Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ronan Invites You to NEC

This week Ronan has his turn with the horses at Naples Equestrian Challenge at their inclusive riding camp.  As a toddler, Ronan would watch from the fence as Riley took his weekly riding lesson and ask week after week, "Where's my horse, Mommy?"  Now Nick and Pick A Spot can be his horse too.  Riding camp is open to regular riders, rider siblings and our friends.  He can finally be a part of this wonderful program too.

One of the wonderful moms involved with the program brought Ronan home yesterday along with her girls for a playdate.  Everybody into the pool!  Her special needs daughter, Jaclyn, was drawn to Riley.  She reached from her mothers arms to take Riley's hand.  It is not often other children wish to interact with him and the moment melted my heart.  She tried again and again to hold hands with him but discovered he allows only brief contact.  Not on purpose, but the spastic quadiplegia causes him to snatch his hand back before any real connection can be established.  It was a beautiful moment for me even though the hand holding only lasted a split second!

Today I would like to share blog posts that spoke to me:
Kidz, A Special Place for Special Needs lists issues special needs parents appreciate.
La Dulce Vida wrote an "Ode to My Sisters... You" and I would like to share with the other special needs moms who wander by my site today.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
We are all special... by Stacie

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Life's Reality - Guest Post by Christine

I do not know what's come over me! Literally it hit me yesterday smack in the face as I was discussing getting Johnathan enrolled in school. 

My life became a life of sacrificing my own needs/wants for those of others.

I dreamed of teaching (helping kids); being able to give to those who would someday appreciate it. What have I settled for in a job? -  A bunch of “me, me, me” ungrateful women. There is no "reward" in the job I have; I have so much more to offer this world and will never be able to show it.

I dreamed one day I would watch my children grow and share with them all that I was unable to have growing up and the milestones of life. I have the means, but God has chosen for my girl to struggle through this life while I sit and watch my unappreciative sister’s lack of desire to nurture her child and open the world of opportunity to her.  It kills me to think of all Kaet could have achieved in her life if only she was born "whole". Why was she cheated? 
I would love some mother-daughter time, going shopping, to the salon or even a movie together; all impossible as Kaet gets tired and/or overstimulated easily.
Almost 15 and should be getting excited to learn to drive and for the independence of getting a driver's license. Kaet will always be dependent on others to get her where she needs to go, yet never be able to tell anyone :(

Why was she cheated all life has to offer? – Yes, I know “it is God’s plan and we are not to question, just accept”.  I try to always keep this in mind and pray to him for understanding. 

In the end she is my rock. When I am down I run to her and hold her in my arms and thank God I have her in my life. If she gives me this peace, then why do I hurt so? 

Being the mom of a special child sure does have its own reward, but it also wears you down when you feel so trapped and secluded from the rest of the world because of the limitations placed on them. 

Yes, I know that some say our special needs children are only trapped by their limitations if we let them be; easier said than done. All the work that it takes just to get to and from the necessary doctor/therapy appointments with these children is exhausting; then add in the full time job on top of it; I just don’t have that much left in me. 

We are not alone in this journey... It is okay to feel.  Christine

Note from Stacie:
Christine's words hit me hard... every word rings true for me and reading her words brought the tears back to me.  Unfortunately, no one really wants to know including our families and we must keep it to ourselves as best we can.  It is also quite difficult to function while we carry all this grief.  She reminds me why I attempt this little niche blog... there really are other parents out there feeling just like we do and doing everything to offer their child the happiest life possible.  We can support each other through the miracle of the internet.

"Accepting a bit of Insanity"  on also explores the depression special needs parents face. shares the difficult decisions made by a mom of a child with autism.

Here is another post regarding disability and grief... 

Stumbo Family Story - Abbotsford dad devastated that autistic daughter is removed from home - Abbotsford dad devastated that autistic daughter is removed from home

Society abandons and then judges. It is surprising to me that more special needs families are not torn apart so readily.

