Staying positive during scary, uncertain times
When our son, Everett, was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, it was a shock beyond most people’s comprehension–kids don’t actually get cancer do they? And my child? How? We held onto hope like it was all we had ever known. And although there were times of complete despair, we never let that hope dwindle during…
Jun 26th, 2020
New Programs… we can do more than just retreats!
These past few months have been challenging for everyone, and we hope that you are all safe and healthy. We feel extremely fortunate to be able to offer some NEW PROGRAMS for families affected by childhood cancer and child loss. This year, instead of retreats, we’ll be hosting individual families in our guest suite at the Rett’s Roost Heart-quarters in Ogunquit. Our first family comes on July 3rd! We’re still offering our Virtual Resources for grief and anxiety, and we’ve sent out 20 amazing Quarantine Care Packages (now sold out). Our two big announcements though, are the roll out of our brand new Family Grant Program and the change to a Virtual Superhero 5K this year.
Times are tough. If you know a family with a child going through cancer treatment or a family deep in grief during this time of COVID-19, please let them know of our new Family Grant program. Read more about the eligibility requirements and apply here: https://rettsroost.org/family-stories/family-grants/
We’ve made a final decision that our beloved Superhero 5K will be virtual this year. We are still putting together the details for this year’s event in September. And we are excited that now people can join us from afar to run in solidarity for our Rett’s Roost families. It will be quite simple: commit by registering, fundraise online, post on social media a picture or video of you running in your superhero get-up, receive your race swag & thank you gift in the mail. I hope you plan to run with us!
Even though our retreats are not happening this year, we still want to continue helping families. We know it’s a hard year for some people financially, and we’ve definitely budgeted for lower donations this year. But we also know our constituents believe strongly in our work–you can see the amazing list of our top fans on our newly updated Supporters Page–and we feel confident that Rett’s Roost will weather this storm.
Here’s how you can help right now:
- Become a Sustaining Donor – Set up automatic deductions of $5, $10, $22 per month or quarter to make sure we stay afloat. It’s easy on our Donate page.
- In-kind Donations – We’ll be hosting several families in Ogunquit and could use some meaningful gifts and gift cards to local businesses. Please Email us if you have something you’d like to give.
May 4th, 2020
Giving Tuesday Now…
As you may have guessed, our Rett’s Roost work is going to look a bit different this year. Because of COVID-19, we’ve already we’ve had to postpone our May & June retreats with the hope that July onward we can gather in small groups–but realistically, the current situation looks bleak. All that is happening in the world and our country is really hard to wrap our heads around. But we’ve spent some time thinking about what we can do as an organization during this time when families are facing the the global pandemic on top of taking care of a child with cancer.
We could just sit back and hold on to the money we had for retreats this year. But we feel the need to help families that are extremely vulnerable during this global pandemic. That being said, to shift our good work from retreats to new types of programming, we will still need financial support this year. We realize many small business owners and service workers are struggling to make ends meet. And if so, please know we don’t expect you to donate at this time. But if you are stable financially, if that stimulus check is just burning a hole in your pocket, maybe you could consider donating to our #GivingTuesdayNow campaign this week.
We are excited to be able to offer several virtual resources for our Rett’s Roost families while at the same time helping some of the therapists and healers that have been a part of our retreats. We’ve also been working hard to get Quarantine Care Packages out to families too, giving back to our local businesses that are struggling by skipping Amazon and shopping local. If you have been at one of our past retreats or applied for this year, please reach out to take advantage of some of these resources.
Our April virtual retreat for bereaved parents was a huge success! And so we’ll be adding another session June 14th & 28th (the retreat is split into two parts). Please find out more and apply Here.
Coming this month for families that have been affected by childhood cancer and COVID-19. Application period will open May 15th. Please check our website under Our Families to apply or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 8th, 2020
We have adjusted our Grief is Love one-day retreat to a 2.5 hour online format. The retreat will take place on Zoom April 25th at 9:30am-12, and we are still welcoming a few more parents that experienced the death of a child between the ages of 5-18. Apply here. Follow here.
Our May Positively Healing Retreat at Duck Puddle Campground will likely be canceled due to the current status of the COVID-19 crisis. We will take a final vote on this at our board meeting on April 19th. All families will be notified and asked to attend a future retreat. See below for online resources to help with increased stress during this time.
We will continue to update you about the retreats scheduled for June, July, and August. The safety and health of our families and our community is paramount.
As we hang tight at Rett’s Roost in Ogunquit hoping our summer goes as planned, we continue to stay positive about how Rett’s Roost can help families this year. We will hopefully be introducing a new grant program next month. Until then we are offering our families online options and gifts for getting through this quarantine without going too crazy. If you are a Rett’s Roost family (attended one of our retreats from 2015-2019) or applied for our May retreat this year, we will offer to reimburse you for the online programs we feel are most valuable to healing grief and trauma (see below). In this way, we’re sticking to our mission of providing tools for healing and at the same time supporting the therapists and teachers that have supported us at our retreats, many of which have had to quickly innovate their work into online formats to maintain their financial security.
To our donors, we understand times are tough. You’ve been there for us, many since the beginning. If you are able to sustain a monthly donation, however small, please, keep us afloat. During this most precarious time, one that only my 102 year old grandmother witnessed anything like, this might be a tough year for small non-profits.
March 26th, 2020
We’ve been paying close attention to the COVID-19 crisis. It’s a scary world out there right now and we are sending lovingkindness to the elderly, to medical professionals, to small businesses, to people with compromised immune systems, and to lower income families that may have to risk their health to pay their bills.
We just wanted to reach out and let you know what is happening with our upcoming programming. Our May, June, and July retreats are currently full, and we are crossing our fingers that we can still hold these overnight gatherings of under 30 people. Our Grief is Love retreat on April 25th is the most precarious, but we are still accepting applications at this point. We will decide about postponing that one in early April. We still hope that our May 15th-18th retreat for families of childhood cancer survivors can go on at Duck Puddle Campground. Again, we will wait and see because some of the children are immuno-compromised. If we do have to postpone that one, we’ll reschedule for a weekend in October. We plan to reach out to all the families that have applied to our retreats this week or next.
If you are interested in helping while social distancing, please send a card with a positive message to a child with cancer to our address with a $5 donation (or more) in their honor. Rett’s Roost will keep the $5 and the card will be sent to a child with cancer or other life threatening illness. We will respond with a thank you note showing the child’s name (and facebook page if it’s public). This is a great idea for children who are currently home from school. All funds raised will go towards our new Family Financial Support program instead of our retreats.
Thinking happy thoughts,
Deana & Jim
Quarantine Care PackageS
If your family is interested in receiving a care package full of thoughtful and useful items for helping get through this stay-at-home time together, please contact us. Just let us know you are interested in the gift and we’ll ask you a few questions to make sure we get you the best stuff.