Being a child with health or medical needs can be tough enough during normal times. But the isolation brought on by the pandemic has made life especially hard on these kids. To help bring them some much needed socialization, the Catalina Rotary Club joined with Integrative Touch for Kids on a project called TeleFriend.
Funding for a pilot came from Catalina Rotary and Rotary District 5500 Grants. The idea was simple: Pair an adult with a young person to create a “Buddy Team,” train the team on how best to conduct activities on Zoom, and then pair the team with a child who is hospitalized or isolated at home. Starting in September 2020, Rotary Buddy Teams and children met once a week for eight weeks. During the sessions they talked, played games, read stories, shared music, exercised, and just spent quality time together.
Outside evaluators declared the pilot project a success. That success spurred ITK to raise additional funds in order to continue and expand this unique program. Rotarians and Rotaractors have continued as volunteers.
You can learn more about TeleFriends by watching this video.