How are your children enjoying their summer break? I know mine are always on the lookout for new activities to keep occupied. When school is not is session, parents also look for additional outlets to educate and entertain. This week we will give some local summer activity options that inspire kids to have fun and be creative.
New Hope for Kids is an independent, locally based charity that focuses on support and enrichment for children in Central Florida. Our mission is to support children and families grieving the death of a loved one and to grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. There is no charge for our services, which makes donations critical to our programs.
I am pleased to introduce our guest blogger Jackie Mroczka. Jackie graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2012, and has since pursued a certificate from Cornell University in Hospitality Management. While at Penn State, she earned Deans List honors several times.
The weather is warming up and many children in Central Florida are enjoying Spring Break. What a nice time it is to get out of the house and go on some exciting adventures with our loved ones. As we are getting further into the year, it is time to begin thinking about summer activities and camps that understand and accommodate children with special needs.
When children are diagnosed with a serious illness, parents and guardians, in addition to organizations like New Hope for Kids, do everything within their power to assist the child to try to make their struggle just a little less painful. Coping with a serious illness can bring on both challenges within a family, as well as opportunities. One area that often gets overlooked is the need for sibling support. This need can be looked at from two very different, yet both equally important, viewpoints. First, siblings provide valuable, much needed support and reassurance to the child with the illness in many important ways. Second, the need for an outlet for siblings to voice their concerns and build stronger relationships with both family and friends is beneficial to them, as it can provide higher self-esteem and assist them in achieving their goals.
What better way to begin your year than with a determination to make your life and the lives around you happier. That can be a tall order, and let’s be honest, we all have responsibilities to fulfill. Sound a little too light-headed or out of touch with reality? Sirena (pictured above) helped make Marc’s wish come true.
At New Hope for Kids, everyone can find a way to accomplish that worthwhile goal. Here are some ideas:
1 X Month for 8 hours – volunteer to set up, decorate and help with a family or fundraising event.
2 X Month for 5 hours – volunteer as a grief facilitator 2 evenings from 5:45 to 8:15 p.m.
3 X Month for 6 to 9 hours – volunteer to make a wish come true (like Sirena did for Marc to have his wish for a Portuguese Water dog) through research, phone calls, and contacts.
4 X Month for 8 to 16 hours – volunteer as a clerical assistant in the main office, 544 Mayo Ave., Maitland or the grief center, 900 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland.
I love this time of the year…a new beginning….an opportunity to do things differently. Apparently, I am not alone. Gym memberships increase; attics and closets are cleaned and resolutions are made in hopes of better results in the New Year. We see possibilities that the future could bring if we could only stick to our plans and make them.
As unbelievable as it sounds, 2015 is on its way out. Most assuredly, this year has come with its sparkles, fizzles and everything in between. There is a knack to letting go and moving forward. It’s not always easy for me. How about you? This may sound logical but it’s not simple: Letting go of hurtful memories, grudges or misplaced guilt encourages forward movement.
What is the secret to living more freely? Try some of these:
In March 2015, the end of Cornerstone caused a loss of $50,000 for wishes. In May, wish expenditures were capped. Any additional wishes would need to be fully financially sponsored. This has thrown New Hope’s Wishes for Kids into a transition period. Since the loss of this revenue, God has answered prayers and new wish sponsors are in place.
Twenty-two wishes had been completed by the end of June. Since then, eight more have been completely sponsored through the generosity and compassion of corporate and individual donors. Now a total of 30 children have received their wishes. We want to say thank you to the following sponsors: