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.
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
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!
Autumn Green, founder of All in Need, hosted her June event on Saturday June 20. The theme of each event varies from month to month, and this month was “animals near and far”.
On Saturday, there were about 10 children and 10 volunteers who came to support the event. Autumn hosts all the events herself by organizing different activities for the children.
The activities began with animal racing between all of the kids. They did ape walks, frog jumps, bear crawls, and crab crawls.
After each kid participated, they moved on to arts and crafts.
The arts and crafts are divided up into two groups consisting of one for the smaller children and another for the youth. They do one activity which could either be painting or drawing. These crafts require the children to use basic skills such as cutting, gluing and painting.
Following the arts and crafts, the kids did yoga, had story time and watched a series of educational videos. Then, they danced a long to some songs and ended the program with some more interactive games.
All the children participated in these activities and had fun interacting with all of the other kids.