We want to thank you for your continued support of Pasco Kids First and the children and families we serve each day. As a community organization proudly serving those in need throughout Pasco and Hernando Counties, we know how difficult and complex times like these can be for all of us and particularly for the numerous families without access to essential resources they rely on.
We also wanted to assure you that we are monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely and are working to ensure we meet the needs of our community as well as provide for the health and safety of our clients, team members and volunteers. We realize this health situation has already been disruptive to many communities across the globe.
Some of the specific steps we are taking to ensure our team members and the families we serve are supported through this trying time as they struggle to deal with the ramifications of COVID-19 and the social distancing necessary to prevent the spread of the virus include:
Pasco Kids First team members who have a health vulnerability as well as those employees who can complete work requirements at home are requested to do so.
A core set of Child Protection Team staff will be in the Children’s Advocacy Center between 9am – 5pm and on-call to ensure services are provided 24/7.
For clients coming to CAC – they are triaged by phone to determine whether the child or any household members have cough, fever, shortness of breath or exposure to COVID-19 in order to practice social distancing.
Pasco Kids First requests minimal guests escort the client in the waiting room or to wait outside the building.
Therapy sessions are being offered in the office or virtually, using platforms with the best patient confidentiality protection, as requested by the client or to best meet the client’s individual needs. Appointments are staggered to limit the number of clients in the waiting room.
The waiting room is wiped down regularly throughout the day and exam rooms and therapy offices are cleaned between each client.
Healthy Families home visits, assessments and team meetings are being offered virtually when needed.
Healthy Families Mommies, Daddies and Me Groups and Graduations have been canceled through June.
During these uncertain times, we are especially grateful for your support as we continue to care for child victims of abuse as well as provide support services for families with little children. As the situation evolves, know we will be investing in our capabilities, equipment, and support while reacting in real-time to make sure we are here supporting our community.
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Questions may also be emailed to email@example.com. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
King Pithla Paul Friedlander and Queen Chasco Lisa Shippy-Gonzalez held a Royal Super Bowl Party as a fundraiser for Pasco Kids First. The event was held at the Phi Delta Kappa Banquet Hall in Odessa and included a meal, beverages, huge projection screen of the big game and lots of fun. Approximately 60 people attended the event which raised $2,765.62 for Pasco Kids First to support their mission providing child abuse prevention, assessment and treatment services to keep kids safe and strengthen families.
The Florida Alpha Lambda Chapter of the Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity presented Pasco Kids First President & CEO with a check donation of $1,500.00 at their recent chapter meeting at their fraternity house in Odessa. In 2019, Pasco County had 7,521 child abuse reports. Pasco Kids First served more than 1,400 children through child abuse assessments or therapy services at their Children’s Advocacy Center. The Alpha Lambda Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa is the only named Fraternity in the United States not associated with a College or University. The fraternity is made up of 50 brothers from a variety of different occupations including teachers, law enforcement, business owners, doctors and contractors meet weekly at their banquet hall. The rentals from their banquet hall help support not only the day to day operations but also local charities in the community.
Pasco Kids First recently acquired a state-of-the-art LT-300SD colposcope to be used in pediatric sexual abuse examinations. The new equipment allows the Child Protection Team medical professionals to use the colposcope on a vertical stand to perform the exam with high magnification, auto focus and hands-free image capture. In 2019, 47% of the 1,264 children served through the Pasco Kids First Children’s Advocacy Center included a maltreatment of sexual abuse. “This technology is really beneficial to our team and the children we serve as the high quality images provide better capture of evidence and the system is less intrusive for the children,” stated Jon Wisenbaker, Child Protection Team Coordinator. Pasco Kids First has been serving children and their families for 30 years with the mission to keep kids safe and strengthen families through child abuse prevention, assessment and treatment services. To learn more about Pasco Kids First, visit our website at www.pascokidsfirst.org.
Photo attached: Jon Wisenbaker, Pasco Kids First Child Protection Team Coordinator with the new Colposcope
Publix Super Market at the Shoppes of Golden Acres donated more than 19 banana boxes of coffees, candy, toys and other items valued at $1,214 to Pasco Kids First’s Children’s Advocacy Center. Several associates of area Publix stores participated in a Day of Caring at Pasco Kids First last year and thought of the agency when determining what to do with the excess items. Publix and Publix Charities give to local food banks and other nonprofits each year, and some donations are made with the generous help of our customers and associates. Their primary areas of community concern are youth, education and health and they have a long standing tradition of being a company that the community can count on since it’s beginning in 1930.
Land O’Lakes – Three VPK classes of Primrose School at Collier Parkway took field trips to Publix at Collier Parkway to buy food items for other kids in need. The students earned the funds by doing “Chores for Change” so they could go shopping at Publix to stock the shelves at Pasco Kids First to distribute to kids and families in need! Talk about being the “Change” you want to see!! Each class took turns boarding the Primrose bus and were given $100 and a shopping list. They went lane by lane at the Publix of Collier Parkway choosing items to put in their cart with a sign that stated “We worked for weeks doing chores for change so we could go shopping for Pasco Kids First.” Their total donation from the school’s Caring and Giving Food Drive was more than $500 in food items.
The Delta Gamma Chapter of the International Society for Key Women Educators. The sorority chose to forgo a gift exchange at their annual holiday group meeting at Argentos in Port Richey. Instead, each Delta Gamma members chose to make Christmas a little brighter by donating to teens, families with babies served by the Healthy Families program at Pasco Kids First to make their Christmas brighter. The generous ladies contributed books for the parents to read to their children, handmade quilts, clothing, journals and other supplies for kids and teens. “These every day heroes who give so much to our children each day in their classrooms know the importance of children having the right start,” stated Becky Bennett, Director of Development at Pasco Kids First. “We are so grateful for all they do all year long and then they choose to spend their off time also giving back to families.”
Dr. Todd Bodanza and his team from Champion Wellness Center/ Conforti Crossroads Chiropractic, Inc. coordinated a gift card and gift drive for teenagers receiving services from the Pasco Kids First’s Trauma Therapy Program. The chiropractic office offered free adjustments and assessments to their patients and the community who brought in approximately $2,000 in requested items such as earbuds, journals, toiletry items, make-up and gift cards for teens. “Teens are often overlooked when it comes to the holidays since many people find it more fun and easier to buy for babies and little children during the holiday season. We are so thankful to Dr. Bodanza and his patients for their generosity”, said Becky Bennett, Pasco Kids First Director of Development.
Pictured left to right: Tara Perez, Dr. Todd Bodanza, Jennifer Conforti
Lutheran Church of the Palms member Genie Anderson coordinated The Giving Tree Project to support kids served by Pasco Kids First. The church provided Christmas presents to ten families participating in Pasco Kids First’s Healthy Families Pasco-Hernando program this year. They have provided gifts for the last 17 years through the Giving Tree project after hearing about the program from Healthy Families Supervisor Mary Sandvik who was part of their ministry. “As part of free and voluntary services, Healthy Families provide home visiting to educate families on child development and safety, encourage family interaction, and connection to community resources”, stated Becky Bennett, Pasco Kids First Director of Development. The program is available from pregnancy up to the child turns five years old, all based on the needs of each family it serves. For more information, visit https://www.pascokidsfirst.org/.
Pictured Left to Right – Genie Anderson and Mary Sandvik
Nigel Pearson and Angela Moore with AJ’s Power Source in Land O’ Lakes presented Pasco Kids First’s Director of Development Becky Bennett with a toy donation from their employees with an estimated value of $2,000. The company was established in 1987 with the sole intent to design and manufacture power and power distribution equipment and now has more than 40 employees. The management team of AJ’s Power Source promotes volunteering and giving back to the community. AJ’s Power Source, chose Pasco Kids First as their charity partner for their employee toy drive. Pasco Kids First has been providing services to children and families in Pasco County for 30 years to address child abuse and neglect. For more information about AJ’s Power Source, visit https://www.ajpowersupply.com/