Dear Friends and Family,
I know you are frequently asked for donations or to buy something for a fundraiser. We all know there are LOTS of really good causes. Because I know many of you already give to many community programs, it is likely you do not feel like giving even more to an unfamiliar or distant non-profit. However, I would like you to please just consider my request of you today. For some this request will seem small, while for others this is no small amount.
Green Oaks School and Green Oaks Adult Learning are very specialized, unique programs for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.
Those of you who know us are already aware of what a ray of sunshine Rebecca has been in our lives.
Twelve years ago, when Paul and I were still trying to wrap our heads around our “new normal”, one of the first things that we worried about (after her health, of course) was whether or not she would ever be able to learn. We also wondered if she would have friends as she got older.
Fortunately for us, there was not one, but TWO schools that had just opened a couple of years earlier which addressed the needs of the Down syndrome community – one of them was equipped to handle children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years, and the other one was Green Oaks School, which was set up to handle school-age kids and adults.
When Rebecca was 3 months old, Green Oaks School held the area’s first Buddy Walk. Desperate to find out what was “in store” for us, we showed up to walk around the parking lot in front of the tiny portable building which was home to 6 students with Down syndrome.
When I saw three young students from the school sitting around, talking and giggling with each other, I knew that Rebecca was going to be all right.
And I also knew that we would move Heaven and Earth to be sure that this wonderful program would still be around when she was finally old enough to attend school. Paul and I both knew that we had found the right place for Rebecca.
Green Oaks School has now been in operation for 14 years, and they have gone from those first 6 students to 65 students enrolled, ranging in age from 6 to 40+. Rebecca has been attending GOS for the past 4 years, and with the addition of the Adult Learning (GOAL) component of the school, we don’t have to worry about “What next?” when she turns 18.
Rebecca LOVES her school, and she loves being able to see all of her friends every day. She has learned so much, and is just thriving at GOS. She is especially excited about their new school building – the classrooms are nice and roomy, and they now have a library, a big cafeteria/auditorium, and a large playground where she can have fun with all of the other kids at the school.
We don’t normally ask our friends to donate to our kids’ school programs, but we ALWAYS make an exception for Green Oaks School – they have been such an important part of our family’s life, and we want to be sure that Rebecca and other children and adults with Down syndrome in our area continue to have a place where everyone they meet is “just like me!”
From Jean Jewell, director of Green Oaks School:
As a very small non-profit directly serving a very targeted group, we find raising money for our operating costs each year to be a daunting task. Although our families all pay tuition for the program, we need to raise close to $400,000 this year just to meet our budget and complete our renovations. Each year we have several fundraising activities that start with the “North Texas Giving Day” in September.
I am humbly requesting each of you to donate $25, but no donation is too small. In addition, we will gratefully accept more if you feel led to donate more.
This year, “North Texas Giving Day” is this Thursday, September 19. Our first fundraising goal for the year is to raise $50,000 on this day. It seems like a huge amount until we break it down. If just 2000 people donated $25 each, we would meet this goal. I have hundreds of friends, family members and acquaintances. Each of you has many contacts, too. Please join me in helping the people impacted by our programs.
Get Up and Give! North Texas Giving Day
When: Thursday (today), September 19 from 7 a.m. to midnight
What: Just get to a computer and go to www.donorbridgetx.org – indicate Green Oaks School as your charity of choice.
Yesterday we were blessed to have an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Please take a couple of minutes and read about our school (be sure to check out the super cute pictures) by clicking on the link below (Note from me – Rebecca is the girl in pink pants in Picture #6).
I would LOVE to share more with you about the school, as we have some amazing stories to tell. Feel free to call us, come by for a tour or check out our website.
Thank you in advance for joining me in supporting this great cause.
P.S. In addition to donating, will you please forward this to your friends and/or post on your Facebook page?