JFS Stay-at-Home Survival Kits

Story & Reflection Written by: Stacy Repp, MSCC

When schools first made the decision to close for the pandemic, my immediate concern was for all the students Family Crisis Therapists serve on a daily basis…

How will they manage isolation at home?
Do they have activities to keep them busy? to keep them safe?
As parental frustrations rise, will they possibly experience physical or emotional trauma?

I just felt like we needed to do something for our students; I knew we couldn’t physically be there for them, but I wanted them to know we still cared and would stay connected.

That is when I inquired about making care packages for each of our families. This wouldn’t necessarily be filled with personal care items and food like many other organizations and centers were already assisting with – this care package would be specific to our kids and their needs. The JFS Stay-at-Home Survival Kit included items such as stress balls, slime, kinetic sand, rubix cubes, crayons, markers, colored pencils, coloring books, word searches, sets of cards, and a few snacks. Additionally, we included a large binder full of social-emotional learning resources each of the Family Crisis Therapists or parents could use during virtual Zoom or telephone sessions with our students.

What kid doesn’t love to get a surprise package on their doorstep?

Due to the stay-at-home order in Delaware, all of the supplies were shipped directly to my home to be cleaned, sorted, and assembled into the kits. This was truly a family project as the boxes took up my entire living room; my own kids helped me sort items into each box and they really enjoyed getting to help put together “presents for Mommy’s school kids.”

Printing forty copies of the resource binders turned into a full day’s work, many reams of paper, ink and toner cartridges, and lots and lots of hole-punch confetti. Once the binders were completed, it was obvious what a valuable resource they would be for our current students and families, as well as for future Family Crisis Therapists.


The next step was probably the best part…delivery!

Getting to drop off the care packages on the doorsteps of students, whose faces we hadn’t seen in weeks, was absolutely the highlight of this project. Just to see that they are all okay and to be able to wave and tell them we love them and miss them and can’t wait to see them again soon was enough to put a smile on my face for the rest of the week.

Our students really mean a lot to us and it has been so meaningful to help and connect with them in this way during such an unusual and confusing time.


This project was made possible by United Way of Delaware’s “Delaware Does More COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund”

As part of the state of Delaware’s Early Intervention Program, JFS Family Crisis Therapists help students in kindergarten through fifth grade build skills to effectively manage their own behaviors and successfully transition into middle school.