Clinic hands out activity bags to military families

VIDEO: Clinic hands out activity bags to military families

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — The Cohen Veterans Network knows many families are going stir crazy right now, so they decided to put together activity kits for kids.

“Oh, they’re going to love this, this is awesome,” said Sara Abbott.

Abbott’s been busy trying to keep three kids under the age of seven entertained during the stay-at-home order.

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“They’re stuck at home and stuck with each other and it’s raining, so we can’t even go outside and do anything,” she said.

This week she’s extra thankful for the Stephen A. Cohen Military Family Clinic.

The Lakewood facility provides mental health care services to veterans and their families.

Clinic Director Dr. Nichole Ayres knows people are going through a lot right now.

“We’re all dealing with the same thing and finding that we have to be creative and put on multiple hats. Families now have to be teachers in addition to parents and also entertain,” she said.

Clinic staff members wanted to help, so they began buying paint, games, snacks and other goodies to build activity bags for families. They also stocked up on basics, like wipes and toilet paper, which can be hard to find.

Each bag is carefully crafted depending on how big the family is, how old the kids are and what they like to do.

“Connect with your kid. That is going to be the most therapeutically beneficial event that you can conduct in your house right now is connect with your kid at their level,” said James Gibson, child and family therapist.

Parents are thankful to have new activities to do at home.

"This is awesome and I really appreciate it,” said Abbott.

Fifty families who preregistered will pick up their activity bags Thursday and Friday.

Military families who are interested in future events are asked to email the clinic at cohenclinic@valleycities.org.