Pleasant Hill Community Grant Recipient 2017

AiN received a $500 grant from the Pleasant Hill Community Foundation for our upcoming Trunk or Treat.

All in Need plans on serving 50 special needs children and their siblings at our Trunk or Treat in 2017. For these children, attending holiday or other community events is so challenging that they may choose not to participate at all. Some children with special needs are unable to wait in line, or lack the motor skills to coordinate picking out candy from a candy bowl. While others cannot tolerate wearing costumes or do not have the language skills to say “Trick or Treat”. All in Need Trunk or Treat allow children to be able to participate in the same type of popular community events as their typical peers, but in a safe and nurturing environment that supports their needs.

This year, we are adding carnival games to the nights events! Nate Klug, a young man who is 15 years old and lives with ADHD, who is talented leather maker, and is learning how to work with wood designed and made a fishbowl game for AiN!

The intended benefit is to expand All in Need’s current special event programs to serve more children and families in the local community. As an underserved population with limited community supports, children with special needs and their families will have greater opportunities to participate in the same types of events as their typically developing peers. Gaining the foundation in which they can move towards participating in the community based events which offer no support.

Thank you to the grant selection committee.

AiN is Awarded Two Grants

egg hunt rath 8All in Need, Family Support (AiN) serves families with special needs children, ages 18 and under, who live in the East Bay area. AiN offers support in a nurturing and learning environment that promotes social interaction and gross and fine motor activities, all in a sensory based atmosphere.

The “Revive” respite care program gives parents the chance to take care of themselves, so they can take better care of their children.

Their “Special Events” are held several times throughout the year for the entire family to enjoy. These are age appropriate activities, offered in a mainstream setting, allowing for kids to participate in events in a safe and positive atmosphere. Whether enjoying decorating Cookies with Santa, exploring for eggs and prizes at the annual Easter Egg Hunt, or dressing up in the costumes and participating in safe and fun trick or treating at Trunk-or-Treat, these events are a unique and fun way for kids and families to get engaged. Because it is so important for families to share their stories and support each other, these events not only encourage friendships among AiN Children, but offer an opportunity for parents to network with other AiN families.

AiN was award their first grant from SMPS Family Fund for $3,000 last month. The money is to be used for their special events program.   They were shocked to also find out they were rewarded a $250 grant from the Jim and Sharon Walker Family Fund that they were unaware of. Autumn Green, Executive Director and Founder, says she cannot express her gratitude enough for these two grants.

If you would like more information on AiN programs or how you can support AiN visit their webpage at www.allinneed.org.

Crowdrise Campaign Results Keep Rolling In

condeAll in Need, Family Support (AiN) brought you two stories this last month for our first ever fundraising campaign. Special Needs Means Special Parents where Doug and Kellie Conde shared their story of raising a son with Autism and how it affects their every day life. How their communication has become a list of To Do’s, but not a chance to share their days with one another. In their story they are able to find some relief, and focus on their marriage once a month through AiN’s Revive Program. Revive allows parents to drop off their children once a month for three hours. While the kids are in AiN’s care the kids are working on fine motor, gross motor, speech, and social activities. Everything therapist gave to Autumn Green, the founder of AiN, to work on with her son she took it and incorporated into the program. This first story pulled in $1,000 with Matt Rinn, a State Farm agent who made a large donation pushing AiN overall our goal.

AiN never expected that the first campaign would reach their goal, so they up it to $2,500 with the release of their second story. Greatsean joni Couples Make Great Teams, this story is shared by Sean Posadas and Joni Fortini about raising their daughter Zoe. Zoe has been coming to AiN’s events for years and Sean even mentions that they feel like they are leaving Zoe with family. AiN makes sure Zoe has a 1:1 in place, so that the couple can enjoy their evening once a month. With this additional story AiN brought in another $750!

Here is the campaign breakdown as of November 11th. This campaign brought in $1750 and a donation also will be matched by a donor’s employer, pulling the total up to $2000 after fees AiN will bring just below $1,750!

Here at AiN, we would like to thank Doug, Kellie, Sean, and Joni for sharing their stories! Because of you our campaign was a huge success! Thank you all who support our campaign. We look forward to serving East Bay families another year!

