Courtesy of the Guelph Mercury Tribune. Read the original article here. 

‘Family connection is so critical’: Guelph organization fundraising to buy tablets to keep families in touch

Community Living Guelph-Wellington looking to buy 35 tablets to keep its residents connected to families who are unable to visit amid coronavirus pandemic

NEWS Apr 07, 2020 by Graeme McNaughton  Guelph Mercury
Amid the coronavirus crisis, people have been forced to find new ways to stay in touch with friends and family. Be it through a simple phone call or over a video conferencing program, people are keeping those connections open.

That’s why Community Living Guelph-Wellington (CLGW) has launched a new fundraiser to help the people it supports be able to do the same.

CLGW, which offers supports for adults with developmental disabilities, is looking to raise $12,147 in order to buy 35 tablets for its residential locations so residents are able to keep in touch with their families.

“We had to stop visits from family members and everybody else,” Laura Hanley, the executive director of CLGW, told the Mercury Tribune.

“That’s obviously been a struggle because the people we support don’t understand why their families can’t visit, or why they can’t go and visit their families.”

Hanley added that families were told that if they took their son or daughter out of one of the residential facilities — as many do for the weekends — they wouldn’t be able to bring them back until the pandemic is over.

So for the 156 people living in one of CLGW’s 35 facilities, staff have been working to find ways to help them keep in touch with families.

“We just thought that, as this goes on and on longer and we’re putting more and more restrictions on the people we support, it would be cool if they could see their family when you’re talking to them, as opposed to just talking to them on the phone,” she said.

“When you’re in a crisis situation, the most comforting time is when you can see the people who matter the most, and in most cases that’s your family.”

The tablets are also useful for the residents that are unable to communicate verbally.

As of Monday evening, CLGW had raised $5,137 through a mix of donations and a grant from Kindred Credit Union. Some refurbished tablets have also been donated to the organization.

Residents being able to have that visual connection to their families is especially important given other activities outside of the residential setting has come to a halt amid the pandemic.

“Some of the people we support had jobs or volunteer work and all of that has had to stop. So it’s just hit them on a number of levels,” Hanley said.

“But the family connection is so critical. We have amazing families who are very involved in the lives of their sons and daughters. And we have some siblings and other relatives. It’s just really important to keep that connection.”

To make a donation, visit CLGW’s Facebook fundraising page, or go to

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