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.
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.
As much as I love my volunteers. Giving parties aren’t my thing. So, it was a very quiet night. However, I tried to do a few things to show my volunteers how much I appreciate them.
The theme was The Giving Tree. Each one of my youth volunteers received the book. I quickly recapped the book, and told the volunteers that I know often times as volunteers we feel like give and give until we feel we don’t have anything left to give. But, often times families just need us to allow them to sit down and let them regroup. It seems like so little on our parts but it is huge for the families.
Jennifer Tipton catered the meal for us. We did a mash potato bar using martini glasses, and she did pudding in shot glass.
The best part of the evening for me is that our volunteers got together and did a dance for one of our kiddos who is no longer able to join us at AiN.
Thank you to all my volunteers. Thank you for supporting AiN families, and thank you for making my dreams come true.
All 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.
January Revive was themed Fun with Food. Autumn, executive director hid a toy felt sandwich, and had the kids do animal crawls while gave them clues (you’re hot or you’re cold) on how close they were to the hidden sandwich. During crafts the kids made pizza with corn tortillas, red sauce, and cheese.
Of course we didn’t catch any photos of the productive ball throwing and chasing after balls, but Autumn and several of the kids did get several selfies in. While Ariana enjoyed a relaxing evening with her charge.Come volunteer at an AiN Revive. Where the volunteers are allowed to have as much fun as the kids are having.
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.
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.
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.
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 volunteers 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.
I am thankful! I am a mother! Us mothers have those moments that we look at our child with pride and are grateful that they were put in our lives. As a mother of a neurotypical developing child, I want to give myself a high five or a pat on the back because I rock! I look at myself in the mirror and think no one can do it better than me! I am raising this boy, who is now 15 years old to be the man he was designed to be! A sophomore in high school he is already planning on moving to Oregon, so he can study to become on Occupational Therapist. He has a love for children and kids love him. His desire is to work with kids that have special needs. Of course, I know there are many wonderful mom’s out there and I would have not gotten this far if it wasn’t for my son’s father. Lets face it, it took both of us to bestow our values onto our son, and with guidance from us and our son’s own spiritual beliefs he is where he is today. I am not saying he will not have hard times, and I am not saying these next two years as he becomes more independent I will not go crazy with his rolling of his eyes, or snottiness. But, hey I cannot help but be grateful for the young man he is turning out to be. How can I not be thankful for this gift from God! As a mother we love unconditionally and only our own children can teach us this love! I am thankful! ( The oldest makes faces when it is time to take pictures because he is too cool to hang out with mom.)
I am thankful! I am a mother! I am a mother of child with special needs. Our life hasn’t always been easy, but I would be crazy not to be thankful for this gift from God. This gift has taught me to love unconditionally; this love has been thrown in my face by my son. Fear has tested the love, love has brought away from the shame that at times would eat me alive while being in public with a child who was out of control, frustration that my love wouldn’t be enough, at times feeling helpless knowing my love wasn’t sparing my child from a life his brother was living. Yet, I am thankful my love accepted the adventures we faced raising a son with special needs. Thankful for the struggles we faced as a family; it was those struggles that allowed me to share our story with others and to be able to offer respite at All in Need. This same little boy set the stage for his older brother to have a desire to serve others with special needs. I am thankful!
I am thankful I am a mother of two amazing boys who bring me joy that I could never have imagined. I am thankful that my path was paved by a very special child who has taught our family to love unconditionally other families who have similar issues. As Madam Blueberry said, “A grateful heart is a happy heart!”
All 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. Great 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!
Our first Trunk or Treat was successful! We had 56 children registered who might have otherwise not been able to enjoy the traditional trick or treating experience that many children take for granted. Though we aren’t sure how many secretly entered without letting us know they made it to this special event. We do know at least 45 kids did show up, and some from the other side of the Bay! The skeletons, the princess, the policemen, the butterflies, minecraft skins, and so many more stopped by at least 30 trunks at Oak Park Christain Center in Pleasant Hill on October 24th. Support came through various people within our community. We had sponsors from local business, AiN board members and volunteers, Diablo Valley College staff and students, and Oak Park Christian Center church members setup their trunks for this special event. Kids seemed to flock to the trunk who brought a live chicken, though their was a fortune teller, fire fighter, fishing, and so much more there! As kids had a blast parents enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and a time to socialize with other parents. Here is what one parents said.
Thank you so much for this wonderful event, not only did my daughter have a great time but me and my whole family did as well. For me, I get very stressed out when I feel I have to explain my daughters behaviors to people (why she doesn’t say trick ortreat, or thank you, or hello) for me not having the pressure of having to explain that or worry that people think she is being rude was priceless to me. What you do is amazing, and I would love to help support the all in need organization in any way I can. Thank you again. Xx -Danette Schmidt Niblett
A special thank you to Ally’s Girl Scout Troop and Oak Park Christian Center Youth Group, and AiN volunteers and their families!
This event was successful because of our sponsors and volunteers! A huge thank you to the following our Gold Sponsors!
Julie McCoy Team Realtor®/
Broker Associate BRE Lic. # 01260930 Remax Accord
We Make things Happen!
Serving Buyers and Sellers
with Passion and Compassion
Sue Wood Photography
Pam Green Keller
Goals for Autism Other Sponsors
Mark Gebhardt Photography
Yasmin Shamloo has been volunteering with All in Need for a little over a year now and her position is a group leader for the older participants.
“I love working with children with special needs because I feel as though I am not only giving back to my community, but also rewarding myself by feeling a sense of accomplishment and gratitude for all the amazing people I have gotten to know and all the beautiful things I have been granted in life,” Shamloo said.
Shamloo would like to enter a career involving special needs children. She has gained valuable experience and knowledge through AiN that she believes will aid her all throughout life.
Her favorite thing about volunteering with AiN is all the amazing people she has had the privilege of meeting. Volunteering with AiN has given her a deeper understanding of what it is truly like to make a meaningful connection with a child with special needs.
Her favorite activity is the music time when the kids bring in instruments and sing. She loves playing soccer in her free time and having Saturday night movie nights with her mom! She is also probably the “best karaoke singer you will ever meet”.
Jacob Green has been involved with All in Need since the very beginning. With AiN, he hopes to help make the lives of families who have children with special needs a bit easier. With his experience so far, he has really seen how what AiN is doing is really making a difference in the lives of these children and their families.
His favorite thing about AiN is watching the kids dance and participate during music videos and game time. Volunteering with special needs children has changed his perspective on working with special needs children dramatically.