Perhaps this is a good moment to share this today from Great NonProfits:

10 Quotes to Inspire You to Do More Good

You work hard to support the causes that are important to you, and you're not alone. Just listen to what some of the great authors, politicians, and activists of the world have to say about making a difference. Their words speak to the impact you -- or any single -- person can have on the world.
10. "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."  - Mother Teresa

9. "Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart." - Elizabeth Andrew

8. "A bone to the dog is not charity.  Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog."  - Jack London
7. "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention." - Oscar Wilde

6. "Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." - Mark Twain

5. "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not."  - Dr. Seuss

4. "Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve.  You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve... You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love."  - Martin Luther King, Jr.

3. "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands.  You need to be able to throw something back."  - Maya Angelou

2. "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."   - Winston Churchill

1. "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."  - Anne Frank

Friday, June 24, 2011

Carnival Ride - Submission to "Butterfly Dreams" Disability Carnival Ride

My subject haunts me.  I cannot get it out of my head and I cannot resolve it.  Possibly it is the reason I blog. 

Do I blog about special needs, yes.  However, my original motivation to blog was not the special needs by itself and the Carnival Ride it put us on.  My motivation to blog was to communicate beyond my little family that special needs does indeed need support beyond the family.  Why must I communicate this?  I share our experiences because our community abandoned us.  Perhaps, I thought in my naivety, I could now help those just outside some other special needs circle to understand this special needs status a little more thoroughly.  Yes, certainly naive.

Maybe I simply do not understand Community. 
I looked it up:

COMMUNITY    com·mu·ni·ty: noun, often attributive \kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē\

1 : a unified body of individuals: as
 b : the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself <the problems of a large community>
 c : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location
d : a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society <a community of retired persons>
 e : a group linked by a common policy
 f : a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests <the international community>
 g : a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society <the academic community>
2 : society at large
3 a : joint ownership or participation <community of goods>
 b : common character : likeness <community of interests>
 c : social activity : fellowship
d : a social state or condition

Pausing from my task, I discovered this video on my facebook page:

Did our community intend to abandon us?  No, likely not.Like the squirrel there is a community just beyond reach... watching.  And eventually one or two of the watchers step up and make a difference.

But the day happened.  One day John and I were a couple with friends, careers, extended family, volunteerism, activities involving many more people beyond the two of us.  The next day my healthy pregnancy ended with Riley suffering an in utero Grade IV brain hemorrhage.  No neighbor was available to help me to the hospital as I knew I was in far too much pain to take myself.  I took a taxi.... one very late, lost and English free taxi. John rushed to meet me while no one he worked with was available to pick up the slack and he continued to field emergency pages throughout our own emergency.

Where was our community?
Here we are perhaps 24 or more hours beyond the emergency c-section holding Riley for the very first time.  It took a nurse 45 minutes to arrange all the tubes and wires to make this happen.  I believe this to have been arount 3 am on Aug. 30, 2002.  Santa Monica Hospital NICU.

Our community was myself, John and now a very ill child.
That was our community and today we are four. 
This is the community you trust and rely on.  This is the community that will be there for each other regardless.  We are not completely isolated, we do stretch a little beyond this especially with our mom's around and it changes shape a little.  This however does not change my feelings of abandonment.

Please forgive me reader if you are disturbed by my perception of community.    My experience has brought me to this conviction.  How do I move beyond this limitation and should I?  Am I now capable of being part of a larger community?  Is not this the reason I post this little niche blog?  I am reaching out to a more extensive community, yet I reserve a complete picture.  It is now clear to me that community is a blog subject that I must pursue and I hope that you will understand that this blog is also about the healing process.  This is my attempt to be community for those other special needs families who need it as well.

I invite you to defend, argue or share your thoughts on community with me.  This is my experience and I cannot present it as more than I believe it to be.

It's A Mad World

We are all special.... by Stacie

Please visit Butterfly Dreams to view more submissions on Community.  I do hope they are far more positive than mine.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

One Father's Perspective...

This link to an article by Robert Rummel-Hudson is a valuable perspective on father's of special needs children.  John and I have discovered that there is certainly a misconception that special needs responsibilities fall exclusively to the mother.  My reality is that without John carrying just as much of this burden and in many ways more of it that I would not have survived to this day.

