SPARC members need your help now for unforseen expenses that are making it difficult for them to attend our day program and participate in Circuit Train Your Brain(r),
We have begun charging the lowest amount possible to pay our bills while providing programs for young adults with disabilities. One might think the government takes care of these expxenses, but that's not the case for most people. In Virginia, where we are based, the waiting list for benefits is often ten years or longer.
That means that someone leaving high school has to wait until around age 30--or even longer--to begin receiving abt benefits. Until then, many stay at home, unable to engage with their community. Some can and do work, but it's often very hard for example, someone without the use of limbs who is also blind, to find employment.
Our member-friends are why we started SPARC. For years, people have worked without pay to help make ends meet. Even our few employees who are paid (including management) would have the option of free or reduced price school lunches because of the small amount they accept for their work.
We Need Your Ongoing Donation for Just One Hour A Month
We've done everything we can to slash costs while still providing appropriate and educational day programs. We got the price down to only $400 per month for someone to attend SPARC. We're trying to arrange scholarships now for people who need financial assistance in attending SPARC.
Please donate a recurring $10 each month to provide one hour of a scholarship.
You can change a person's life for the cost of a matinee movie or a couple of cups of fancy coffee. We'll always gladly create a full scholarship for you and even name it in honor of your friends, loved ones or company. But we ask you today for that one hour that changes someone's life because every four people who do so create a full scholarship between them.
Donate $10 today as a recurring gift and be part of that enriching environmnent.
SPARC's official name is Specially Adapted Resource Clubs. We are proud of our name because we believe that just about any activity you can think of can be adapted so that everyone can participate. Some of our club members have intellectual or physical challenges and adapting things can sometimes take time or some extra resources.
But we believe in doing and living. Here is what we just did over the past few weeks.
If you support us financially, we can open our next clubhouse that much faster.
THE SNOWS ARE GONE
We missed a lot of gathering together time this winter because the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. had many more snow days than usual. Like many organizations, we follow the lead set by our local school system. We also have another way to gauge a storm's impact: the federal government! The U.S. government only closed once in the past decade until this winter! With a bunch of snow days, many of us could not get to the clubs because we rely on public transportation.
But the snow didn't stop us from having an amazing time.
ART, MUSIC and COOKING
All SPARC members get to participate in art and music therapy. And we still managed to have plenty of both despite the snow. Our award-winning artwork has been shown in office buildings and the government center.
We also love to cook! We made family meals this winter as part of the way we do outreach to others. Our McLean club made an amazing Lemon Rosemary Chicken and the Reston club brought the pasta with sumptuous spaghetti and meatballs!
And we celebrated on March 1 with a King's Cake! Lucky Ellen got the coin this time!
Our friends at Fitness First came to visit and helped show us some amazing stretching activities. Don't forget, a physical challenge doesn't mean that you shouldn't move. And boy, we can move!
We also had a great time bowling on February 1. Bowling is a terrific indoor activity. Our trip this month gave us a nice break from our learning about Native American culture.
So how did you spend your winter? We couldn't get to our clubhouses every day, but we made every day that we could visit count.
Please help us continue our mission by donating today. This is just a tiny fraction of the things we do because SPARC believes that everyone should be able to participate in their local community.
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.
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