 

GREAT COUPLES MAKE GREAT TEAMS

 


“It’s so easy to think that a problem like a child missing a goal is the end of the world. Our daughter Zoe has truly shown us a new perspective.” Sean Posadas and Joni Fortini say they have been humbled by the experience of having a child with special needs. “She’s really opened our minds,” says Sean.

At 18 months they knew something was different about their daughter Zoe. After numerous tests they learned that Zoe was on the autism spectrum. “It’s been a journey,” says Joni, “any parent faces challenges. We just happen to face a few different ones.”

As high school sweethearts, Sean and Joni are happy that they had a solid foundation set before Zoe was born. “It’s a balancing act,” says Sean. “We don’t take each other for granted. It really has to be a team effort.” Friends and family often express surprise and admiration that they have been able to maintain a solid marriage despite the challenges of raising a child with special needs. Often couples end up separated or divorced. “All it takes is one person who’s not able to do their part,” says Joni. “It’s not easy.”

Sean and Joni are especially grateful for All In Need. “It’s literally the only time we get to go out!” says Joni. “It keeps us sane to zoeknow that we have All in Need’s monthly respite sessions to look forward to.” They appreciate the consistency that All in Need provides, as it’s common for other resources to not be as dependable.

“The three hours of alone time that All I Need provides us really feels like eight hours,” says Sean. “We’re just not used to having all that alone time! Usually we’re lucky if connect for a minute during a busy day.” Plus, the best part for the couple is that Zoe is having fun during that time as well. It’s a win-win for the entire family.

Ease of use doesn’t hurt either. “We love that All In Needs’ program is set up on a subscription through PayPal. It’s seamless. We don’t have much time in our days, so it’s helpful that All In Need has taken an extra step to make things easier for us,” says Sean. “I remember the first time we dropped Zoe off. We weren’t sure what to expect. By the second or third time it felt like we were leaving her with family.”

Sean and Joni would like to see more people take advantage of All In Need. “We love having All In Need in our lives,” says Joni. “We unfortunately don’t have the luxury of being able to go out once a week. All In Need helps make the time we spend together feel that much more special. Other couples should consider doing the same. It’s only when parents spend some time focusing on themselves that they can give kids the support they need.”

All in Need needs your help! With your support, we can find more families like Sean and Joni’s to help. This email kicks off our first ever Annual Giving Campaign for the 2015-16 school year. Our plan this year is to continue providing an enriching curriculum for the children that attend Respite and to increase the number of families we’re able to serve.

We are hoping we can count on your support. Your contribution is fully tax-deductible and several payment options are available. We
appreciate all donations and recognize all our contributors.
Our success depends on the generosity of the community. Please help us work to be a resource for families who face extra challenges — after all, everyone deserves a break here and there!
It’s so easy to think that a problem like a child missing a goal is the end of the world. Our daughter Zoe has truly shown us a new perspective.” Sean Posadas and Joni Fortini say they have been humbled by the experience of having a child with special needs. “She’s really opened our minds,” says Sean.

zoe and meAt 18 months they knew something was different about their daughter Zoe. After numerous tests they learned that Zoe was on the autism spectrum. “It’s been a journey,” says Joni, “any parent faces challenges. We just happen to face a few different ones.”

As high school sweethearts, Sean and Joni are happy that they had a solid foundation set before Zoe was born. “It’s a balancing act,” says Sean. “We don’t take each other for granted. It really has to be a team effort.” Friends and family often express surprise and admiration that they have been able to maintain a solid marriage despite the challenges of raising a child with special needs.
Often couples end up separated or divorced. “All it takes is one person who’s not able to do their part,” says Joni. “It’s not easy.”

Sean and Joni are especially grateful for All In Need. “It’s literally the only time we get to go out!” says Joni. “It keeps us sane to know that we have All in Need’s monthly respite sessions to look forward to.” They appreciate the consistency that All in Need provides, as it’s common for other resources to not be as dependable.

“The three hours of alone time that All I Need provides us really feels like eight hours,” says
Sean. “We’re just not used to having all that alone time! Usually we’re lucky if connect for a minute during a busy day.” Plus, the best part for the couple is that Zoe is having fun during that time as well. It’s a win-win for the entire family.

Ease of use doesn’t hurt either. “We love that All In Needs’ program is set up on a subscription through PayPal. It’s seamless. We don’t have much time in our days, so it’s helpful that All In Need has taken an extra step to make things easier for us,” says Sean. “I remember the first time we dropped Zoe off. We weren’t sure what to expect. By the second or third time it felt like we were leaving her with family.”

