Get to know Tyra

1. How long have you been a part of AiN and what is your position? 

I have been volunteering at AiN for 6 months and attend the monthly Revive Events, as well as special events.

2. What do you hope to accomplish with AiN? 

After hearing about my sister’s amazing experiences as a volunteer at AiN, I decided to join the organization. I love working with kids and young adults and have already learned so much during my time with AiN. 

3. What experiences have you gained so far with AiN? 

Volunteering at AiN has allowed me to gain experience with kids with special needs, a skill that I lacked before joining the organization. I have also been able to discover my love for working with kids and young adults. 

4. What is your favorite thing about AiN? 

I love spending time with Zoe, a teenage girl who I am able to hang out with at nearly every Revive event. 

5. How has volunteering with AiN changed your perspective on volunteering with special needs children? 

Volunteering with AiN has allowed me to discover the unique personalities of each of the kids. Through working at Revive, I have been able to learn how to guide activities for kids with special needs and the importance of sensory activities.

6. What do you look forward to when attending the events? 

I always look forward to spending time with Zoe and the other kids. I love seeing how the kids have grown from the time started volunteering.

7. What is your favorite activity? 

I love watching the kids play with the different sensory activities each month. They are always very creative and fun.

8. What is the hardest part of attending the events? 

Considering that I had never worked with kids with special needs before AiN, I have struggled learning what activities each of the kids enjoyed and which ones to avoid. However, after working at AiN for 6 months, I have started to pick up each kid’s routine.

9. What do you like to do for fun? 

Outside of AiN, I enjoy dancing, spending time with my friends and family, and traveling. 

10. What is something interesting or fun about yourself?

I have been a competitive dancer for ten years.

LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

I’m excited to share some changes at All in Need that will help us grow as we move forward. I’m pleased to announce that Kirstin McGrath is joining the AiN team as Program Director. She brings with her 500 hours of volunteer experience with pediatric therapy clinics, a hippotherapy clinic, and overnight camps for children with Autism.  Kirstin’s long term goal is to open her own therapy clinic as an Occupational Therapist. You have likely already met Kirstin over the past few months, as she has been involved in our programs and special events, so she is probably already a familiar face.

Seeing someone in the Program Director role has been a goal of ours for a long time, as it will allow me to expand into the Executive Director. In fact, now that will be my full time role. Through this growth of labor, Kirstin can focus on the many details associated with Revive and special events, while I can focus on obtaining grants — something I haven’t had as much time for in the past. This will hopefully allow us to further expand our programs and outreach.

This news comes with one additional change; my family will be relocating to Oregon in order to get my son Yaakov, who is on the spectrum, the help that he so desperately needs. As many of you know, over the past few months our lives have been turned upside down as Yaakov has faced numerous behavioral issues at school. Jacob and I know it’s time we make a change. For the remainder of 2018, Kirstin and I will be working closely together as she transitions into her new role.  I will be working from Oregon, but will be back in the Bay Area around Revive dates in order to make sure the program transition is seamless for our families.

I want to make it clear that although I’ll be working remotely, All in Need will have my full attention. In fact, it will have more of my attention than in the past. While living in California I juggled an additional full time job with the school district. Now I’ll have time to properly devote to both AiN and Yaakov.

Please know that AiN is my “baby” and the families we serve mean the world to me, and to Jacob and the board.  As I step into the Executive Director role, our programs will continue to expand and better support your families. Who knows… at some point we may even get to organize a satellite team in Oregon!

Although it’s hard to step away from the day-to-day program interactions, Jacob and I feel this is a win-win situation. We get to support our son. Our son gets his service dog. And once again because of our son and our family’s needs AiN will continue to grow and get more support!  Thank you for your understanding.

Wishing you rest,

Autumn Green

 

AiN Recieves $450 from Pleasant Hill Rotary Club

AiN received a $450 grant from the Pleasant Hill Community Rotary Club for a pop-up tent for our Special Events! Thanks to Joyce Blom, who put the grant request together!

All in Need plans on serving 50 special needs children and their siblings at our Trunk or Treat in 2017 and 45 children at our Cookies with Santa event.

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” or “I want ____ for Christmas”. All in Need Trunk or Treat and Cookies with Santa allows 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.

 

Thank you, Pleasant Hill Rotary!

 

Photo taken by Allen Vinson

Pleasant Hill Community Foundation Grant Recipient

GrantAiN received a $1,000 grant from the Pleasant Hill Community Foundation for our upcoming Trunk or Treat.

All in Need plans on serving 100 special needs children and their siblings at our Trunk or Treat in 2016. 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.

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.

grant 1

AiN’s 3rd Annual Egg Hunt for Children with Special Needs

May 19th brought the celebration of spring and an early Easter Egg Hunt for children with special needs and their families.  AiN hosting their 3rd annual egg hunt was Saturday, where AiN volunteers and Pleasant Hill Chamber Members packed 1,200 plastic eggs for 31 kids to find.  Each child received an AiN Easter Basket (this year an AiN bag) which included bubbles, slinkies, sensory toys, sunglasses and so much more.

