit the grounds of Lorain County Community College as Connecting for Kids brought together businesses and materials for parents seeking help for their children.
According to Joellen Podoll, professional and school liaison of Connecting for Kids, the novel coronavirus pandemic caused lots of children and young adults to regress socially, emotionally and academically.
“We know there have been a lot of cases and families not having access to adequate resources during the pandemic for the changes that have taken place,” she said.
Typically, the resource fairs the organization hosts are for services that help children from birth to 12 years. However, due to COVID-19 the organization wanted to provide tools for birth to 22 years, she said.
Everyone who attended received a binder with resources inside leading to schools, therapies, physicians and more to provide people with the help they need, she said.
The process of figuring out resources for the various needs of children in the community can be stressful and difficult, Podoll said.
“Speaking as a mom, I didn’t know where to start,” she said. “This gives parents a chance to explore more resources and find the help they need.”
During the event LCCC culinary students prepared over 400 lunches, she said.
Tish Henry, board vice president of Connecting for Kids, spoke with a family about creating a plan for success and overall development.
“A gentleman was requiring speech services and support services for his family and he came up to me hours later and said ‘I have hope for the first time in a long time,’ ” she said.
For Henry, the work of putting together the resource fair felt worthwhile.
“It makes me feel like we at least reached one family.”