Organization Provides Counseling, Financial Assistance to Families Affected by COVID-19 – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

As health experts continue to monitor the latest COVID trends, advocates are working to help families cope with what the CDC calls hidden pandemic.

Children orphaned by COVID-19.

A study published in October estimated more than 140.000 children have lost caregivers to the virus. NBC 5 shared the Cruz family story this week.

Relatives raise funds to help care for two children as their older sister fights for her life in hospital and after their parents die weeks apart.

Many children who lost their parents and grandparents are now cared for by other family members. A director of Buckner International’s Family Hope Center said his team wanted to be a support system for grieving families.

“We actually have two families that I’m thinking about right now, who actually lost their father. And being the primary supplier to the family, it was devastating, ”said Cheryl Williams.

Williams is the director of Buckner’s Family Hope Center in Wynnewood in South Dallas.

She says during the pandemic, they helped families with bereavement counseling, food and rent assistance as well as other sudden costs.

“We were able to cover the funeral expenses for the family, even to the point that one lady said I needed a dress, I don’t have a dress to wear for the funeral. So we were able to deliver those things, ”said Williams.

Wrap-around services are part of their mission to keep families stable.

Staff at Family Hope Centers work to strengthen families and prevent neglect to prevent children from being taken from their homes.

They do this by offering support programs that provide meals, vacation toys, financial counseling, parenting classes, and other offerings.

Williams says they are offering the same support to families affected by COVID-19.

“Families that were already living, I don’t know where my next meal is coming from and so on and then the pandemic happens,” Williams said.

Advocates say they have heard from relatives who have mobilized to care for children orphaned by COVID who do not know where to turn for help

“You’ve never been here before, but you are welcoming your niece and nephew,” Williams said.

She wants them to know that they don’t have to walk alone.

“Buckner is providing the emotional support again, the financial support, as you walk into uncharted territory,” Williams said.

Buckner knows that grieving families are often overwhelmed, so they rely on family friends, neighbors, co-workers and other members of the community to promote the comprehensive services available.

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