Claudy's House Newsletter - October 2006
|Volume 1 Issue 2|| |
| ||A Mother's Wish By: Frances Capozzi Alvin|
|A Mother's Wish |
Cluady's House on the WebClaudy's House
Walking for a Cause - Claudy's House first Walk-a-thon
A Note from the President
Filling the need for Adult Group Homes (first of a 2 part series)
Blankets For Sale
What is a mother’s wish for her child? Happiness, friends, self sufficiency and independence come to mind.
A mother of a special needs child has these wishes and more.
When asking a mother, of a now almost twenty year old young man, what she wanted for her son now that he was finishing school, she responded: “I want him to work in a job where he has co-workers that will engage him in conversation… they will include him. I don’t want him working in a job that hires special needs adults but they work in an atmosphere isolated from those like themselves or in an atmosphere with those who do not offer compassion or friendship. A social atmosphere is important. He needs to feel a sense of self worth and he needs to continue to grow.”
This is from a mother, a father and a family who have worked, since their son Michael was born, to provide support, stimulation and education. They visited countless schools to view programs and watch the children and teachers in action. They searched for caregivers who would perpetuate the values and skills they incorporated into the everyday life of their child. Having made this child a priority has paid off
tremendously. Michael is friendly, social and engaging. He is inquisitive, loving and well mannered. The family recognizes his limitations; yet they are aware of his abilities. They hope that as he grows older he will continue to develop skills. They recognize that now is the time to find ‘work’ and a life for their son beyond the protection of the family circle.
Is this mother living in a world of dreams? Or is this mother living in a world of possibilities? In this world of 2006, is it not possible to provide job opportunity for our special needs citizens? Could there be such a place that would encourage growth and the development of responsibility? Could there be a place that provides a home with the love and caring of a family, but allows the individual to live as a self-sufficient adult?
One mother’s wish, in Pittsburgh, will become a reality because of the dream of another mother miles and miles away in Texas. The wish of a mother in Pittsburgh is echoed by the mothers of developmentally challenged adults across the country.
This wish was the dream and now the reality of Claudette Wilkinson Bryant in Dallas, Texas.
This wish was the wish, the dream and now the reality of Claudette Wilkinson Bryant in Dallas, Texas. Her dedication to her developmentally challenged son and her strong Christian faith guided her to be a part of Texas Early Childhood.
Her dedication to her developmentally challenged son and her strong Christian faith guided her to be a part of Texas Early Childhood Intervention Board. Her educational background led her to be and activist for the children who are often forgotten. Her dream was on its way to becoming a reality but tragically, this mother’s life was cut short. Yet her spirit, her dedication and her dream continues as the first Claudy’s House is coming closer to fruition. Her legacy is a testament to
the dedication and love shared by all mothers of these special children.
The board of director’s of Claudy’s House is busy laying plans for the first independent living facility to house special needs adults. It will provide independence in a community setting where like adults can live, socialize and function as a family. These special needs individuals will go to their jobs each day and feel the pride and satisfaction of living on their own. Their parents will have comfort knowing their child is living and growing to be a self-sufficient and productive member of society. With God’s blessing, there will be parents, across the country, smiling and experiencing that same feeling as each new Claudy’s House opens its doors.
|Claudy's House on the Web|
Claudy’s House for Developmentally Challenged Adults now has a website. Included on the web page is information about our mission, how the organization is progressing and accomplishing it’s goals, updates on fund-raisers and upcoming events and information on how you can make a donation to Claudy’s House. Please visit us on the web at:
|Walking For a Cause by Erica L. Harris|
The first ever Claudy’s House walkathon was held on June 3, 2006 at Flint Central High School in Flint, Michigan. The event was a monumental success and helped galvanize several community members, volunteers and walkers to action, all in an effort to provide a better life for developmentally challenged adults. Lennex and Linda Burroughs, both Executive Board Members for the organization, served as the co-coordinators for the event and had plenty to say about what made this first walkathon such a tremendous success.
Q: This was the first walkathon for Claudy’s House. Would you consider it a success?
A: Yes it was a tremendous success because the community at large, Flint and Genesse County, embraced the idea and the purpose of Claudy’s House. In addition to embracing the mission, they also showed a willingness to support the idea financially and assisted in the form of service in anyway they could.
Q: What was the original goal for the walkathon?
A: Our goal was to raise a substantial amount of funds to go toward operating costs and the purchase of the first Claudy’s House. The community helped us to go above and beyond the goals that we set. We well exceeded our original goal and raised over $14,000!
