Giving in a COVID World

Juggling childcare, chores and work, worrying about health, finances and the state of the world, the global Covid-19 crisis has left many of us also navigating a domestic crisis of our own behind closed doors.

Couples all over the globe must be arguing about the new division of labor in their homes – how could they not? Employers, HR people, bosses everywhere need to be mindful that people are not only trying to work remotely (essential workers don’t even have that luxury) and also take care of children – and life has undoubtedly become chaotic. Most families – if they even have a home office – only have one, while many have two parents working at home.

The pandemic has brought some families closer, and driven others further apart. Cooped up together in homes all over the world, many of us have felt the strain on our family relationships.

Yet, there is the occasional story of a mother, father, or both parents succeeding in making the best of this less-than-ideal situation.

Such is the case with the Davis family of Irvine. Veronica Davis, working-mother-of-two extraordinaire, shared how her family is coping with Sheila Azari and Petros Frangos of HR On-Call, Inc. Managing her work schedule, and the daily lives of her children, ages two and four, leave her no time to tend to her personal care (makeup, hair) or even get an extra hour of sleep in.

“As a full-time working mom of two toddlers, the pandemic has certainly challenged me to find a workable schedule to manage work, kids and home responsibilities. The key has been to be flexible, attend to the needs around me, and be ok with working outside of the hours of 8 am – 5 pm.”

Veronica and her husband Chris chose to remove their kids from preschool, and Veronica jokes that she has since added “homeschool teacher” to her resume.

“My days are completely stretched. In a given day, I’m presenting a proposal to a business group, playing astronauts going into space, going to the grocery store with the kids, and doing 3 loads of laundry in between meal making and activity planning for the kids.”

Veronica goes on to share that she has researched preschool curriculum online and spoken to local educators to build curriculum topics for her 4-year-old to prepare her for Kindergarten next year. Her 2-year-old by default is learning in the process and thriving.

Her outlook is to be admired, and its no wonder some often think of her as a Super Mom. “The most important job I have is the lesson to my children in response to the pandemic. I choose not to see our situation from a victims’ point of view, but rather, a new reality that we have to adapt to, and that we can still make the most out of a challenging situation. We haven’t stopped celebrating birthdays and holidays, we can still see friends outdoors with masks on, and rather than going to Disneyland, we make our own magical memories. We just have to do it different this year and that’s ok.”

HR On-Call, Inc. appreciated the time Veronica took out of her hectic day to not only speak with us, but to share Christmas photos of her children, and donate to an important cause this holiday season.

One of HR On-Call, Inc.’s clients, Irvine-based Pediatric Cancer Non-profit Jessie Rees Foundation (also known for its acronym NEGU which stands for Never Ever Give Up), continues its mission to “CARE” for each child and family. The Jessie Rees Foundation was, and always will be, inspired by one courageous and compassionate 12-year-old little girl. Her name, Jessica Joy Rees, better known as “Jessie”. Jessie was a faith-filled, beautiful, athletic, caring, and loving girl who courageously fought cancer (DIPG) from March 3, 2011 to January 5, 2012. She loved her family very much and her puppy Mr. Moe. She created JoyJars® and was the first one to coin the term “NEGU®”, which was her motto and message to everyone. Jessie had one “wish”, which is the mission of her foundation. JESSIE’S JOYJARS® Jessie’s compassion for others led her to ask her parents a short and simple question, “How can we help them?” Jessie was referring to the other children who were in long term, in-patient treatment at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, the same hospital that Jessie was receiving treatment from. After receiving the “go ahead” from the hospital and her parents she created her JoyJars®…64 oz plastic jars stuffed to the very top with new, age appropriate, toys and games. Jessie stuffed over 3,000 with family and friends before she lost her fight. By the end of 2019, over 300,000 of Jessie’s JoyJars will have been stuffed and sent to kids fighting cancer in all 50 states and over 40 countries.

NEGU has become an international symbol of hope. Imagine being a child, or the parent of a child, who has terminal cancer and has to worry about contracting COVID-19 on top of that. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, but especially for the immuno-compromised of our communities. It’s been a difficult year for all children and families – new ways of working, online school, mounting job losses and illness have up-ended many families’ lives.

So this year, more than ever, HR On-Call Inc. encourages everyone to reach within their hearts to make this holiday season extra special.

Every $25 dollars helps us send one of Jessie’s JoyJars to a child fighting cancer. Donors can give once, or monthly-in denominations of $25, $50, $100 or $250.

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