In Dark Times, There is Still ‘Progress’

BY WENDY PHAFF

I extend Queens Centers for Progress’ (QCPs) heartfelt wishes for good health and safety at this unprecedented time of uncertainty and anxiety. I thank our Queens business community for the outpouring of support during this pandemic.

While the buildings that house our day programs may be closed, our programs are still being conducted remotely and the hundreds of individuals that we support are looked after in ways that we never thought imaginable.

From online singing groups to daily phone calls, from delivery of activity packets to group lessons, our individuals’ goals are being met, and progress is carefully and lovingly monitored.

Working with the Borough President’s Office and Fresh Direct, we are providing groceries to over 100 of our families in the community.

In our nine group homes, we have seen our share of tragedy as some staff have taken ill, and five of our residents succumbed to this insidious virus and other health-related afflictions. Our hearts go out to their families for these unspeakable losses.

There has never been a darker time for our agency. From the darkness comes light; stories of hope, outpouring of love from the community and the deep camaraderie among those that care for our individuals.

Our essential Direct Care Support workers have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Despite the threat of contamination, they willingly put themselves and their families in harm’s way to care for our residents. They are the epitome of selflessness and heroism.

While we cannot host events and conduct tours of our programs, QCP is committed to remaining engaged and connected to the greater Queens community through a variety of online initiatives, including a lively business networking group held on Zoom each Wednesday morning, and our QChat on Friday mornings for anyone who needs emotional support.

Though we have overcome so much in these few short weeks, we cannot overlook the critical needs and challenges that our organization now faces. Our mission is one of life and death, as 74 people rely on us for their every need. Our mission is to take care of the hundreds of homebound individuals and their families, to help them cope and emerge whole from this crisis.

We ask you to stay with us through this time. We cannot get through this without our beloved Queens community. By staying connected to QCP you will help us to remain strong. You will help ensure that when this is over, we can continue to provide the same vital supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities, and continue to be a thriving member of the business community and the economy here in Queens.

We look forward to the day our doors reopen, our events recommence, and we can once again be united in our strong and vibrant community. Until then, please stay healthy and stay safe.

Queens Centers for Progress is committed to providing person-centered services and supports to children and adults who have developmental disabilities. The goal of these services and supports is to promote independence, community involvement, and quality of life.

Wendy Phaff is the director of Development for QCP and can be reached at (646) 801-8786 or wphaff@queenscp.org. For more information visit queenscp.org, and to donate text SupportQCP to 71777.

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