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.

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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.

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#AiN #AllinNeed #AiNEggHunt #SomeBunnyLovesYou

The Giving Tree-Volunteer’s Rock Party

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.

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Jennifer Tipton catered the meal for us. We did a mash potato bar using martini glasses, and she did pudding in shot glass.

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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.

 

Revive, AiN’s Respite Care January 2016

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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.

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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.12573044_1304396809577821_5936514250492590701_nCome volunteer at an AiN Revive. Where the volunteers are allowed to have as much fun as the kids are having.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I am a Mother! I am a Mother of a Child who has Special Needs & it is Time to Give Thanks!

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.) austin and me

 

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!

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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!”

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Green Family!

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!

 

Meeting My Buddy-I Run 4 Autism I Run 4 Jadhiel

How many of you have heard of I run 4? The I run 4 webpage says:

We all have friends who say, “run some for me,” because they don’t WANT to run. But what about those who can’t run for physical or developmental reasons?  Having been inspired by a close friend battling bilateral hip dysplasia, Founder Tim Boyle discovered a whole new inspiration to run.

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I have always been a runner. Through middle school and high school I ran Cross Country and Long Distance Track. After graduating I would run off and on for exerciser, but when life got busy I would quickly give it up. Once again I started running it was a needed relief for dealing with my son and his IEP and teachers.  It wasn’t too long after I started running I heard about I run4. I quickly signed up to be a runner for someone who has special needs. I figured it would give me an excuse to continue taking care of myself and in return I could share my adventures and love for running with my buddy. I was paired with Jahdiel, a boy who has Autism, in December 2013 just a few days before Christmas. I cannot express how excited I was to meet this guy and his mother through Facebook; me living in California and them in New Jersey. Before I was paired with Jahdiel I had ran a 5K color run and though it was a fun run, I had got bit by the race bug. So, in March 2014 wearing a Cat in the Hat Shirt (Jahdiel’s passion at the time.) I did my first 10K, and I struggled through it. Determined to not stop running for Jahdiel; I finished but thought I was going to die! Yet, now I was determined to run a half marathon for him and ran my first half marathon in June of 2014 where I was hoping to not get anything under 2 hours and 15 minutes for my time, and I finished2:05 and my first half for my buddy! Now I was hooked and in 2014 I ran nine half marathons, a 6 hour endurance run, and a Tri Sprint!

In 2015, I had two goals running a full marathon and running a half in New Jersey where my buddy could greet me at the finish line. In March I ran my first full marathon. It wasn’t as successful as I had hoped. I had injured myself two weeks before the race. I was able to get out and run it, but I didn’t do as well as I would have liked too.

Our familyjahdiel planned a trip to the East Coast for October 2015. I had a race planned and finally would be able to meet my buddy in person! Two weeks before we left I fell off my bike while cross training and broke my elbow! Though I told all the doctors I was going and I was running. I was told I had to take it easy, because if I fell I would be down for good.

October 3rd, I ran a half in Brooklyn, New York where Jahdiel, his mother, and his little sister were waiting for me at the finish line. I cannot tell you the emotion that ran through me breaking my PR by 3 minutes and 6 seconds and having Jahdiel there.

It was a dream come true and now going into November I cannot wait to run some Turkey Trots for Jahdiel! #irun4jahdiel #irun4autism #heismysuperhero

Get your child a runner today, signup at whoirun4.com

Get to know our volunteer: Yasmin Shamloo

yasminYasmin 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”.

Get to know our volunteer: Jacob Green

jacobJacob 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.

In his free time, he likes to go mountain biking.

Get to Know our Volunteers-Ally Tipton

Ally Ally Tipton has been a volunteer for All in Need for the past couple of months, she assists with desk work and is also the photographer. Her favorite thing about volunteering with All in Need is experiencing the children’s happiness as they perform the different activities and she loves to help out with the kids and their families. She enjoys seeing how creative the children get with the arts and crafts projects. For Ally, the hardest part of volunteering is seeing some of the children struggle with the activities, but all the volunteers are very inclusive and always make sure the children take part and enjoy each activity. In her free time, Ally loves to travel, hang out with friends, and pursue her passion for photography!