A Little Time and a Keyboard: C.I.T.Y. of Support Online Rockin’ Shoppin’ Event Bolstering Support for Families with Children in Therapy

Monday, November 2, 2020

C.I.T.Y. of Support Online Rockin’ Shoppin’ Event Bolstering Support for Families with Children in Therapy

C.I.T.Y. of Support Online Rockin’ Shoppin’ Event Bolstering Support for Families with Children in Therapy
C.I.T.Y. of Support Online Rockin’ Shoppin’ Event Bolstering Support for Families with Children in Therapy

Recently, I learned about the fantastic Chicago suburban nonprofit C.I.T.Y. of Support after connecting with founder Beth Deiter. C.I.T.Y. of Support provides families of children in therapy with important resources and a nurturing community for sharing experiences and celebrating their journeys. Currently, C.I.T.Y. of Support is busy spreading cheer while raising vital funds during Online Rockin' and Shoppin' in the C.I.T.Y. featuring a virtual small business shopping experience. This special event runs from November 1-14 allowing shoppers time to peruse and purchase from a unique collection of 50 small businesses, each offering a special discount. Additionally, there is raffle the first week (November 1-7, 2020) only. 

Beth has shared with me a little more about the mission of  C.I.T.Y. of Support as well as how you can help this remarkable organization during Online Rockin' and Shoppin' in the C.I.T.Y. What a wonderful opportunity to get ahead on holiday shopping while supporting small businesses and an incredible organization!

Support C.I.T.Y. of Support while shopping small businesses during Rockin' and Shoppin' in the C.I.T.Y.
Support C.I.T.Y. of Support while shopping small businesses during Rockin' and Shoppin' in the C.I.T.Y.


What is the mission of C.I.T.Y. of Support?

C.I.T.Y. of Support stands for Children In Therapy and You. Our mission is to create a dynamic community, both online and in person, that supports all families navigating the needs of their child in therapy, regardless of diagnosis.

We facilitate productive conversations within our vibrant Facebook Group of 3,000+ local parents, professionals and community members that frequently focus on advice, referrals, commiseration and celebration. Additionally, we create engaging programs and meaningful initiatives that support social connections, educational opportunities and community development/awareness.

Founder Beth Deiter interacting at a C.I.T.Y. of Support event. Image credit C.I.T.Y.
Founder Beth Deiter interacting at a C.I.T.Y. event. Image credit C.I.T.Y.

How did you begin C.I.T.Y. of Support?

About 5 years ago, I transitioned from working as a pediatric speech-language pathologist in a medical setting to one providing home-based healthcare both privately and through the state’s Early Intervention program. It became apparent that, while in-home services were more convenient, they also tended to contribute to increased feelings of loneliness and isolation among many parents. For a variety of reasons, many of these families do not venture outside of their homes initially, either due to the medical complexities of their child or worries about the social acceptance of others.

For some of these families, their child may have received a diagnosis that already has a community support system (e.g. Ups for Downs-for a child with Down Syndrome; The Epilepsy Foundation-for a child with Epilepsy; Autism Speaks-for a child with Autism). However, the majority of young children on my caseload present with developmental delays not yet categorized with a diagnosis. Some of these children never receive a formal diagnosis and some have such an uncommon diagnosis that there are no formal organizations to which they can belong.

C.I.T.Y. of Support is an inclusive organization that welcomes ALL families who have children in therapy. Although each has a different story, there are many commonalities and shared experiences, creating a special camaraderie unique to these parents and this community.

C.I.T.Y. of Support creates engaging programs to support social connections as well as provide educational opportunities. Image credit C.I.T.Y. of Support.
C.I.T.Y. of Support creates engaging programs to support social connections as well as provide educational opportunities. Image credit C.I.T.Y. of Support.


How did you develop the concept behind the Online Rockin’ Shoppin’ Event?

Our initial Rockin’ Shoppin’ Holiday Gift event was designed to create a festive (and practical) social event that encouraged in-person introductions and provided a reprieve from childcare. We’ve always enjoyed this excuse to come together as a community, not only to build social connections, but also as a way to support small businesses, raise funds for our organization and get a head-start on our holiday shopping.

Online Rockin’ Shoppin’ in the C.I.T.Y. offering an online bazaar of small business vendors while supporting a great cause!
Online Rockin’ Shoppin’ in the C.I.T.Y. offering an online bazaar of small business vendors while supporting a great cause!


How does the C.I.T.Y. of Support Online Rockin’ Shoppin’ Event work?

This is our 3rd Rockin’ Shoppin’ Holiday Gift Event, and we are thrilled that it has become a C.I.T.Y. tradition! With the pandemic of 2020, we were unable to host our typical in-person event so, with some creative thinking, we redesigned the event to be completely online. We have been extremely happy with the surprising benefits of hosting our event in this new format.

Importantly, we are no longer limited by our physical location. ANYONE can participate including not only shoppers, but also vendors. We have over 50 unique vendors participating from 17 different states. Rather than pre-determine raffle prizes, each of these vendors has contributed a $50 gift card to our raffle that is redeemable at their online shop in addition to special shopping incentives for C.I.T.Y. shoppers. But, this means if you win their raffle, YOU can choose your prize. 

The only way C.I.T.Y. of Support is raising funds is through raffle ticket sales. Each ticket is just $3 and doubles as an entry into our grand prize raffle—a sensory-friendly, socially-distant weekend away in Lake Geneva from Feb. 5th -7th (Winterfest 2021)! Our raffle tickets are on sale ONLY during the first week of the 2-week event. On Saturday, Nov. 7th , we will be hosting a livestream event through our Facebook Group where we will be drawing our raffle prize winners while also being entertained by our favorite local band, Valius. We think this event is beneficial to everyone: shoppers wishing to find one-of-a-kind holiday gifts at discounted prices; small business owners who have had a particularly challenging year; and our local nonprofit organization whose donations go directly into supporting our programs and initiatives within Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

Thank you, Beth, for providing us with a little more information about the important contributions C.I.T.Y. of Support makes for families in the Chicago area. Please take a little time to relax, get ahead on your holiday shopping and check out the small businesses that are part of Rockin' and Shoppin' in the C.I.T.Y. while supporting an amazing cause. Don't forget to partake in the raffle November 1-7!


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