SPARC has always operated with the belief that inclusivity is required for all people to engage with their community. We practice that inclusivity in everything we do, and we work hard to make sure no one is left on the outside looking in while others engage in an activity.
Sometimes that requires "hand-over-hand" guidance. Many people ask us what that means, and the answer is pretty simple. Just as anyone might reach out to steady someone who stumbles while walking next to them, guiding hand-over-hand allows a SPARC club member to participate in an activity with another person's help.
Not all SPARC members need that kind of assistance. Just like everyone, SPARC members have areas in which they excel and areas in which they could use a helping hand.
Today we need a helping hand from you in the form of a donation as we extend our mission to our friends who don't have access to a place like SPARC. Some are just out of high school and they want to be involved in the world, not stuck at home with few outside activities and limited contact with other people.
SPARC participates in our community. One of the most remarkable things other organizations tell us they envy is how SPARC members learn about interacting with their community by doing outreach with others in the community.
Help us reach our goals of adult learning, self-sufficiency, and helping our community. Did you know that SPARC members:
In 2014, our art work (part of our art therapy) will appear in an art show at a local community college. We are also working on The Accommodated Cookbook, a book and video for creating family style meals when someone in the group has a special need.
Every time we help our community, we also help ourselves by learning, doing and participating.
We still must open more facilities. People reach out to us all the time and ask us if they or a loved one can participate in SPARC. We just don't have the space in our current facilities.
During this holiday season, help us help others by donating to the launch of our third location. We're having to do this on our own, and just like we sometimes need to assist in a hand-over-hand way so that everyone is included, we need you to put your hand on ours now.
We continue to receive tremendous pro-bono support from professionals in the community and love from civic groups who are sometimes our arms and legs in setting up and tearing down tents at the farmer's market.
We also need dollars to continue the work we do for ourselves and others. Please donate so that we can reach adults with disabilities who need help becoming involved in their communities.
Summer is the time for outings on sunny days, laughter and moments of friendship shared on an excursion away from home.
This month our friends at SPARC visited Great Falls, Virginia. A beautiful 800 acre national park surrounds the waterfalls in the Potomac River that separate Virginia and Maryland. They are beautiful falls that contain sections that are classified as Class 5 white water, which means only world's best kayakers can successfully navigate them.
So how do you get so many adults who have disabiities to one of the overlooks in this large and beautiful national treasure?
We do whatever it takes to create complete inclusion. Our entire club is based on the belief that everyone should be able to interact with their community. And how can you live near some place this beautiful and not visit, even if you are in a motorized wheelchair weighing several hundred pounds?
We make those trips possible, just like we adapt education, art and even entrepreneurship to the best way SPARC members can participate rather than sitting at home in front of a television screen.
Your help means that we can continue this work of empowering everyone to participate in fun and work that we sometimes all take for granted. Giving a small amount each month helps you and us plan. Please donate one of these amounts on a monthly basis.
$10 a month hosts our club members’ website
$20 a month purchases art and music therapy supplies
$30 a month replenishes consumable supplies in the clubhouse
$40 a month covers our storage unit rental fee
SPARC can only increase the number of people we help with your help. We know there are thousands of eligible members just in our area. Please donate today and help us incorporate them even more into our community.
Here is your riddle courtesy of SPARC.
What's the best compliment a dog can give something?
And that's what dog owners in Northern Virgnia are telling us about our work in making dog biscuits in the clubhouse and selling them at a local farmer's market with the Knights of Columbus.
How cool is that? Have you seen our friends lately? Many live in wheelchairs that weigh hundreds of pounds. Others have visual difficulties or learning difficulties or some kind of thing the world calls a disability.
But here we are--learning all about production and the responsibility of running a small business.
Our trial program is one way that we engage in our community. We are proving to ourselves and our world that we want to and deserve to engage completly with our comunity. Every day we create more proofproof we need for government agencies and other organizations. Our successes shows that adults with disabilities can join in the community.
We continue to need your help every month. We don't hire people to drug our friends into quiet or buy bunches of TVs to park people near. Our SPARC friends are more engaged and active in the community than many people without a visible disability.
Your support of our programs helps us reach even more people. We are ready for our third location. That's why we started the project. We calculate that a new clubhouse location directly and positively makes more than 100 individuals.
Thank you for your ongoing support. You have helped us make our pawsome cookies a hit More importantly, you have helped us show others that everyone deserves to interact in their community.
Please let us know if you would like more information, and don't stop now. Summertime and vacations are when programs like ours sometimes lose traction. Please remember us when you plan your gifts this month.
Thank you for donating to SPARC. We need your help more than ever as we struggle to replace county funds that were slashed during the last round of budgeting.
We continue providing day support for more than 20 adults with disabilities in Northern Virginia. Several thousand more are on state maintained lists for assistance, but the state administration appears more focused on a massive transportation bill. We continue to learn that more funds will not be made available to support people with disabilities.
That leaves a huge gap in services. Our participants continue to interact with the community in ways that warm anyone's heart. In McLean, Virginia, club members visit local merchants together and the Starbucks next door is a favorite visitng spot for our friends.
We also continue making dog biscuits to practice using the kitchen and cooking. Self-sufficiency is important, and we could one day have a little micro business! For now, though, the important thing is participating together in the community, with each other, learning and practicing new things and being out in the community.
Please help us help more people with disabilities. We appreciate your generosity and love.
In the wake of county budget cuts that left us without an important source of funding, our holiday fundraiser hopes to provide some much needed resources.
SPARC ROCKS is our second end-of-year fundraiser (and our third ever!). We'll be having a terrific brunch at The Dulles Westin Hotel in Herndon, Virginia. The Mothership, a local Led Zeppelin tribute band, is graciously providing music for free. We've also booked an auction company to provide memoribilia for a silent auction--cool items from sports, music, politics and pop culture.
We still need your help.
As you read this, please buy event tickets. If you can't attend attend, please consider an end-of-year donation at the same link.
Local budget cuts have caused a budget shortfall of tens of thousands of dollars this year and next year. We're working hard to make up the lost funding, but have already begun asking participants to pay for services that were previously free.
SPARC is important. We provide day support for adults with disabilities, a time of life between the care often provided by governments for children and seniors. We believe these adults, people like you or me, should be able to engage in their community. And since there aren't services to make that happen, SPARC steps in to close the gap.
We've just marked the one year anniversary of our second facility in McLean, Virginia. We continue striving to open a third and maintain the level of support we have provided SPARC participants for six years.
We're thankful for our extended Global Giving family and hope to see you at the event or connect with you in other ways!
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