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How We're Helping During Social Distancing

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

During this time of social distancing, Family & Youth Initiatives is finding unique ways to still fulfill its mission of providing life-changing education to families and young people in New Carlisle, Ohio and surrounding areas.

For young families who can usually stop by the Parenting Network offices to take classes or pick up supplies for pregnancy and babies, FYI employees are holding appointments by phone and arranging for clients to pick up supplies by appointment at each location. Delivery to cars and even homes is possible to ensure families don’t run out of essential supplies like diapers while observing social distancing guidelines.

For teenagers, educators are reaching out through the Real Life … Teen Choices Facebook page to help local students deal with these trying times. Mentors can be reached through email or phone.

“Even though the crisis has closed the schools, we are creating our classes for the 6, 7, 8 and 9th graders on video for teachers to show to the students, and if the school allows it, we can create a virtual classroom atmosphere to teach the whole class at once,” said FYI co-director Pat Banaszak.

Mentors from our Mentoring Program have received permission to keep contact with the mentees they have been working with during this school year while they are at home. Some mentors are helping with the food distribution at local schools, like Tecumseh.

Even youth in Clark County’s juvenile detention are being helped by FYI’s Mentoring Program at this time through video conferencing. They have expressed appreciation to still be in contact with people who care.

To honor April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Tecumseh High School students who are normally in the FYI after-school program, DEFY, are creating their own Blue Ribbon tree projects and will share them through email or social media with FYI. The goal of these projects and this month's observance is raising awareness of and preventing child abuse.

FYI is excited to reach out to local churches to see how they can support their youth with online programs. “Our videos and live talks are about relationships, refusal skills for at-risk behaviors, and long term goals,” Banaszak said. “We have specialty talks on Internet safety, teen dating violence and other at-risk behavior talks to help our teens understand the challenges and be able to successfully make it to adulthood with their values intact.”

FYI continues planning this year’s community garden while maintaining social distancing. There is room for more volunteers. Last year, nearly 1,300 pounds of produce was donated to the local community from the FYI gardens.

While FYI usually holds one of its biggest fundraisers on Mother’s Day with the sale of flowers at local churches, that event cannot take place this year. There is the hope of trying to do the sale on Father’s Day and celebrate both parents together.

In the meantime, FYI is accepting donations of diapers, wipes and formula at the main office on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monetary donations can be made on FYI’s website or by mail to help pay employees and keep these programs going that are helping people in our local community survive and thrive during this season. If you need help or can support FYI, call (937) 845-0403 or email or or visit

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