All in Need’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt celebrates Spring by offering an unique egg hunt for children with special needs and their families. This event welcomes 50 children to participate in finding 1,200 eggs and each child who attends will receive an Easter Basket to bring home!
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.
38 children and their parents came and joined AiN for their 3rd Annual Trunk or Treat! This was made possible by more than 40 volunteers coming together volunteering their time! Children were able to Trick or Treat at 27 different trunks. One trunk the kids were able to try to be Robin Hood. While another trunk they could visit Alice and Wonderland. Other trunks setup a zoo or AiN (Animal in Need) This year, AiN had a contest for the best trunk where the children could pick their favorite trunk. Kimberly Gillem won a $100
gift card to Dead Fish donated by Bank of America Anti-Freud Department.
Many of the kids lined up and played JENGA with the College Park Interact Club while others played Connect Four and Corn Hole. This year AiN added Carnival games. One carnival game was made by Nate Klug from recycled materials from his home. Jacob Green made a pig race from an old table. They also could catch rubber ducks, ring toss. Several family stopped by the green screen for pictures.
Of course, we cannot forget that many of the kids and several of the adults took a moment and threw pies at the Executive Director, Autumn Green in one of their newest fundraisers!
AiN was able to offer this event because of our sponsors: AHA Movement and Land Home Financial Services, and from two grants: Pleasant Hill Community Center and SMPS Family! Thank you to those who donated for our drawings!
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.
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.