Sean and Joni would like to see more people take advantage of All In Need. “We love having All In Need in our lives,” says Joni. “We unfortunately don’t have the luxury of being able to go out once a week. All In Need helps make the time we spend together feel that much more special. Other couples should consider doing the same. It’s only when parents spend some time focusing on themselves that they can give kids the support they need.”

All in Need needs your help! With your support, we can find more families like Sean and Joni’s to help. This email kicks off our first ever Annual Giving Campaign for the 2015-16 school year. Our plan this year is to continue providing an enriching curriculum for the children that attend Respite and to increase the number of families we’re able to serve.

We are hoping we can count on your support. Your contribution is fully tax-deductible and several payment options are available. We appreciate all donations and recognize all our contributors.
Our success depends on the generosity of the community. Please help us work to be a resource for families who face extra challenges — after all, everyone deserves a break here and there!

Support us visit our Crowdrise page. https://www.crowdrise.com/specialneedsmeansspe/fundraiser/allinneedfamilysuppo

Special Needs Means Special Marriages

conde
“This is where you need to be. This is who you’ll need to pick up. This is what you’ll feed them precisely at 6:30.” A year ago Doug and Kellie Conde found that their only communication was around schedules. As parents of a 6 year old son, Brandon, with special needs, they found they had become prisoners to a schedule that kept Brandon’s symptoms under control. Unfortunately, this came at a price.
Doug and Kellie found that they had lost track of themselves as a couple. There was no “How was your day honey?” or “Let’s go grab a bite to eat tonight”. Instead they were living a highly structured life that revolved around Brandon’s schedule, leaving no time for them to interact as a couple.
All until they found All in Need. Through All in Need’s monthly Respite program, Doug and Kellie have an enriching environment to leave Brandon in while they have a few hours to escape an exhausting reality. “Without All in Need it was really hard to have adult conversations,” says Doug. “There’d be this mental timer and no matter where we were in conversation, we’d have to check on him every two minutes to make sure he was OK.”
Now, while Brandon (and sometimes his sister Karly) are at Respite, Doug and Kellie can relax. “Before All in Need, we really hadn’t gone out as a couple since Brandon was an infant,” says Kellie. “Even with family willing to help, we found that we just weren’t comfortable asking people for that help.”
Doug and Kellie really enjoy the fact that Brandon is having just as much fun as them in those precious Respite hours. “It’s not just the parents that need a break,” says Kellie. “The kids need a break from us too.” Brandon used to be completely focused on animals. As a result of his time with All in Need, he’s now learning to embrace building with Legos® as well. It puts Doug and Kellie at ease to know that he’s in an environment he enjoys and is broadening his horizons at the same time.
“It’s funny,” says Kellie, “there’s really nothing more exciting to us than going out for a completely non-eventful, early, normal dinner. And it’s all thanks to All in Need.”
All in Need needs your help! With your support, we can find more families like Doug and Kellie’s to help. This email kicks off our first ever Annual Giving Campaign for the 2015-16 school year. Our plan this year is to continue providing an enriching curriculum for the children that attend Respite and to increase the number of families we’re able to serve.
We are hoping we can count on your support. Your contribution is fully tax-deductible and several payment options are available. We appreciate all donations and recognize all our contributors.
Our success depends on the generosity of the community. Please help us work to be a resource for families who face extra challenges — after all, everyone deserves a break here and there!

Donate

AiN’s Second Annual Breakfast with Santa

IMG_2903All in Need, Family Support (AiN) offered their second Breakfast with Santa, Saturday December 6th at Oak Park Christian Center. Where Jennifer Palmer (Palmer) from American Automobile Association Club Partners (AAA) decorated the windows with a winter theme and Thing 1 and Thing 2 peeking through. A backdrop of many of the Dr. Seuss characters sitting around the breakfast table was a team effort that gave the children a chance to visit a Seussical world. They even painted Thing 1 and Thing 2 life size to stand next to Santa while pictures were taken!

This event, presented by AAA, gave children with special needs a chance to eat breakfast with Santa (including gluten free options!) in a fun and animated environment. Each child received three well known books donated by AAA. They also received a stocking with a coloring book (also donated by AAA), chocolate coins, and candy canes. These special gifts were also made possible by our other sponsors Vi Ibarra at Mary Kay and Emily Wallin Photography. Emily also donated her time and talent to make sure each family member receives a digital photo of their child with Santa. The UPS Store on Crescent also donated a banner. Because of AiN’s wonderful sponsors parents were able to receive one and a half hours of respite during this delightful event!

