Holding on to Routine in Times of Uncertainty

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Holding on to Routine in Times of Uncertainty

"The COVID-19 crisis has really caused my family to be on hold."

For  Washington, D.C. residents, the “new normal” can take many forms. Ra’Chelle Dennis, a mother of two, Ward 8 business owner, and parent of a child enrolled in Martha’s Table’s early childhood education program, shares her perspective inside the pandemic. Here is her story in her own words…

As a DC resident, I love that many people who grew up in the District, like myself, are connected as a community to better themselves and the city. My career as a hairstylist is truly a pleasure because I get to meet women and men from different ages and backgrounds. It allows me to speak with my clients about the daily issues that are happening in their lives consistently. I can give them advice on my experiences as well as receive their advice–all while helping them look and feel their best.

The COVID-19 crisis has really caused my family to be “on hold” from being able to do many things. In the beginning, I was not able to work, and for three months my youngest son could not attend Martha’s Table. I’m so thankful his classroom has reopened so that he can continue his Speech Therapy and receive the extra classroom support he needs to be a successful Pre-K toddler for the next school year. 

"Families are not only suffering financially but mentally..."

One of the hardest jobs is being a single mom, and I do my hardest to be my best. We don’t know how long this crisis will last.  Coronavirus reminds us how very important it is to stay at home and practice social distancing so that I do not come in contact with the virus or give it to my sons. During the spring, COVID-19 impacted my oldest son who was a senior finishing up his last semester in high school and preparing for college. Not being able to go to graduation or prom has been tough for him. 

"One of the hardest jobs is being a single mom, and I do my hardest to be my best."

I am thankful to have Martha’s Table standing with me. As soon as the pandemic hit our community in March,  the organization stepped up for families, providing comprehensive family supports and financial assistance. We immediately received:

  • Essential supplies like diapers, wipes, and formula
  • Grocery store gift cards valued at $15/weekday
  • Virtual supportive check-ins with my child’s teacher and MT Family Engagement Specialists
  • Direct cash assistance totaling a weekly sum of $750/per family

Martha’s Table listened to me and my neighbors about what we needed when the realities of COVID-19 were setting in. I knew I had their support. 

The food and financial supports provided have been a lot of help for our family. I’m self-employed and unable to file for unemployment. The stipend definitely helps right now. You still have things that come up; you have to buy food for your family. You have to pay bills and purchase items for your children. Life goes on while the city slowly reopens. There are many unknowns, but with the support of my community and organizations like Martha’s Table, I will continue to do my best for my children and for myself.

Thank you, Ms. Dennis, for sharing your story. At Martha’s  Table, we continue our commitment to keeping our families and our team safe and strong during these challenging times. Click here to learn more about our COVID-19 response efforts and reopening.

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