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.

Get to know Kirstin McGrath, Program Director

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

I’ve been a part of AiN since August, so 6 months now. I started as a volunteer, but have just been promoted to the position of Program Director!

What do you hope to accomplish with AiN? 

At AiN I really want to continue to help families by providing them with a safe and fun learning environment for their children while they enjoy a nice night out. I’d also love to assist Autumn in the growth and expansion of AiN in hopes of serving more families.

What experiences have you gained so far with AiN? 

SO MANY! One of my all-time favorites was watching the kids’ trunk or treat in their costumes and the smiles on their faces as they threw pies in Autumn’s face. It’s been very rewarding to see the kids learn, grow, and enjoy their time with their friends and family at each special event.

What is your favorite thing about AiN?

The mission! Helping people with special needs has always been a passion of mine and AiN has given me the opportunity to do that. 

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

Although I’ve volunteered with special needs children in the past, AiN provides a different environment and learning curriculum that has shown me how much these children really are capable of. It’s been an eye-opening experience to watch the kids grow and learn over the past few months and to really see their accomplishments unfold.

What do you look forward to when attending the events?

I look forward to seeing the children’s smiling faces as they arrive. Whether they are in costumes for trunk or treat and waiting to see Santa, most kids are excited and happy to be around friends and family.

What is your favorite activity? 

My favorite part of each event is the nightly dance party where everyone shows off their cool moves!

What is the hardest part of attending the events?

So far, I haven’t found anything challenging about attending the events. I always look forward to going.

What do you like to do for fun? 

I enjoy reading (I’m a huge Harry Potter fan), also hiking, spending time with my puppy, Shadow, and traveling the world.

What is something interesting or fun about yourself?

As many of you know, I want to be an occupational therapist, but for the last 6 years I was in the military as a computer technician, however I still know very little about computers.

 

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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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: Sydney Polich

Sydney Polich has been a member of All in Need for three months now as a group leader for the younger kids. She joined AiN with the hope of helping an organization whose mission she believed in as well as to improve her leadership skills.

sydney89Her favorite thing about AiN is that it is designed to help families as a whole as opposed to individual children. AiN has something to offer every family who has a child with special needs, whether it be support, a relaxation break, or just a place to hang out.

“AiN has embedded in me the truth that each child, with or without special needs, has a unique set of talents and an even more distinct personality”, Polich said.  “A disability is not a label, but only a part of what makes an individual that individual.”

Her favorite part of the events is the Wii Dance portion of the evening where all the children have fun and interact with each other.

For fun, she loves to run and is a member of her school’s cross-country and track team. She also enjoys other sports and outdoor activities.