IMG_0138

Because we had the budget AiN reached out to two other organizations that serve children with special needs. One of the organizations used the egg hunt as an Applied Behavior Analysis social group outing.  While the other organization used it as a family day out; offering networking between parents while children joined in the egg hunt.

download_20160319_114200

#AiN #AllinNeed #AiNEggHunt #SomeBunnyLovesYou

Bunny Stopping by for a Visit

Autumn’s oldest son, Austin, dressed in the bunny costume to send love to one of our AiN kiddo’s.  We also wanted her to know that the bunny will be stopping by for a quick visit.

The following day, Autumn and Juliana, who was dressed as the bunny, hopped over for a quick visit and drop off her Easter Basket.
20160309_161808

#Praying4rebecca #thinkofrebecca #praying4urebecca

The Bunny Will Hop By For AiN’s Easter Egg Hunt for Special Needs Kids

A special thank you to Pleasant Hill Ambassadors and AiN board member who helped AiN out with preparation of our 3rd annual egg hunt. With the help of Pleasant Hill Ambassadors 1000+ eggs were stuffed and 30+ baskets were put together. 20160303_200324
Thank you to Kellie Conde, board member for taking time out of your busy life to help prepare for this event. Pleasant Hill Chamber Ambassadors: Michael Brionez at J Rockcliff Realtors, Pam Green at Keller Williams Realtor, Rod Harris at Generation Mortgage Company, Debbie Smith at AHA! Movement, Jeanne Schwass at JBS Promotions, and Susan Wood at Susan Wood Photography.

A special thank you to Jeanne at JBS Promotions that helped get us our bags aka baskets, slinkies, and bubbles20160303_193658

This event is possible because of wonderful business supporters and the grant that AiN was award by SMPS Family Fund.
mattrinn

East Bay ABA logo

unnamed (2slowhandbb

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.

Cookies with Santa 2015 an Event for Children with Special Needs

Santa had contacted AiN’s Executive Director, Autumn Green explaining that he couldn’t make it to Breakfast with Santa this year. Autumn was disappointed she had already planned on making Green and Ham for the Dr. Seuss Christmas theme.  She understood the schedule conflict, so she agreed to have Santa join the kids on Saturday, December 12, 2015 for Cookies with Santa.

karlyandkevin

 

What a hit! 30 plus kids registered one of the two 45 minute sessions.  Kids rotated through four stations: Cookie station, art station, sensory station and Santa station. While they waited to see Santa they were able to look at books.logan2

With donations from Maggie Wolf each child received a stocking stuff full of goodies, and of course Santa had presents for each child. (2 books) which was possible by the sponsors of this event. Santa, Mrs Claus and Karen De Jager at Spectrum Photography worked extremely hard to make sure every child had a positive interaction with Santas Claus.  Santa was even willing to pop out from behind a chair so that the family had one photo with Santa and their daughter.

sara

Thank you to all our sponsors: Matt Rinn at State Farm, Debbie Smith at AHA Movement, Margret Miner at VinoCruising, Joe Stokely at Stokely Properties, and Michael Bronies at J. Rockcliff Realtors. We cannot forget all the other 1volunteers that put hours into preparing for this event. This event wouldn’t have been successful without you. A special thank you to Jen Tipton, who made dozens and dozens of cookies for this event.

unnamed (2 unnamed (1)

East Bay ABA logo karen mattrinn MBrionezLogo_1115

Strength of the Special Needs Parents-Angel Fund Awarded for 2015

angelfund2Working with families at All In Need, Family Support (AiN) has taught me that parents and caregivers are strong. Each child that comes into AiN worms their way into all the volunteers’ hearts, and as volunteers we hear the parents’ stories of their child’s success and struggles.

As the Executive Director of AiN, I often times cry after hanging up with a parent hearing how their child is taking a turn for the worse or their child’s behavior is out of control. I hear desperation in the parent’s voice as they are struggling to support their child’s needs. Having a child on the spectrum, often times, I can understand their feelings and can tell parents it will get better. But, sometimes I cannot relate to what the parents are saying. All I can do is listen and try to hold it together while parents give me the latest updates on their children. Then I hang up and cry. I cannot even imagine your child having additional medical issues on top of the daily fight of Autism. I cannot imagine the fight of a wheelchair, because your child is too tired to stay on her feet. I cannot imagine hearing the words “your child will not make it to adulthood”.  So, this parent tries to relate to what parents must be feeling, but instead I crawl under the covers and cry for the families who are hurting. Yet, I see these parents go on and advocate for their children. Knowing they are exhausted, but amazingly strong.  Yet, as a spectator in their lives, I get to learn what love is and what dedication and strength is. It is humbling that these families allow us at AiN to be part of such an intimate detail in their lives.

angelfund

At AiN, we know we only can help carry their burdens, and we do that through offering respite care to the families. Their child has an opportunity to socialize with others and play games. We also offer three special events a year. This gives them the opportunity to participate in mainstream events and parents to network with one another.

Lastly, we offer the Angel Fund. We choose one family who has attend at least one Revive event in the last year.  The goal of this fund is to help the family who is in need of additional support due to unforeseen circumstance. We are proud that we were able to provide $250 to the Cook Family to help cover medical expense for their son who suffered a stroke early in 2015.

 

Photos taken by Karen De Jager: Spectrum Photography