Craft packs have been sent out across the ACT community to help children thank mum on Mother's Day on Sunday, while reminding us all about the good things during the uncertainty and stress of the coronavirus pandemic.
Community Services Minister Suzanne Orr visited the Communities@Work Greenway Child Care and Education Centre on Wednesday to deliver some of the 2500 activity packs, which went out to groups across the national capital, in an attempt to spread a little joy during the cornavirus pandemic and shutdown.
Included in the packs was a card for children to colour in and give to their mother or mother figure, with a design by a local artist, and decorations to hang in their neighbourhood trees "so they all feel connected".
Ms Orr said the activity packs were an initiative by the Community Services Directorate, a simple gesture to help build resilience in the face of social isolation and to keep the thread of community strong. Similar packs had also gone out ahead of Anzac Day.
"I think it helps us remember the good things like Mother's Day. With all the stress going on, it might go by the wayside a little bit as we deal with everything else," she said.
"So, it's just a nice way for us to support the community to make sure they're still celebrating those important days and we're still staying connected and strong during this time."
The Greenway centre's early childhood teacher and preschool room leader Caitlin Schilg said the packs had had a powerful impact, augmenting what she had done for Anzac Day and, now, was she was doing with the children for Mother's Day.
"We've been doing all the drawings and talking about what Mother's Day means and how we're thankful to have mothers in our lives, not even just our mums, but our mother figures. Which is really important in this room because we have so many different kinds of families."
Miss Schilg said the packs were one way of the centre, in the heart of Tuggeranong, staying connected with the broader community.
"We're in such a great location, we go on an excursion every week - or we did before COVID-19," she said.
"The children were feeling really disconnected and were constantly asking about the library and the different people that they saw in the shops, so getting something from almost the outside world made them really excited to feel connected again. So it's had a really positive impact."
Ms Orr said she'd been encouraged by the community spirit shown during the crisis and the number of people putting their hand up to help.
"It's one of the things that makes me proud to be a Canberra, that in times like this we come together and we work together until everyone is looked after," she said.
Communities@Work has many resources for families and others to help them get through the coronavirus pandemic. For more details, go to this link.
And if you would like to download the Mother's Day activity set, go to this link.