Rainbows is celebrating another birthday today, June 8 and it is a great time to reflect on both its history and the current situation we find ourselves in. Who could have predicted Rainbows growth from a church basement with a few children to a multi-building, multi-county entity who serves hundreds of families and children every year? From center based only into a multi-program entity that help families with their children from birth to 21 years? Rainbows serves families where they need it. This is something to be proud of and I am. Rainbows makes a difference; we make a difference. Rainbows has weathered several storms so far and will continue to, and we grow and change. We move forward.
I have been blessed to be a service provider for Rainbows. I have been challenged to grow with each child and family I encounter. I have accepted that I will never know all there is to know and that even after 20+ years it is still okay to say, “I don’t know, but I will try to find out.” It is okay to laugh and cry with those we serve and our co-workers. I do save my tears for a final visit until I reach my car. I want a family to leave our services with hope in their heart, pride in their accomplishments and a smile on their face. Rainbows made a difference, and it is time for them to move forward.
I have also been blessed to be a consumer of Rainbows services. The wonderful staff at Kids’ Point Early Child Care and Education cared for, protected and helped my youngest child as teachers, paras and as friendly faces in the hall. She was encouraged to use her words by her Infant/Toddler Services staff. To this day, she remembers her class time and hallway buddies (you know who you are) with great fondness. Rainbows made a difference, and she moved forward.
Rainbows moves forward as well. Our current position of providing services through COVID-19 is a prime example. Our center based services have continued in much altered circumstances and done it well. Our home based services are through teletherapy and that has a unique set of challenges. It has made me relook at how I coach and work with families. Recently, a family that I see stated, “you are the only one who has still seen us.” They have multiple services in the community and this simple statement made my heart swell. Yes, I was through a screen, but this family still had concerns and Rainbows, through me, was still there. It looked different, it felt different but it still made a difference. We make a difference.
So to Rainbows, I say “Happy Birthday.” We are vintage and we make a difference. Let’s keep moving forward.
By Angela Pulaski, Physical Therapist, Infant/Toddler Services, Butler County