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ME Magazine - Spring 2012


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The Spring 2012 issue

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ME Magazine - Spring 2012

  1. 1. Celebrating the lives of children with developmental disabilities Spring 2012 Heart of Hope Contents One child’s journey to a life well lived has become the hope of Angels of Hope.............................. 2 thousands more with developmental disabilities. Will You Be an Angel? Learning........................................ 3 Judith Ann was born in 1946 with multiple disabilities. Her parents Zoo Animals Open Jacqari’s World believed their daughter, like any child, deserved an education. They Living ............................................ 4 searched the world for a school that could manage her disabilities and Andy’s Mom Goes to War help her learn. They found none. Taking Care ................................... 5 So Judy’s parents started a school in a small house on a tree-lined Alesha Ventures Into Adulthood street. They called it “Hope.” Their goal – to help Judy live a quality life Discovering Hope.......................... 6 – remains Hope’s goal today. Wilma is a Familiar Face at HILA Hope’s Children Depend on You .... 7 That small house has evolved into a 25-acre campus. And the school Become an Angel of Hope has evolved into a statewide Institute that offers not only educational Giving the Gift of Hope ................. 7 but also residential, health care and therapeutic services – all designed Leave a Legacy of Hope especially for children who, like Judy, have multiple and complex Gifts at Work ................................. 8 developmental disabilities. Community Gets Healthy for Hope Children come to Hope to learn how to live to the very best of their abilities. Some of Hope’s young ladies soon will transition to our first on- campus, single-family home. The “Nyre Home,” named in honor of Dr. Joseph E. Nyre, former Hope president/CEO, replaces an outdated, dormitory-style residence. These young women now have a street address and a kitchen, family room and backyard to call their own. Providing loving homes for children on Hope’s campus and throughout the community is just one part of the journey we share with them. Our connection starts before they arrive at Hope and does not end when they leave. Parents like Jennifer – called to duty in Iraq with no one to care for her son – rely on us in crises. Alesha has moved to an adult home but Hope staff stay connected to ensure all is well. Their heartfelt stories are in this issue. A big world awaits the children of Hope. They are taking careful steps toward independence. With your support, more children will have new homes to call their Interim President/CEO Clint Paul, right, own and friends with whom to share their inspiring journeys toward reviews the design of Hope’s first on- campus, single-family home with Board adulthood. Director John Jordan, whose parents started Hope in 1957 for his sister Judy. A publication of The Hope Institute for Children and Families146816 Hope Newsletter r4.indd 1 3/21/12 11:57 AM
  2. 2. Angels of Hope Our Children Need So Much Love and Care Could you be their Angel of Hope? Angels of Hope are dedicated friends help Hope effectively budget for the who ensure the best possible care for care of our boys and girls for years to Hope’s special needs children. come. Your Angel of Hope commitment will give them the promise of joyous, By making a monthly gift of $10, $5 or independent futures. whatever you can afford, you can bring the finest living, learning and wellness Hope’s children need the loving support services The Hope Institute offers to of Angels in their lives. Their challenges children who need and deserve them and struggles are truly considerable – the most. but their determination and courage are inspiring beyond words. As an Angel of Hope, you will join a compassionate family of donors who Help us make hopeful futures for children with disabilities. Become an Angel of Hope today. Just fill out the reply card on page 7 and mail it with your first gift. Or, visit www. to donate online. Thank you for being an Angel to Hope’s wonderful children! Brittany celebrates success at the bowling alley, one of Hope children’s favorite outings. To refer a child for services offered by The Hope Instituteme is a publication of The Hope Institute for Children and or to learn moreFamilies. For inquiries or comments, please contact us at (217) 585-5119, or about Hope services, PO Box 2817, Springfield, IL 62708-2817. please call 217-585-5437. Writer/Editor: Courtney Reed Contributor: Will Jamison Photographers: Kimberly Smoot and Suzanne Plunkett 2 Spring 2012146816 Hope Newsletter r4.indd 2 3/21/12 11:57 AM
  3. 3. Learning HILA’s Partnership With Zoo Opens World for Jacqari Jacqari is a happy 7-year-old who loves animals. He is a lot like his friends at The Hope Institute Learning Academy (HILA) in Chicago. But Jacqari has a form of autism affecting his speech and language skills, and expressing himself can be a challenge. This changed in part through HILA’s transitioning from speaking a few words at innovative partnership with Chicago’s a time to conversational sentences. Lincoln Park Zoo. Zoo educators visited “He became a sponge in his first-grade students to teach them about wild classroom at HILA,” Rashaun says. “He animals. What Jacqari absorbed in the was exposed to so many new things and classroom he applied when he visited began making friends. Group outings, like the zoo. During HILA’s first Family Day to Lincoln Park Zoo, have broadened his at Lincoln Park Zoo, attended by 300 world view.” children, family members and friends, Jacqari