Would mommy do this?  Not this mommy.

Please share any stories of special needs fathers with my blog readers... I would love to share them.  Stacie

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Home and School for the Blind by Dilip Bhatia

My friend Dilip Bhatia has just been announced Photographer of the Year 2011 Professional Category Overall by the PX3 Prix Paris (Europe's top most photography award)!  

Entry Title: Happy Home & School For The Blind
, India
Category: Professional, Fine Art

Entry Description:

A book from daily life for a NGO of visually impaired children designed to create awareness and generate funds for the school. 

About the Artist:

Operates from Mumbai,India

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Cards All Around

The boys and I took advantage of an event with PIC while John was working very long hours.  Off to Hope Hospice in Fort Myers for pizza and art. 

Surely all of you are jealous that we spend our social time in a hospice conference room!  It is not exactly social since all of the other families attending spoke Spanish only, if they did speak English they were not going to share it with me.  No, not exactly the outings I envisioned with my children.  Nonetheless, I am grateful.  I do confess I may not make the trip again unless necessary before the evaporator is fixed on the jeep.  OK, I'm actually about to make it again and farther for Riley's PT and a wheelchair repair.  The boys made no complaints as the sweat dripped off them and a thunderstorm threatened to soak us all.  The relief of having someone capable feed Riley for just one meal motivated me to make the drive. 

As I ate quietly and watched the boys, I contemplated how important even these few moments are to me.  Without having these few moments of occasional respite somewhere beyond the parents spelling each other helps maintain sanity. 
Riley was so happy to be with Miss Debbie P. for awhile he laughed heartily for several minutes.  A group of FGCU students, belonging to P.A.T.C.H. (Project Art Therapy For Childrens Health, coaxed Ronan to take on a paint project.  "What shall we do?" asked Juan.  "A father's day card," Ronan answered.  Knowing he already had made a card for Daddy I was curious.  Soon it took shape and receiving some help from Maria he had a wheelchair placed prominently on his artwork.  "Riley needs some help with his card," Ronan explained. 
Quite the oversized card... so I leave you to fill in the missing letters.

Ronan is always looking out for his family.  Such a burden to carry for a six year old.  Yet, to Ronan it is not a burden, he is simply fulfilling his place in his family and does it joyfully.  There was no resentment, no frustration, no sadness that he had to fill this void for both his brother and his father.  I sensed only satisfaction from Ronan.  A few feet away Riley laughed again.

No, definitely not the family time I imagined for my future.  It has its sadness.  But we each find some gratification as well, I still have two magical boys and an amazing husband.

We are all special... by Stacie

Note: P.A.T.C.H. will consider events.  For more information contact Marisa at  I also have a few pamphlets to share.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Let's Get Social Sunday

Let's Get Social Sunday

My brother is special, and it’s not because of his disability – The Express Tribune Blog

My brother is special, and it’s not because of his disability – The Express Tribune Blog

Thank you to author Mehreen Asghar for sharing this touching post! "I like the idea of this blog as I am a sister to a special needs child. Let me know if I can contribute in any way at all. I wrote an article about special needs children a couple of months back in a newspaper blog in my country."

You can find more from Mehreen on her blog

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wheelchair Cleaning by Daddy

Dinner was delicious!
Riley could not get enough.
After having his fill he sat and contemplated his meal from the safety of his wheelchair.
Then perhaps dinner was not quite sitting right and back it came.
The first warning arriving when his leg tremors appeared to be motorized.
Everywhere!  Remember The Vomitorium from the movie Stand By Me.
The scene had horrified me, little did I know how close to my reality it would become.
Trying not to slip across the tile and spread the stuff more than absolutely necessary,
I rush Riley to the shower. 
Daddy has removed the wheelchair and all contents to the lanai.
Ronan has retired to a corner of the couch he hopes will not be reached by the shower Riley is causing, barricading himself behind the cushions and immersing himself in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien.
Soon, the floor is piled here and there with discarded clothes, burp cloths, towels, sheets and diapers.
The washing machine is again hard at work.  Daddy and Mommy run around in various states of undress.  Ben 10 gets a little louder.
The wheelchair is unrecognizable as each part that could be dismantled is strewn across the lanai.
The hose runs at full blast across the various pieces.
Somehow the stuffed frogs are spared.
 Riley's medications refuse to stay down.  By 4:35 am we are all worn out but still hear his reaction to a muscle spasm triggering seizure #81.  No stopping it now without anti-seizure drugs in his system.
Diastat to the rescue.  Event ceases by 4:44 am.
Riley finishes this with a great big yawn,
as if to say "Oh, glad that's over, I'm a little tired now."
Daddy goes off to a full day of work after this eventful night.
No idea how he manages that.
Riley has the muscle tone of a wet blanket.
Cancel ESY and horseback riding at NEC.
Waiting by the door,
Ronan cannot wait to get to Vacation Bible School.
Wheelchair needs to be reassembled.
Another day in the Life of Riley.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Freedom Waters of the Chesapeake Bay

Marylanders, take your special needs sailing!

Following the footsteps of the Amazing Debra Frenkel of Freedom Waters Foundation... there is now a new organization for special needs families and children, please check them out Freedom Waters of the Chesapeake Bay on Facebook.!
Latest newsletter here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Boundless Playgrounds

Donna will be so pleased... I have discovered a website listing Boundless Playgrounds!

Below is a list of the top 10

The closest playground to us is Corkscrew Elementary School, 1065 County Road 858.  This accessible playground happened due to a very dynamic group of local moms who decided to make it happen set up their own nonprofit a couple years ago.

My personal favorite is at Give Kids the World.
Hope you find one near you... Stacie

Not Alright With Me...

Funny, I felt my stomach tightening just pulling into the parking lot for Vacation Bible School.  Handicap Parking is always filled with unauthorized users.  This person likely was picking up children learning the same lesson I just heard all the way home.  "God is watching all of us."

"So", I wonder "Am I a bad Catholic for resenting this violation?"  Perhaps... but if I do not object to this abuse no one else will.  I find this at each and every school we have participated in since Riley landed in his wheelchair.  I should have left my note... unfortunately, it was extremely hot and our air conditioning is broken so I did not write the traditional note and approached only this vehicle and not the other two violators.  Shame on me for allowing this to happen I suppose.  It is not alright with me and I am not done yet.

This is my discovery today..., a website for reporting the Handicapped Parking Fraud.  I wonder if it works.  I hope it does.

Meanwhile, time for me to wrestle with my religion... oh wait, first Riley needs lunch, then therapy... then a snack.  Ok, I'll wrestle with it in the next life and for the most part leave it to the other bloggers.

We are all special... especially those who have the deserve the handicapped parking over Riley... Stacie

6/15 update... There were three violators yesterday and a different three today one of which remained throughout the day.  My church and the volunteer coordinator wants the volunteers and parishioners to park as they will and requested me to leave it alone.  This is the same attitude I have encountered at each and every school, church and organization we have been involved with.  No, special needs does not get the support.  You may want to believe they do but it is a misconception.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shalom from the Holy Land - by Donna Lee

Shalom from the holy land. It is so good to be home, to feel the Mediterranean sun and winds on my skin, to smell the orange blossoms as I ride my bike through the orchards and fields. To hear everyone greet each other with "shalom" and/or "Chag Sameach" (happy holiday) on Shevuot, the day the 10 commandments were handed to Moses on Mount Sinai. And to dodge the cars of the  craziest drivers in the world (that is why I choose the unpaven paths!!!).

"FRIENDS! In this park we are friends, all of us - we meet, play and are friendly!"

But most of all, it fills my heart to see how this small country has such a GREAT awareness to children and adults with disabilities. Today I had the pleasure of revisiting one of the nicest parks I know of, in Ra'anana, which caters to children with special needs. 

 "This park has been made especially for our children with special needs.
Please give them the right of way, allowing them to be first."

The unique school I use to work for, Beit Issie Shapiro built a play area, in this park, with much thought and planning so that children with any type of challenge can enjoy the outdoor activities. It is also encouraged, in the many adorable signs, for ALL children to play together, follow the safety rules and to help those who are in "designer " motorized or manual wheelchairs.
 "It's fun to play together, all we need is to follow the rules."

As I explored and experienced the different apparatuses with my grandson, I thought of my friend Riley and how I would place him in or on the various swings and carousels. And how Ronan would have a BLAST with us.
 Wheelchair Carousel

The park was full of young adults riding specialized bicycles with their counselors running beside them.  Sorry, my batteries ran out, no photos (I will return and make sure to get some). They are 3-wheelers with special handle bars and velcro straps to keep the feet on the peddles. The smiles on the riders' faces were from ear to ear.  And bicycles built for two, where the riders on the back are blind. I said to myself, "why can't we have a place like this in South West Florida?!?!?!?" The wheels in my mind are turning............

Sure, this is a tiny, stress-full, crowded country, with hot tempered and emotional citizens, but the awareness of the needs of others is amazing. It makes me very proud to be part of it.
One of the many ingenious swings.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Celebrate the Kindergartner

Today is all about celebration! 
Today, Ronan is a Kindergarten Graduate!
Not so long ago, we had forgotten the meaning of celebration.
Ronan is largely the reason.  He is pure joy.
I talk about bringing the smile back to Riley and our family, Ronan is largely responsible for its return.
I am thankful our family has discovered it again.
 So sorry Honey... you are the father of a First Grader!
 He has been awarded "Student of the Year" and "Marital Arts Student of the 4th Quarter!"
Yes, Celebration has returned.  I nearly thought it would never be again.

May I share a post from another blog when reminds me of those times... but without the nurse who shows up in the night.
It is possible for life to improve.
Thank you for my beautiful, magical sons!


The Kindergarten Graduate

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Disability Blog Carnival Ride

Butterfly Dreams is hosting a Blog Carnival with the theme "community"... thoughts anyone?

End of the School Year

To each of you who sent me reminders to not be so tough on myself, the "Non-Optimist."  Thank you so much for your support.

Ronan is now a fully appreciated youth by Optimist International.  Above he poses with his much loved Kindergarten teacher back in class after the ceremony.

Riley decided to rest during his End of the Year Ceremony.  Mrs. K awards Riley a certificate pictured above.  She put together a lovely celebration including a slide presentation that made the audience tear up.  The presentation actually showed the class really enjoying themselves throughout the year.  I was most pleased to see the great turn-out for each of the seven classmates. 

My boys have been very fortunate this year to have dedicated and loving teachers and staff supporting them!

Tomorrow... Kindergarten Graduation!  We will see an answer to the question "Can John handle knowing his youngest child is.... A FIRST GRADER!"


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My sons, The Optimist Awardees

How do I explain this confusion I feel today?  Ronan has been selected to receive an outstanding student award this afternoon from Optimist International.  I am about to leave for the Optimist International Youth Appreciation Ceremony at Bonita Springs Preparatory andFitness Academy.

I am so proud of Ronan for being selected among his peers for this recognition.

This also causes some sadness.

Last year at this time Riley received the same award at Rayma C. Page.  How did Riley merit this award.   Am I not giving him the recognition he deserves?  I felt very disturbed last year at this same time when Riley received the same letter.  What kind of mother is not overjoyed when her child is recognized for his perseverance and attitude.  I did not celebrate this award.  I did not pat Riley on the back and talk to him about how great he did.  I did not give him a gift or special treat for his efforts.  How could I when he never noticed he was singled out in this manner.

Now I go to a special ceremony to celebrate Ronan in a manner I was incapable of celebrating Riley.

I have tears in my eyes now and I must pull myself together and go be the supportive mom I am supposed to be.  But at the moment I dislike myself intensely.

How do I rectify these two awards to two very different children?

How do I really appreciate the achievements of both my sons?  I appreciate them, unfortunately when it comes to Riley I still have a long journey to make.  Not having to make that same emotional journey for Ronan certainly leaves me with some disappointment in myself.

Not now, heading to a ceremony and it is time to not revel in my own life disappointments.  Remember Mommy, be fully present and appreciative of the special needs child and the typical child.  I am Mommy and it is not fair for me to be wallowing.  Time to be fully present for my children.

Clearly this award would not apply to this Mommy...

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself ...
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Optimist Mission
By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in kids.

Optimist Vision
Optimist International will be recognized worldwide as the premier volunteer organization that values all children and helps them develop to their full potential. 

We are all special... Stacie

Save the Date: Walk for the Way

September 24, 2011

Check-in:   8:00 am
Walk begins:   9:00 am

North Collier Regional Park
15000 Livingston Road

Every year, the United Way of Collier County helps support over two dozens social serves agencies, who in turn help more than 100,000 Collier County residents! That's one out of every three people who live and work here! 

They are our friends, neighbors, co-workers, children who receive medical and dental care, the elderly or they may be one of us who might need the counseling that Catholic Charities offers.  Take the first step.  Put on those walking shoes and join us at our 6th Annual "Walk for the Way"! 

Thank you,

Melissa Saracino
Program & Volunteer Manager
Naples Equestrian Challenge

206 Ridge Drive Naples, Florida 34108
Tel:   + 1 239 596 2988
Fax:  + 1 239 514 2908

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Beyond Gluten-Free: The Chitin Binging Bombshell

There are no plans for me to stop eating wheat, especially when paired with sugar.

This newsletter linked here sent out by Sayer at our local health food store helps me understand some of the mechanics John and I practice when planning Riley's meals.  Riley's severe food allergies dictated our daily lives for quite some time.  His tiny little body was so sensitive to everything he consumed.  I plan on pursuing this more in depth on a later date.  Perhaps there are other readers who could use this information now for their younger and very sensitive children.  I trust some will find this helpful.  You can find more on

Should anyone find my posts helpful... I would love to hear about it.

Since I have your attention... here are some recent finds by The Shark Tooth Guy, aka John!

I will catch up with you all later... there is some freshly baked lemon blueberry bread calling me. 
Good Night!  Stacie

Disable Bullying

Friday, June 3, 2011

Special Opportunity for the Immokolee Community - letter from IHOPE

There is a segment of our wonderful community that is not having their needs met. Listen with an open heart to this plea for help. “I have a brother with Downs Syndrome whose name is Ray.  Ray lives with me, a working single mother, and my nine-year old son. When I go to work my brother Ray stays home and watches television or plays on his playstation.  He does nothing all day but stay at home, because there are no services available for him.  I started looking around to see if there was some kind of program out there for him to attend and unfortunately there isn’t any.  He could go to a day program in Naples, but there is no transportation or extra funds on my part to be able to get him to a day program there.  The waiver list that he is on has a long waiting list and the day programs in Naples do not provide transportation for the people in Immokalee.  I started thinking; why is there no kind of program here in Immokalee? We are part of Collier County and there are plenty of families here in town with children or adults with disabilities that need that support here, leaving us with a sense of worthlessness.  These special people are creatures of God with feelings and thoughts of their own that need to be heard; however, there is no program here in Immokalee where they can go and have their needs met.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a program here in Immokalee where my brother and others like him in the community where they could socialize and have their needs met?   He graduated from high school in 1996 and since then he has done nothing but sit at home because of lack of accommodations for people like him.”
Grace Mungia would like to invite the people from the community to join her to address the issues and come up with a solution. Together the families with members of special needs children and adults could come together and address this important need in our community and make a difference for our special loved ones.
On June 6, 2011 we’d like to invite anyone from the community with loved ones with disabilities, and any other organization that would be interested in helping face this important issue, to attend a special meeting at 7:00 P.M. in Sanders Hall next to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. I can be reached at 239.357.7998, or by email at

There are many disabled adults in Immokalee, and many are not being served by organizations. Would you please attend the meeting next Monday, June 6th at 7 P.M. at Sanders Hall, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church to give your input.
Richard L. Heers, Executive Director, I HOPE, Inc.,
Mailing address: P.O. Box 777, Immokalee, FL 34143-0777
Office and warehouse (I D C) located at 2050 Commerce Ave.,
Unit #7 at the Tradeport Technology Warehouse,
across from the entrance to the airport