More than 300 teens and adults who have an intellectual disability will be able to engage in fun virtual activities over the next seven months thanks to a grant of $28,240 from the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and Community Foundation of Mississauga.

With these funds, Community Living Mississauga is providing activity kits to people participating in its Day Support and Recreational programs so they can stay virtually connected while enjoying activities such as gardening, Zumba, yoga, art sessions, flower arranging, pottery, scrapbooking, cooking and more.

“Community Living Mississauga has had to evaluate our existing supports and services and make adaptations to meet the needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained Urie Muratovski, Director of Day Supports at Community Living Mississauga. “We offer a number of different programs to the youth and adults we support, but as a result of the pandemic, some of our programming was temporarily suspended in March 2020. These programs included day, social/recreational and weekend respite opportunities to 280 youth and adults.”

Participants in the Day Support programs have been greatly affected by these temporary closures. For many, their program is a very important part of their life where most of their relationships have been made. Many individuals have felt isolated and disconnected.

For families, the absence of programs has not provided the needed respite or caregiver break. However, Community Living Mississauga has been offering virtual activities that have been a great success.

Virtual activities have provided a forum for participants to interact and stay connected with friends, meet new people and engage in meaningful activities that bring them joy. Physical activity and wellness are promoted. The opportunities support “meetings” and participation in group settings, currently not possible, and in the safety of one’s home. The activity kits are an incredible addition to the scheduled activities. Participants have enjoyed the separate activities from their family.

Thanks to the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and Community Foundation of Mississauga for their support during these challenging times!