Q: How were you able to rally the support of the community?
A: We made personal presentations to many people. We also spoke with groups in the community, and we had an aggressive radio and TV campaign.
Q: Tell me about an individual example of generosity that you felt captured the essence of Claudy’s House and its mission.
A: A young man named Nieves Hernandez saw a presentation that was done on Claudy’s House. After seeing that, he felt the purpose of Claudy’s House was a worthy one. He had won $50 in an essay contest about Martin Luther King and he was so moved that he felt his earnings would be better spent by donating his money to Claudy’s House. He believed the mission of Claudy’s House aligned closely to what Martin Luther King said about giving back to the community and serving, and he wanted to be a part of an organization that was making a positive difference.
Q: Since the walkathon was successful, what are your plans for the future?
A: The Claudy’s House walkathon will be an annual event in Flint and in Dallas and eventually in other cities as we continue to grow. The ultimate goal is to have several Claudy’s Houses throughout the U.S. and eventually globally.
Q: Tell me about the scholarship that was created in memory of Claudette M. Bryant.
A: This year, Claudette’s siblings and her mother contributed to a scholarship in her memory. The Board later determined that 10% of the walkathon earnings in Flint would go to a Flint Area HS student for years to come. We anticipate the walkathon will grow each year, and thus so will the scholarship fund.
Q: How can people become involved in next year’s walkathon?
A: Visit our website at www.claudyhouse.org. Also, consider Claudy’s House in your charitable giving. Remember our purpose and look for other fund raising and service opportunities in the community regarding Claudy’s House. Becoming involved in Claudy’s House is a great way to become involved in the community in a meaningful and powerful way.
|Our Progress From the President|
Claudy’s House Supporters, There is so much to say about the success of Claudy’s House, however, the first item that must be said is “Thank You”!! On behalf of the board of directors of Claudy’s House I want to express our sincere appreciation to each donor, volunteer, prayer warrior, whatever, your role has been to assist in driving this dream to fruition, we say Thank You!! This year has been a year of progress and success, please note some of the accomplishments:
Your encouragement, enthusiasm, and financial support have assisted Claudy’s House in the pursuit of achieving the mission of providing a loving Christian environment where independent living, personal growth and dignity become a reality for the developmentally challenged. These events alone are monumental steps that have assisted in paving the way for additional activities that will allow Claudy's House to be extremely successful in the future. Even with the success that we have encountered this year, we still have much work to do. Our major goals for the year include :
- Flint, Michigan Walkathon Fund Raising Event - $14,000+
- Completion of Non Profit Certification – July 2006
- Development of Claudy’s House Website
- Creation of distribution package for Large Donor Support – September 2006
- Initial Grant Requests for Claudy’s House
- The purchase of the first Claudy's House,
- Begin the search for an Executive Director,
- Raising contributions of $100,000 by end of 2006.
The Board of Claudy’s House is on track with plans to achieve our 2006 goals, we are positioned to make an impact with specific grants, and the Dallas Walkathon team is engaged to produce positive results. With these key committees ready and aligned to pursue our objectives, it is my belief that we are properly positioned to achieve our goals. However, we must pray and pursue our goal with tremendous intensity, and we must maintain our belief that we will accomplish the objectives that are before us.
We still need your support in terms of prayers, encouragement, financial assistance, and ideas that will assist in the realization of the Claudy's House mission.
I am confident that we are united as one, and that we are focused, fervent, and faithful to pursue the prize and accomplish our 2006 objectives. Please continue to pray for the success of Claudy's House, and let’s remain diligent to achieve excellence with the creation of Claudy’s Houses throughout the United States.
George D. Wilkinson
Claudy’s House - President
|Finding the Need for Assisted Living Facilities by: Phyllis Sykes|
(Part 1 of a two part series)
When you think of “assisted living” what images do you have? What disabilities and challenges do you think clients residing in an assisted living facility may have? All of the images that you visualize may represent some truths. However, an assisted living facility can be very broadly defined and may provide multiple services.
To begin, assisted living homes are generally defined as residential facilities which aim to provide individuals with the comforts of living in in a “normal” household environment by accommodating their special needs. Professional care varies from around the clock care in a very structured environment to a less intensive facility where clients have some freedoms. There are some assisted living homes that offer partially assisted living, homes for the developmentally disabled, mentally disabled, homes for the substance addicted client and homes for delinquent juveniles. To further add to the complexity are the rules and regulations, certification and licensing processes and requirements which are different from city to city, county to county and state to state.
