Several organizations in Ocala/Marion County have joined together to offer stress relief, resources and support for parents and caregivers during this stressful time around the nation and world. They created a Breathe Don’t Break page at www.facebook.com/breathedontbreak/
Information on the platform states that, “Limited resources, less to no income, schools are closed, health concerns and general fear and anxiety surrounding it all – our lives have changed drastically almost overnight. This is a stressful time for parents and caregivers especially, and some are taking their anger and frustration out on their children and loved ones.
“Breathe Don’t Break is the idea, and hope, that we remember to breathe before reaching our breaking point. We created this page not only to bring awareness, but to create a space for those struggling, where you can find tips for stress relief, and resources to help.”
Among those involved is Rondo Fernandez, owner of the Mojo’s Grill & Catering franchise, who has long been an avid supporter of the community in various ways. One of the posts on the page shows a video of him speaking as a parent and urging others to “reach out, be there. We have to take care of kids together.”
There are a number of partners involved, such as the Faithfully Guided Health Center, which is offering a free counseling session to a family in need, and Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection, which is offering families stay-at-home resources such as board games, coloring books, crayons and sidewalk chalk.
“Kimberly’s Center, in partnership with Kids Central Inc., Mojo’s, and #BreatheDontBreak, asked Ocala to collect Boredom Busters to be distributed to the children and families served by our agencies,” said Dawn Westgate, executive director of Kimberly’s Center. “We know how challenging this time can be for families, and wanted to spread some joy and help breakup the monotony of socially isolating. As usual, Ocala came through in a big way and provided everything from sidewalk chalk, to coloring books, to board games and more. We are so grateful to be a part of a community that cares so much for each other and our children”
The Facebook page includes resources such as a flyer listing tips for those who are feeling overwhelmed and a list of local providers that can offer help and guidance.
To learn more, visit the Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.