Easter Sunday at the Cyrus Centre is normally a fun and festive get together for youth in need.
This year, the centres in both Abbotsford and Chilliwack are taking the celebrations on the road, with delivery to youth and their families instead. It’s another adaptation of normal life to allow for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Les Talvio, executive director of the Cyrus Centre, says they work hard to feed the area’s youth 365 days a year. And Easter will be no different.
“We always try to make a big deal about (Easter) and make it a traditional meal,” he says. And this year, they’ll prepare a full meal, complete with sweet treats.
“But because we can’t gather, we’re going to be delivering Easter meals to youth and their families in both Abbotsford and Chilliwack,” he says.
They’ve been providing meals to their clients as to-go meals since the provincial health officer has mandated social distancing to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
But for Easter Sunday, they’ll be delivering the meals to homes. He guesses there will be about two to three dozen meals sent out in Chilliwack alone. And for those who want to sign up, he adds it’s not late.
“They can still contact the centre to arrange a delivery time,” he says.
The delivery is also a nice chance to stay connected with the youth they care for. They’ve been delivering hampers to the families, and staff created a video of themselves using ingredients in the hamper to create a meal. That was shared out on their private social channels, inviting the youth to share back with finished meals they’ve created.
Those who have done have been rewarded with grocery store gift cards, Talvio says.
“We are findings ways to engage with them and also instill some skills and keep contact with them,” he says.
The centres are still open and providing services, he adds, but all group activities have been cancelled. And kids can call in 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if something is bothering them or they just want to talk.
“We looking at different ways of just loving these kids and helping them through this,” Talvio adds.
To connect with the Cyrus Centre in Chilliwack, phone 604-795-5773, and in Abbotsford, phone 604-859-5773.