Mahatma Gandhi

A Letter From Swati Adarkar

Swati Adarkar

Mar 28, 2020

“The future depends on what we do today.”

- Mahatma Gandhi

Dear CI Friends,

What we are experiencing with COVID-19 is unlike anything any of us have known in our lifetime. The ways in which our individual and societal health and well-being are interconnected is finally becoming more broadly understood. It’s unfortunate that it takes a crisis for us to gain this clarity. Right now, we are witnessing the adverse consequences of decades of disinvestment in our public health and government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. Low-income communities have been experiencing the brunt of this disinvestment disproportionately for years and now the broader public is slowly waking up.

We must be clear eyed about the consequences of our past short-sighted decisions and shift how we act collectively, now and down the road, knowing that building and preparing takes decades and consistency. Children’s Institute has always focused on prevention, and we believe it’s important to respond to the crisis swiftly while not creating more downstream problems by neglecting current urgent health and community needs.

We are doing all we can to support our partners and stay connected during this crisis. We are providing access to current information regarding protocols and guidance for early care and education providers and ensuring child care gets elevated as an urgent investment priority. We are staying connected to school leaders to help them support early learning and family engagement. We are also working with our partners in the Early Childhood Coalition to stay connected to national conversations and communicate in one clear voice to state and federal officials about what families and providers need. As information and supports start flowing from Salem and Washington D.C., we will continue to monitor, distribute, and translate relevant information while finding ways to center families and reach communities with diverse linguistic needs.

We know that the challenges for parents, families, and communities are mounting and changing day by day. The economic reality for many currently is stark, and the rapidly increasing loss of life is heartbreaking. Parents are juggling work and family with kids home from child care and school. But we are seeing many bright spots and cause for hope. People are pulling together in new, collaborative, and creative ways. More online learning options are available for teachers and families. Telehealth options are increasingly becoming available so that young children and families can remain connected with their pediatricians and primary care providers.

Even though our team is all working remotely we are more unified than ever in our shared commitment to support Oregon’s young children and families. And we are eager to work with all of you to pay close attention to immediate needs and not take our eye off our future—our children.

We also have the deepest appreciation and gratitude for the front line workers who are daily risking their lives to keep us safe and healthy.

Sending you and yours wishes of good health as we all look on the horizon for better times ahead.

With appreciation,


You can make an impact!

We know you care about young children and their families in Oregon. Turn your caring into action. Your tax deductible contribution allows us to continue our outreach to communities across Oregon impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Your generous donation makes a difference!

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