demonstrated his knowledge to Learning about wild animals and visiting his mom, Rashaun. the zoo has given Jacqari an experience that helps him connect with others. “He clearly knew the animals and their habitats and how to navigate the zoo,” “Now he tells us about his day at school,” she says. Rashaun says. “He’s a little rough on my houseplants, where he creates habitats Later he told the story of his visit by for his animal toys … but this shows me drawing a large zoo map. That he did so Jacqari is learning at HILA and I couldn’t from memory delighted Rashaun. be happier.” Like many parents of children with autism, Jacqari’s mom and dad struggled to find support after he was diagnosed at age three. He progressed academically and socially in the Head Start Program but regressed in kindergarten without access to autism-focused special needs services. That story shifted last year when he came to HILA. Attending both special needs and general education classes, Jacqari began Jacqari, relaxing at HILA with his mom, loves to visit the animals at Lincoln Park Zoo. me magazine 3146816 Hope Newsletter r4.indd 3 3/21/12 11:57 AM
  4. 4. Living When Andy’s Mom Faced Deployment, Hope Was His Last Hope What would happen to Andy, who has severe developmental disabilities, if his only parent were called to war? So began his mom’s most important battle. Panic was setting in. Jennifer, a nurse Soon, Jennifer’s crisis hit. She was and Captain in the National Guard, called to Iraq with less than a month’s knew deployment was around the notice. But by then she had won her corner. She knew no one who could first battle, gaining the state’s approval care for 17-year-old Andy and the state to place Andy at Hope if she were to would not admit him to a residential deploy. She and Andy said goodbye. care facility. Three days later she was 5,000 miles away, assigned to an intensive care “The state requires a family to be in unit. ‘crisis’ to receive residential placement,” Jennifer says. “By their standards, our “I felt like I was leaving him in the care situation was not a crisis.” of strangers,” Jennifer says. “I cried myself to sleep for weeks.” To Jennifer, it was. If she were ordered to deploy and did not have Andy’s Hope caregivers quickly a military-required care plan for became like family. After four months Andy, she would be discharged and of serving her country, Jennifer is lose everything: her income, military home now and at peace with her son’s housing and all benefits. new life. “He needs to stay at Hope because I’m still deployable,” Jennifer says. “More importantly, he’s gaining independence and excelling.” Andy keeps his mom close to his heart. Every morning, with his hand over his heart, Andy recites the Pledge of Allegiance to the best of his ability. This makes Jennifer proud. “Andy is doing what all kids are supposed to do,” she says. “He’s growing up, going to prom, working and belonging. He’s happy.” “Although it’s bittersweet for me, I know Hope is where my son is supposed to be,” says Jennifer, Andy’s mom. 4 Spring 2012146816 Hope Newsletter r4.indd 4 3/21/12 11:57 AM
  5. 5. Taking Care Alesha Ventures Into Adulthood Fully Prepared Getting around Hope’s campus took time for Alesha, not because she uses a wheelchair but because her irresistible smile and open arms invited hugs from everyone in her path. Hope is a protected, safe environment Saying goodbye to Alesha was hard. where hugs happen daily. But Alesha But she and her Hope team had worked was moving toward adulthood and life toward that moment for nine years. Now in the larger world. As a 20-year-old she has successfully transitioned to a woman made vulnerable by profound new home she shares with other adult cognitive disabilities and cerebral palsy, women with disabilities. Alesha rides she needed to learn other ways to the bus daily to work in a sheltered socialize with people. workshop and enjoys regular outings with her peers. So her Hope team began teaching Alesha that giving high fives and waving Hope staff stay connected – as they do are fun, too. for each young adult leaving Hope – to ensure all is well. “Every skill our children have when they reach adulthood increases their chances “The way Hope children experience life of living happily,” says Maria Millburg, changes from season to season. We will Hope Case Manager. “Our focus from always be here for them,” Maria says. day one was on building Alesha’s basic life skills.” This is true for all Hope children, who have unique education plans identifying independent living skills they must develop. Alesha learned such skills as interacting with adults and strangers in age-appropriate ways; participating in household activities, such as sorting silverware; and maneuvering her wheelchair. “Every school day Alesha practiced pushing away from the walls when her wheelchair got stuck,” says Christen Shelton, her teacher. “When staff from her new adult home came to Hope to meet Alesha, they were very impressed that she could move around so well by herself.” Alesha participated in her last Prom Grand March at Hope with escort Mike Twist, a Job Coach in Hope’s Vocational Program. me magazine 5146816 Hope Newsletter r4.indd 5 3/21/12 11:57 AM
