Our theme for the year is “Embracing Possibilities,” and it is in that light that we established our new Dream Experiences Program. We surveyed the families we serve and a number of them mentioned that HOPe helped their child achieve milestones and make memories that they never would have dreamed possible. To continue to raise the bar on what our families think is possible, we are making a concerted effort to provide as many Dream Experiences as we can, and the collaboration with Above the Clouds is the inaugural Experience we are offering. We were privileged to connect with Above the Clouds through our mutual affiliation with the Rodman for Kids organization, an umbrella matching gift charity raising funds for youth-focused social service organizations supporting at-risk youth in Massachusetts. We are thrilled to be able to provide children with special needs the opportunity to soar through the air and feel like a real co-pilot with the help of Above the Clouds and Rodman For Kids.
Originally posted by Chanel on ServiceInBrockton.blogspot.com
"I’m beginning to recognize that real happiness isn’t something large and looming on the horizon ahead but something small numerous and already here. The smile of someone you love. A decent breakfast. The warm sunset. Your little everyday joys all lined up in a row."
Over the approximately 59 days of working at the House of Possibilities, more affectionately known as the HOPe House, I have come to term magical times that happen during my workday as "Melt Your Heart Moments." For me, these moments come in the form of smiles and laughter.
But first, let me digress. For those, who don’t know, the House of Possibilities is a wonderful and magical place (I’ll probably say magical several more times in this post, so bear with me). It was founded by Paula Kavolius, who I get to work with on a daily basis. Paula is the mother of a special-needs child, and in seeing a lack of places that offer respite and relief from the challenges of around-the-clock caregiving, created a sanctuary that would offer this. Countless hours of hard work, deliberation, and perseverance later, the House of Possibilities was born. The first of its kind, the HOPe House offers several in-house programs that serves children and adults with developmental challenges, and has the unique location of being on a college campus, my alma mater, Stonehill College.
Originally posted by Scott Stump on Today.com
Originally published by Laura Dunn on huffingtonpost.com April 17, 2015.
Paula Kavolius is the Founder and President of the House of Possibilities, the non-profit grassroots organization that is changing the paradigm for families who are in critical need of respite care. As President, Paula is leading the organization in its vision, ultimately creating a footprint for a higher standard care for children and adults living with developmental challenges. She is an advocate and a pioneer in respite care for families, building the first multi in-house respite facility on a college campus; residing on Stonehill College campus in the United States. Serving as a supportive voice for those in need, she is a published blogger, featured in publications that span Eastern Massachusetts and beyond. Paula has been inspired by her son who has special needs. She is constantly challenging herself and others to look at the possibilities, not disabilities within each individual. Paula received her Bachelor of Science from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. She is involved in a number of civic associations and has recently been awarded Person of The Year, by Walpole's town organization, The Friends of St. Patrick. Kavolius resides in Walpole, MA with her husband and three sons, and next to the House of Possibilities.
“I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”
– Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation.
Some people like to participate in extreme sports because they want to feel the high level of physical and mental exertion. I have experienced this sensation, not through snowboarding or cliff diving, but by taking care of my family of three boys—especially my son with special needs. Those of us who have been blessed with the love and challenge of raising a child with developmental challenges know what I am talking about. I call this extreme parenting. I have learned how to prepare for the moguls, ruts and icy patches and have developed the specialized gear needed to make the rough ride a little bit smoother and at times, euphoric.
You may have two legs, but where is your heart?
Last Friday night, Kanye West stopped his concert until everyone in the audience was “standing up”. Not only was the demand he gave to his concert goers to “stand up” before he would continue outrageous, he then proceeded to call out those in the audience who could not stand, as much as they wish they could every day of their lives, because they are disabled.
“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people,”
The word “hero” is one that is used freely in our society. There is no all-inclusive definition of the word and each of us applies our own set of criteria for the defining qualities, we believe, belong to a hero. In some situations “hero” is used to describe someone who commits an act of remarkable bravery or who has shown an admirable quality such as great courage or strength of character. However, a hero is also an individual who goes above and beyond his or her own personal call of duty.
This month marks the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s Farewell speech. He was known as the noble “Iron Horse,” who played in 2,130 straight games, averaged 147 RBIs a year from 1926 to 1938 and stole home 15 times. Raised in a humble home, he was known for his generosity, gracious spirit and the God-given talent of baseball. On July 4th, 1939, he addressed the rumors that had been circulating about him having amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and uttered those famous words, “I consider myself the luckiest man in the world.”
I am not a saint. Truth be told, I came kicking and screaming to caregiving.Very few caregivers jump into this icy water willingly like the L Street Brownies on New Year’s Day. The day I was told that my son had significant special needs was the worst day of my life. I believed the news was a death knell on my life and that the future held nothing for me. I didn’t know that this was the defining moment of my life and the beginning of what was the unfolding of my divine purpose and a God powered existence that is richer and more meaningful than any life I could have envisioned without Tim.