Having 18 children, Santa, and Mrs. Claus to feed there was a lot of food and food preparation required. Trader Joe’s, Sam’s Club, Costco, Sprouts, and Safeway (Both on Contra Costa and on Patterson) donated gift cards to make sure the Claus family had plenty to eat after there long trip. Jennifer Tipton, Ally, Vi Ibarra, Jacob Green, Karolyn Green, and Audra McDonald made sure food was prepared and warmed for this special occasion.

An anonymous donor, generously donated money for scholarships, making it possible for five children to attend this once in a life time event and it was their gift that lit up the parent’s life with a break and the child’s life with Santa’s magic.

As much as the event couldn’t have happened without our sponsors. We cannot forget to thank all our volunteers whoIMG_2956 made it possible. Ariana and her high school club came in the night before and helped setup. They did a wonderful job! A special thank you to Ariana who put up with my unreasonable corrections of the Christmas tree. We had Girl Scout troops # 3096 and #30262 helping us out at this event. The girls were simply amazing! Vi, there isn’t enough positive things that can be said about this lady she is an amazing asset to the special needs community, to AiN, and even to my own personal life. Ariana and Sofia also came from their school club; Ariana has been an AiN volunteer for a year. She has a desire to work in special education, specifically speech. She will be a true advocate for the children we serve! Monica an AiN volunteer who can always counted on. Austin though he is my son and I could simply brag about what an amazing child I have raised I won’t. I will just say thank you for blessing the child at AiN with your presences and your patients. Jacob Green, as you guessed the man that holds me up! He is always there to volunteer, encourage the children and myself. The kids love him and AiN is lucky to have a man who is so supportive to the cause! Al & Karolyn Green these folks drove from Oregon to help with this special event! All that can be said about them is, isn’t Autumn Green lucky to have in-laws that believe in the cause and her! Lastly, this event couldn’t happen without the board members. Audra McDonald, Chair. Audra is always there to make sure the big events go without a hiccup. She has plenty of experience working at We Care. Angie Barber, the secretary who started out as an AiN volunteer and has moved into a board position. AiN is lucky to have her!

Likewise, Sherly Morles also started out as volunteer and moved into a board position, treasure. Jenny Vargo, background is special education teaching. Jenny has been part of the Green Family’s life since their youngest son was 5 years old when she was his Kindergarten and then first grade teacher. They cannot thank you Jenny and her husband enough to continue to be part of their lives in this way! Emily Wallin, as you know was there taking pictures but also is an AiN board member. It is her dedication to students as a teacher that made Autumn ask if she would be interested in being on the board. It is with great gratitude that we thank all the volunteers that made this event special! Thank you!

AiN Angel Fund

IMG_3015
All in Need, Family Support (AiN) announced their very first recipient of the “AiN Angel Fund” on December 6, 2014. Which was made possible by generous donation from an anonymous donor, the “AiN Angel Fund” is a way to help our families by relieving some of the financial burden of raising a child with special needs.

AiN’s mission is to provide support to families with children ages 18 and under that have special needs in the East Bay Area by offering respite care in a nurturing and learning environment, promoting social interaction, gross and fine motor activities all in a sensory based atmosphere.

AiN board considered all families who use AiN services. But all agreed the $1,000 Angel Fund needed to be awarded to the McClanahan Family from Concord. The money is designated to help purchase a van that is wheelchair accessible for their daughter. Their youngest daughter has Mitochondrial Disease. The United Mitochondrial Foundation’s website says, “Mitochondrial diseases result from failures of the mitochondria, specialized compartments present in every cell of the body except red blood cells. Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support growth. When they fail, less and less energy is generated within the cell. Cell injury and even cell death follow. If this process is repeated throughout the body, whole systems begin to fail, and the life of the person in whom this is happening is severely compromised. The disease primarily affects children, but adult onset is becoming more and more common.”

Elizabeth McClanahan says, “Words are still not coming to me after your generous gift toward the wheelchair lift van. We are humbled and honored to be the recipient of All in Needs Family Support’s 2014 gift to families in need. Thank you All in Need Family Support, Board Members and Autumn Green!”

