Who would have imagined that I’d be writing to you on the 10th anniversary of Calmer Choice, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic crisis? We at Calmer Choice are looking at this unprecedented time as a chance to practice what we teach and support our communities. We wake each day to rise and respond to this new world, with the confidence that comes from knowing we were born from crisis, and will persevere again, with the wind from your support at our backs.
Lately, I have been waking with thoughts of how Calmer Choice began: when there was a substance abuse and mental health crisis plaguing the children of Cape Cod. In the midst of that crisis, I leaned into my own mindfulness practice and set out to create Calmer Choice with a small but mighty network of parents, community members, mental health professionals, and mindfulness experts. We have grown to serve more than 32,000 children and adults across the Cape and southeastern Massachusetts and have become an evidence-based, award-winning pioneer in the field of secular mindfulness.
Now in our current pandemic climate of school cancellations and quarantines, we are called to respond again.
Many students have been thrust full-time into potentially unstable homes, without social and school supports, and with parents and caregivers who are experiencing their own concerns trying to manage all the changes and pressures.
"The COVID19 crisis is another societal crisis with which our children are trying to cope."
Under normal conditions, many students struggle silently. Now, all students are vulnerable, and we believe we will face an unprecedented rise in emotional issues when the crisis has passed.
"As I have shared many times, children haven’t changed; childhood has. The COVID19 crisis is another societal crisis with which our children are trying to cope. For many, school closures lead to the loss of two meals a day, gone are the support(s) of many adults from their learning community and the consistency and predictability of a school day.
What the students, families, staff and our community is navigating at this time will impact everyone’s well-being and emotional health and as such, warrants the continued provision of social/emotional supports and resources. Calmer Choice is an expert provider.
We need to continue the prevention and increase intervention at this time. This unprecedented crisis presents many unique challenges; many for which we do not have the resources to address. We do have the resources to support students with their emotional well-being – that being the support of Calmer Choice."
-Nancy Ashworth, Principal of Mullen Hall, Falmouth, MA Public Schools
Typically in May, Calmer Choice would be running “business as usual” including planning fundraisers, writing grants, and doing all we can to support normal operating costs.
However, we, like many non-profits, have had to turn from our usual fundraising efforts to federal loan applications and heart-wrenching budget cuts and layoffs. Despite our efforts, this situation leaves us with a significant funding gap that will impact our ability to prepare for what is to come in the post-pandemic world.
Help Calm to Carry On
HELP CALM to CARRY ON with a much-needed donation to help us sustain our operations when it is most essential. Please help us celebrate the 10th anniversary of Calmer Choice today, by supporting us in what we do best: rise and respond to crisis.
For the month of May, every dollar raised up to $40,000 will be matched by a most incredible donor.
Your donation will ensure that when the restrictions on social distancing are lifted and life returns to a “new normal,” Calmer Choice can be at the ready and responsive to the vast needs of our school and community partners, many of whom are experiencing heightened anxiety and trauma during this time.
Thank you for being on this decade long adventure with us, for holding us in your hearts and minds with compassion and helping us care for our community when it needs help the most.
With love and much kindness,
Founder & CEO, Calmer Choice