  6. 6. Discovering Hope “Volunteer Lady” Wilma Models Compassion at HILA Hundreds of students, teachers and parents gather in the courtyard of The Hope Institute Learning Academy (HILA) in Chicago when the dismissal bell rings. Wilma Gibson greets them all. She is a volunteer who is a familiar and much- appreciated face at the school. “Parents and teachers call me the HILA relies on the good will of family volunteer lady,” says Wilma. “They ask and friends to assist the complex me, ‘Can you help?’ And I help.” job of educating 100 children with special needs alongside 300 typically Wilma’s connection to HILA is her developing children in grades K-5. grandson Daveion, a fourth grader who Unlike any other public school, HILA follows his grandmother’s example. provides highly tailored services within Like Wilma, he serves food to the a general education environment to hungry at his church. He relishes children of all abilities. helping at school, too. Volunteers read to children, don “Everybody in my class has a job,” gloves and help open food packages Daveion says. “I hand out books and in the cafeteria, guide students pencils … I get to help everybody.” during morning arrival and between classes, and maintain a quiet hallway environment. Wilma does it all with an affectionate demeanor and quiet voice that draws in and calms HILA’s young girls and boys. She knows they are watching her show compassion to and acceptance of all people – and she feels joy watching them come into their own. “My best memory is walking a boy with disabilities to his vision and hearing screening at the Health and Wellness Center at school,” Wilma says. “He struggled to walk but tried so hard. At the year-end assembly, I cried watching him jump and laugh with other children on stage.” Wilma has a message for anyone wishing to help HILA children, typically developing or not: “With patience, you will see the difference you make in their lives.” Wilma’s calm and steadfast presence is a comfort to her grandson Daveion and all HILA students. 6 Spring 2012146816 Hope Newsletter r4.indd 6 3/21/12 11:57 AM
  7. 7. Hope’s Children Depend on You Suppor t Our Special Boys and Girls by Making a Gift Today Thank you for inviting me to become an Angel of Hope by offering The Hope Institute my committed financial support. K I accept your invitation and will do my best to give a gift of $_________ K Monthly K Every other month K Quarterly K I prefer to charge my gift to The Hope Institute and have filled out the credit card information below. K I prefer not to make a commitment, but offer my support today with a gift of K $25 K $15 K $_________. K Please charge $_________________ to my credit card on a one-time basis. I have filled out the credit card information below. Credit Card Information: K Please charge my K Visa K MasterCard K American Express Account Number: ––– Expiration Date: ______/______ Printed name as it appears on your card: _______________________________________________________________________ Signature: ___________________________________________________Cell phone/telephone: ___________________________ Email: __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Would you like to become an Ambassador of Hope? K Please contact me about becoming an Ambassador of Hope. Create a Legacy of Hope for the Children of The Hope Institute K I have remembered The Hope Institute in my will. Thank you for your generous tax-deductible gift. Please make checks payable to The Hope Institute. PO Box 2817 • Springfield, IL 62708-2817 Please remove reply at perforation, fold and enclose it with your gift in the envelope provided. Thank you! Giving the Gift of Hope Create a Legacy of Hope When you remember The Hope Institute in your will or estate plans, you create a lasting legacy of hope for children who need so much. A bequest to The Hope Institute for Children and Families is a wonderful way to remember the special needs of Hope’s boys and girls far into the future. And it is a most meaningful way for you to be remembered. We wish to acknowledge the generosity of the following friends who have made bequests in their estate plans to benefit the future of Hope’s children: Francis E. Albus Falisevac Family Hilda Padgett Richard V. Bernard Clara A. Hamilton Alfreda J. Schueler Kathleen Crowe Lillian P Heimler . Bernard Soffer Ruth M. Davis Katherine B. Hunter Anthony P Sortisio, Sr. . Waldo E. Davis Helen S. Jarvis Paul Underberg Dominick F. De Nardo Don Libert William Von Dell Marie A. Elphick Angelina Maldarelli For more information about how to include The Hope Institute in your estate plans, please call Tom LeClair at (217) 585-5119. me magazine 7146816 Hope Newsletter r4.indd 7 3/21/12 11:57 AM
  8. 8. NON PROFIT The US POSTAGE Hfor Children and Families OPE INSTITUTE PAID SOUTH SUBURBAN PERMIT NO 799 15 East Hazel Dell Lane PO Box 2817 Springfield, IL 62708-2817 Gifts At Work Donors Turn Passion for Health Into Help for Hope The Chiapetto family considers its good health a gift. Each year the family puts this gift to work helping the children of Hope. The “Rochester 5K Fun Run and Walk” is say. “We see firsthand how happy and healthy a summer highlight in the Chiapetto’s Hope children are.” community. Mark and Cheryl Chiapetto Each July, over 150 people heed the call to founded this event to raise awareness of fitness and run, race-walk or simply walk. Those health and fitness. Enthusiastic participation crossing the line first are not the only winners. turned it into an annual event and inspired The race gives away major raffle prizes donated the family to choose a local organization to by local businesses and then donates 100% of benefit. They proceeds to The Hope Institute. Hope counts chose Hope. on this annual gift to fund recreational and “Supporting fitness activities that support the health and Hope drives wellness of Hope children. home the “I am so proud of all the people who come out event’s key for this event,” the Chiapettos say. “They’re message … taking care of themselves and, whether they live a healthy realize it or not, children in this community life,” Mark who need us.” and Cheryl 5K participants get ready to run and walk for Hope children. (Photo courtesy of the Chiapetto family.)146816 Hope Newsletter r4.indd 8 3/21/12 11:57 AM