Over the past 20 years there has been a major shift in national public policy, pushing for legislation which allows for more independent living for disabled individuals. According to Jim Woolcock of Genesee County Mental Health, Michigan has been one of the few states leading the way from ‘Institutionalization’ to ‘Assisted Living’. Woolcock says that the changes in the care for the developmentally disabled came about for several reasons. First, in the early eighties, there were significant budget cuts at the state level for institutionalized care. The second reason for the changes we currently see, was a result of the tenacious advocacy campaigns organized by the families of disabled individuals wanting to ensure that their children are given the same opportunities as every other person. Society also began to hear from disabled children and adults themselves and began to understand that they too wanted to enjoy some of the same liberties as others who go to school, get jobs, get apartments and live fulfilled, independent lives.
Our beloved Claudette had the same vision for her son Aaron. She witnessed what was available in Dallas for her son as he got older, and knew that persons like him, needed more. She was determined that a better life would be accessible for her child….and soon it will be, for many developmentally challenged adults.
Part 2: A look at the availability and need for assisted living facilities in Dallas, TX.
Claudy’s House thanks the following individuals and sponsors for their generous donations!
Blue Ribbon Donors
Dr. and Mrs. James Graham, Jr. Grand Blanc, MI
Dr. and Mrs. O. McGill, West Palm Beach, FA
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Typher
Mr. Larrry Fullwood, Columbus, OI
Mr. and Mrs C. Green, Dallas, TX
Mr. and Mrs. Al and Barbara Koegel, Flint, MI
Mr. and Mrs. George and Eraina Poole, Flint, MI
Mr. and Mrs. Larry Simpson, Flint, MI
Mr. and Mrs. R. Paul, Dallas, TX
Mr. Commodore Coles Jr. Freemensburg, PA
Mr. Corey Pate, N. Richland Hills, TX
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Macklin, Flint, MI
Mrs. Dorothy Laws, Flint, MI
Ms. Johanna Fisher, Dallas, TX
Mr. and Mrs. Mural Chew,
Mrs. Patsy Lou Williamson, Flint, MI
($150- $500 donation)
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Brown, Flint, MI
Mr. and Mrs. K. Jackson, Dallas, TX
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Lewis, Grand Blanc, MI
Mr. Carl Hays, Dallas, TX
Northwestern High School, Flint, MI
Mr. Billye G. Thompson, Flint, MI
Mrs. Randi Bennett, Littleton, CO
Ms. Sarah Isaac (AT&T)
Mr. and Mrs. Layton and Betty Galloway, Flint, MI (Advisory Board)
Janet Huff and Family, Louisiana
Mr and Mrs. A. Wilkerson, Cedar Hill, TX
Mr. and Mrs. Earl and Billie Jamison, Flint, MI
( $1000 Donations)
CW Johnson Express, Louisville, KY
Delta Freight Management LLC, Troy, MI
Walker International Transportation, LLC, Valley Stream, NY
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Williams, Mexico
Blankets for Sale By: Donna Broden
A sisters love goes farther than the eye can see. When you pass the seed of love on you are touching many lives and changing lives too. A few months after Donna Broden donated some rag blankets to one of Claudette’s favorite charities (An adoption agency in Dallas), a fantastic idea ran across her mind. “I thought I should try to make rag blankets and raise some funds for Claudy’s House,” thought Donna. She then shared the idea with her sister Linda Burroughs and Yvonne Goode and they too decided to make the blankets and sell them. As a result of this awesome idea and a lot of hard work, the sisters have raised thousand of dollars selling ‘rag’ blankets for Claudy’s House.
The rag blankets make nice birthday gifts; get well gifts and are great for just about any occasion. They can be made in your favorite colors. Blue/White for Zeta Phi Beta, Pink/Green for Alpha Kappa Alpha. Your favorite football team “Michigan” or the “Philadelphia Eagles.” We are not biased, and although many of those part of Claudy’s House are huge Michigan Wolverine fans, we will even make “Michigan State” blankets, all in the name of raising money for purchasing the first Claudy’s House. Come on! Order you next blanket now. The prices range from $25 - $60 depending on the size and the selected fleece fabric. All of Claudette’s sisters’ have been trained to make them: Yvonne, Linda, Vicki and Donna. To order a blanket contact: