I hope all is well with you and your families as you read this letter. So much has gone on this past spring and summer that it’s going to be hard to put it all in this letter to you. The Neighborhood is doing amazing. Our residents and participants in all the programs are very happy and active. Our summer camp as always was a great success and again the participants did not have to sit at home watching TV by themselves. They were here having a very active day of fun and learning and their parents knew they were well cared for by our staff and all of our caring volunteers.
This summer we also started our day program which has been really rewarding for all of us. After high school, the young adults have nowhere to go. The system either sends them to a factory type job, home or day program. We wanted to put together a quality day program that was affordable and we did it along with Mosaic who helps run the program. We hired Maureen Parsons, one of our Saint Mary’s College graduate who has been a volunteer and intern with us for several years to be the teacher. Our day program age group is 18 to 55 right now. We serve everyone with a great day of fun and learning. I love stopping by and seeing everyone there including my own daughter Hannah.
Hannah moved into the Entwistle Home this June along with three other young ladies. I can tell you as a parent how difficult it is to let go especially when your child has special needs. Hannah is eighteen and she had been telling me she was ready for a change. Charlie and I went with our intuition and moved her into the Neighborhood. School was not for working for Hannah. She had enough and the best thing about school for Hannah was the bus rides. It was time. Moving all over is extremely difficult for a normal person let alone a person with special needs who relishes a life of daily routine. I can happily report that Hannah is over the moon with her move. She absolutely loves living there and sharing her life with her special friends. It brings tears to my eyes to see my daughter grow in so many ways. Just like our residents that have moved in before her, the strides Hannah is making are incredible.
Everyone reading this letter has donated and I cannot tell you how much you have changed lives on a daily basis. Every person that is a resident, day programmer, and activity participant is literally having a life changing moment by being at Hannah & Friends.
We are building again as we are putting up the Activity Center which will be ready in March! It is very exciting to know that the folks we serve will be able to get out of the South Bend cold and have a place to exercise and play some basketball. It will also serve us well in the heat of the summer when we have day program and camp going on. We had a super generous family from Florida who anonymously donated the building and we could not be more thankful. God bless this family and all the families who have donated buildings to Hannah & Friends.
Along with our grant program that continues to grow, we have started a grant program in Kansas this year. These grants help all folks with disabilities live a better life. A simple bike, bed, gym membership, trampoline, and fence for their yard all make a huge difference in their lives and the families. Your continued support is so important to our mission and we are extremely thankful to all of you.
This summer we are looking for sponsors for three Saint Mary’s College interns. Young ladies like Maureen who runs our day program get their start here at Hannah & Friends. With your help, we will continue this program for them. We work on a skeleton crew but get the job done. No one at Hannah & Friends is getting rich working there. You can know that your donation will be carefully used and totally enjoyed by someone with special needs.
Have a great fall season and thank you from all of us at Hannah & Friends.
Maura & Charlie