That makes me sad.
Beyond the mere socialization of play, the critical thinking skills and interpersonal skills that are developed through playing with peers has been forced to sit on the sidelines. There is always something invigorating about the sounds of children playing together. Those sounds of laughter bring us hope of a better tomorrow. Even though those sounds are not present, we remember them, we miss them and we sit ready for them to return.
These times are depressing in so many ways. I try to just watch enough news to keep me informed without drowning in it. While we do have a stay-at-home order in Illinois, I do go into the museum daily to feed the fish and check the chicken eggs. I have a couple people assisting with that on days I can't get into the office. It's surreal because I have no personal contact with anyone when I'm there. Normally I'd encounter parents walking with their children to or from the museum from the parking tower, or I'd see families heading into therapy at Cornerstone or grabbing some ice cream at La Michoacana. It's been very odd.
While we are closed, we've been working to ramp up our social media content to give parents ideas on hopefully stress-free things they can do at home with their children. This has fallen on our staff person, Hedy, who is balancing this while working with her own children at home. My role has really become about museum finances, fundraising and plans for reopening once this pandemic passes, and it will. We just don't know when.
Rest assured that the museum is going to reopen, all memberships will be extended and educational play within our walls will resume. We've already set the new Luau fundraiser date for August 7, 2020 and we are anticipating holding our Egg Hunt for Children with Disabilities in June or July, but are holding off on setting a firm date on that until we get deeper into April.
Some people are asking how they can help and that is so appreciated during this time. Here is a list of things you could do right now:
Make a donation (any size is helpful) either at the graphic below or mail one to us:
- 5100 Museum Drive, Oak Lawn, IL 60453
- Set up your own fundraising page at the graphic below. This ties straight into our emergency fund. We are trying to cast a wide net in seeking donations and last night we received a donation out of Missouri from a woman who grew up in the area who just wanted to help.
- Like our Facebook page and like/share content from it.
- Like our Instagram page.
- If you are doing some fun, creative things in your home with your children during this time and would be willing to share those, send us an email and we'll talk about sharing what you are doing on our Facebook page.
Thank you, all, for your patience and caring during this time. Together we will get through this.
Please be safe,