AiN intends to present this gift to a deserving family who uses AiN services next December. To help support this fund, please donate to AiN’s Angel Fund. Donations can be made on our webpage allinneed.org or at:
All in Need, Family Support
25-A Crescent Ave. #214
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Contact

To learn more about this event, please contact:

Autumn Green, Executive Director
greena@allinneed.org
www.allinneed.org
Office: (925) 257-4246
Or find us on Facebook

“Back to School” Fundraiser

destinationBookFairWhat you’re not in the Bay Area? That is okay you can still support our Back to School Book fair from September 3 to September 9th you can purchases your materials at Barnes and noble’s website and enter our book fair number! The flyer has all the information!

“Back to School” Book fair will offering fun family events! A Scavenger Hunt for adults and kids! Parent and child teams…who can build the best Lego structure? Don’t forget to bring this flyer with you even the purchase at the Starbucks inside the Walnut Creek Barnes and Noble supports AiN! Mark your calendar for September 6th and September 7th.

Get ready for our upcoming “Back to School” Book fair at Walnut Creek Barnes and Noble on September 6th and September 7th. Teachers make sure you purchase your needed supplies for your classrooms, and parents make sure you buy plenty of books for those reading logs!

Take the flyer and make sure you purchase supports AiN!

Print the flyer!

A Runner’s Story and How it can Help AiN

Jenny Vargo, AiN Board Member at her first 5K
Jenny Vargo, AiN Board Member at her first 5K
“Life is like running a marathon. We have to train, come alongside and help each other, take time to breathe, share our joys and trials. In the end, it will not be who wins or loses, but how well you ran the race.” –JMV

A runner? Me? Never! Ask my best friends from High School who walked the track with me. Ask my Mom and my swim coach- I’m a water baby! But with the birth of my daughter and the lack of access to a pool with childcare, I had to find another means of exercise.

After doing a bit of research, I figured I would try a treadmill first and use the app “Couch to 5K”. My first few attempts, I recall watching the clock begging for the next minute to end. I was gasping for air after a ½ mile. It seemed impossible, but after each run I felt amazing, and I was actually smiling. When I made it to 1 mile, I was jumping up and down. I felt like I accomplished something, even if it was small. The next few months had some ups and downs. I learned a lot about shin splints, stretching before or after, warm-ups, cool downs, and about the community of runners. This community has become such an amazing support in my growth as a runner. Every runner I have met has a story behind his or her love of running.

I have my own journey, my own story to becoming a runner. I have been running since July 2013 and finally, this March, I completed my first 5K. I was slow, but I finished well. The training, the words of encouragement, the accomplishment of completing something made me feel so thankful for this gift. I never, ever thought I would say that I enjoy running…But now…I LOVE it! It is the freedom, the accomplishment, the tiny bits of progress and the strength both inside and out that has kept me in this. Now it is my turn to encourage others to pursue potentially difficult, but rewarding activity.

Running is only a recent passion of mine; another passion that has brought me so much joy is working with families who have children with special needs. All in Need, Family Support is an organization that brings life, freedom and strength to families in need. We are excited to share that we have a virtual race in June that includes getting outside with YOUR favorite activity. A virtual race is a race done during specified days, but any location, on your own, in another race or with a friend. Do you like to walk, bike, swim, run, skip, move? Pick any or all of them and do it to support our families in need, our community. Once you have completed your activity, please post your event and time on our Facebook page. We also have a beautiful medal for you to remember your time spent “Springing into Summer for AiN”. Happy Moving!!

Virtual Race specifics:

Jenny, AiN Board Member, and Autumn, founder of AiN, St Patrick's Day Run
Jenny, AiN Board Member, and Autumn, founder of AiN, St Patrick’s Day Run

Who: Anyone
What: A virtual Run to benefit All in Need.
When: June 1st- 7th
Where: Anywhere
Why: Your donation will support AiN’s many families
How: Please sign up for our virtual race by going to www.active.com and search for “Spring into Summer Run/walk/bike for AiN”.
Post: Please post your activity and time on our Facebook page once you have completed your event.
Award: A medal is YOURS for the keeping – to remember your accomplishment and for supporting All in Need.
Questions: Please email Jenny Vargo: vargoj@allinneed.org

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
-John Bingham, running speaker and writer