Stories of Inclusion
The Benners Family - Dallas, TX
We were at an emotional breaking point by the time we went to our first rEcess night. Autism was the new word in our home, meltdowns were frequent, communication with our son was a challenge, and navigating a rigorous therapy schedule was exhausting. It was our new normal, and it was overwhelming and eating us alive.
Our church family introduced us to rEcess, and we were shocked that someone WANTED to take on all 3 of our children, including our son who wasn’t the easiest one to handle. When we arrived every single one of our children had a special buddy assigned to them. To see the joy on their faces knowing that someone was excited to see them and play with them gave us such peace.
My husband and I were able to go share a meal together, uninterrupted. That time for us became a glimmer of hope in the midst of absolute chaos. It was a time where we could connect, look into each other’s eyes and remind each other that “we will get through this.” Sometimes we would go watch a movie (and fall asleep!)….and other times we were able to process the unique needs of our son and how that impacted our family and encourage each other through that.
rEcess has been a place where ALL of my children feel special. It is a safe place where my girls can connect with others and realize that other families are on similar journeys. They have learned compassion and how to be a friend. My children choose rEcess over birthday parties and weekends at Grandma’s because they love it so much!
It’s incredible to have a place to go where my children feel so loved and cared for and walk away encouraged. They are loved for who they are, and they are reminded that God’s love knows no bounds. We are so grateful for the rEcess ministry!
The Benners Family – Dallas, TX
Stories of Advocacy
Cassidy Walsh - Uganda
I joined a team of behavioral therapists, a special education teacher, and artist in serving Ekisa Ministries. On the trip I was up for anything and helped anyone that I could. I mostly helped the artist paint a mural for the main room in the residential building at Ekisa, help the children paint wooden boards for decor in Ekisa, and help the special education teacher with some school activities.
One of the first moments there, we were able to give a young boy a wheelchair and the first thing he did was push himself in his new wheelchair and yell “I am running”. It was such a heartwarming feeling knowing that due to the support we were given on this trip we were able to supply that child with a wheelchair, allowing him to move around without assistance and gain personal independence. It was also incredible to see the overflowing hope and joy in these children. It was truly contagious, I could not spend a moment around them without a huge smile on my face.
-Cassidy Walsh, Uganda Global Trip
Stories of Education
Ashley Kahila - Haiti
Frantz is 4 years old and first came to Respire to receive therapy services. It was learned that his mom had to quit her job when Frantz was born due to the fact that she did not have any one to watch him during the day. Since he has Down Syndrome most people will not provide childcare for him.
Through the programs at Respire Haiti, Frantz and his family now have more access to food, water, and other needed supplies. He is also able to receive an education that most children with disabilities or special needs do not have that opportunity in Haiti.
-Ashley Kahila, Haiti Global Partner
Stories of Community
Tara Rainey - Dallas, TX
rEcess has been such a blessing to our whole family! When we had twins with a birth diagnosis of Down Syndrome for one of them, a friend informed me of rEcess, and shortly after, we signed our boys up. It was such a blessing that first night because my husband and I got a night out. We have been at almost every rEcess event since.
Our boys absolutely love going to “buddy church” as we lovingly call it at our house. They look forward to going all month long, asking almost every weekend if its time for buddy church. The people that greet us know our family by name, and every single volunteer with our kids has been amazing! They are so friendly, and the kids always leave talking about how much fun they had. We have the same “buddies” every month for some of our kids, and the relationship that has formed has been so sweet…
There have been weeks where my husband and I were stressed out over caring for our kids at home, and honestly, not exactly wanting to plan a night out together. Because we have rEcess on our calendar every month, it gets us out together, even after a stressful week. This has done so much good for our marriage.
We are so incredibly thankful for all the people involved in rEcess, and the impact it has had on our family.
Tara Rainey – Dallas, TX