Cultivating Community in the Time of COVID19 Jun 4, 2020

How we are working now

Like many of you, QC Family Tree has experienced quite a shift since mid-March. As things around the world and in our neighborhood changed very rapidly, we began making changes in our daily routine, programming plans, as well as in leadership. Here are the highlights of those changes:

QCFT now delivers meal bags to 30 households 2x a month on 1st and 3rd Fridays (90 people). This is in lieu of our usual Community Meals. We are grateful to local churches and businesses who have helped to sponsor these meals so far: Holy Comforter Episcopal, Covenant Presbyterian, MeckMin, Kool Runninz food truck

QCFT delivers 30 care boxes with snacks, children’s activities, cleaning supplies, and nonperishable food to neighbors 1x a week. (100 people) It has been a joy to connect to our neighbors so regularly.

The "Free for All" grocery carts at QC Family Tree are filled with non perishable foods as often as there is food available for folks to take or drop off to share with others.

The Tuck House has been restored! After a fire in October, we are glad to announce that the renovations of the Tuck house are complete and Xplor More Interns, Marissa and Mady, have moved back in! Big Thank you to Huguenot Road Baptist Church for donating $4000 for us to make furnishing purchases.

QCFT offers Virtual Youth Devos: Every Wednesday at 5:30pm. This is a time for our youth to connect, play, and process what is happening in the world.

We welcomed Kendrick Cunningham to the staff of QCFT recently. Kendrick lends staff support to youth programming, neighbor outreach, and is also organizing the QCFTCares project. QCFT Cares will redistribute wealth to the community as well as organize folks around mutual aid efforts. The members of the QCFTCares advisory committee are Kayla Pinson, Christine Nicodemus, Rosie Elrahal, Colleen Tulley, and Greg Jarrell.

QCFT is recruiting area artists, healers, social workers, and therapists who will volunteer 1x a week for 2 hours to host pop up art expression and therapeutic practices in the neighborhood. If you are interested in learning more about this project, please reach out to Helms.

We are in the midst of replanning summer activities. Our two summer interns will be working remotely rather than onsite. Freedom School will still happen, but it will be modified to meet the needs of the neighborhood as well as abide by the phase-in plan of the state.

Summer possibilities

We have been considering fractals, small patterns that repeat at scale, in our planning for this summer. While we have been used to a big summer trip and Freedom School to keep us busy, we are adjusting to our new normal. We have decided to operate with narrow focuses, so instead of involving ourselves in several projects we are working "an inch wide and a mile deep." Check out our summer plans and see if there's ways that you can be involved!

Savage Summer Youth: While COVID19 has introduced challenges in the way that we regularly interact with our youth group, Kayla has developed a system for our kids to stay involved and engaged. Each youth member will have an individualized summer project that they will work on with daily challenges and one-on-one engagement. "Quaranteams" or family units of youth will be taken on outings that adhere to social distancing standards.

Camp QC is a summer experience for youth creatives to learn how to hone skills to support their art. The emphasis will be on creating and building a brand so that their work can become professional and, eventually, profitable. Kendrick has built his career as a musician and he will share his expertise with QCFT youth.

QCFT 15th Anniversary will be celebrated with a special online event on August 2. Be sure to mark your calendar and join us!

Holding Space with Hannah is a weekly Facebook live event on Tuesdays at 2:00 where Hannah walks participants through letter writing prompts. Sharing our stories during these moments has proven healing and empowering.

"Know Your Rights" eviction education: Mady will bring information to families at risk for evictions in the neighborhood and work to connect neighbors to stand in solidarity with each other.

Kindred Table: Since we are no longer able to gather to share meals and swap stories, Marissa is leading a project to connect neighbors through food and tradition. She will ask neighbors to share ingredients that spark joy, and develop recipes to share among neighbors. She will also share readings and art based on Braiding Sweetgrass.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer is our summer read. Be sure to pick up your copy to join us in learning from Indigenous traditions.

These are our plans for now, but we are also learning from Emergent Strategy the art of intentional adaptation. We are trying new things in the face of uncertain times. We will be quick to evaluate and change course based on what is working and what is not. Our fearless leader Helms often says, "fail better soon" and that is our motto coming into a summer that we have never experienced before, and we hope that our successes and failures encourage you in trying new things!

How you can help!

QC Family Tree practices cultural organizing to cultivate community for the common good. We are creating little villages centered around justice, imagination, and mutual care.

Lend your support by participating, providing resources, making connections, and joining QC Family Tree as we cultivate community for the common good.

BIG dreams you can make come true....

Space Resources

  • Staff housing within .5 miles of QCFT
  • Additional affordable housing for neighbors
  • Office Space within .5 miles of QCFT

Material goods

  • Vehicles (for 15); trailer, trailer hitch
  • New Computers
  • Books to refill 3 little free libraries in our neighborhood
  • Sponsorship of Community Meals or careboxes


  • Gardening, cooking, cleaning
  • Wisdom Council-give guidance to staff

People Resources

  • Volunteer Staff
  • Neighbors
  • Skilled volunteers
  • Board of Directors
  • Partner Organizations

Money Resources

  • Charitable Contributions
  • Connection to Grants and fund raisers

Technology Resources