Hundreds helped since House of Possibilities' founding

Originally published by Paula Vogler on Wicked Local

The first time her daughter, Elizabeth, went to a sleepover, Jean Barrett of Westwood was overcome with emotion.

While sleepovers are a rite of passage for many children, for those like Elizabeth who have developmental disabilities, it is not always an option.

Through House of Possibilities (HOPe)—whose mission is to make a difference for children, adults and families living with developmental challenges—Elizabeth has not only attended sleepovers at HOPe but has made friends that she now plans to meet at the overnight gatherings, according to a HOPe press release.

“The program was giving my daughter a chance to go on a sleepover like her older siblings did,” Barrett said in the release. “She made pizza, watched a movie, had her nails done, stayed up late and was cared for by people who had her best interests at heart. The benefits were immeasurable, invaluable and life changing.”

What makes HOPe’s overnight respite (ONR) unique is that it is offered free to families, according to Westwood native and HOPe founder and president Paula Kavolius.

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Medfield Families Benefit from HOPe: House of Possibilities June 23 Gala to Aid Children and Adults with Developmental Challenges

 

Originally posted by Linda Silverstein on Patch.com

Ten years ago, parents of children with developmental challenges were hard pressed to find quality programming for them in Massachusetts, not to mention respite care to give themselves a break from constant caregiving.

Today, those families have HOPe – the House of Possibilities on the grounds of Stonehill College in Easton. Since 2009, HOPe has been providing top quality care and exceptional programming to more than 1,000 children and adults with developmental challenges as well as 3,000 extended family members.

Some two dozen families in the Medfield/Norwood/Walpole/Dedham area are currently being served by HOPe, the only place of its kind in Massachusetts.

Paula Kavolius, Founder and President, emphasizes that HOPe’s programs are not self-sustaining and that HOPe needs additional support to enable it to carry out its mission and continue to build its community of hope.

Paula will be co-chairing Endless Possibilities, HOPe’s Annual Gala, to be held on Thursday, June 23, at 6:00 pm at Gillette Stadium. Hosted by Fox 25 Morning News anchor Gene Lavanchy, the Gala will include a cocktail reception, dinner, and silent and live auctions. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Ronan Tynan, world-renowned Irish tenor, physician, recording artist and paralympian. 

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Mother of special needs child giving HOPe to those who need it most

 

Originally published by Anchor News on December 16, 2015

EASTON, Mass. — When life handed Paula Kavolius lemons, she not only made lemonade, she planted an entire grove of lemon trees for everyone to enjoy.

Growing up in Westwood, Kavolius graduated from Boston College, met her husband shortly thereafter, and settled down to have three children in four years. It wasn’t until a year after her youngest, Timothy, was born that she began to sense that he was different. It was a challenging and a slow process because it took his first year of life for her to realize that something was wrong, as Timothy wasn’t hitting his milestones.

“He was my third one and I was quite busy,” recalled Kavolius, “but I think I was in denial that anything was wrong with him. At first he was a very quiet baby, barely cried at all, but when he turned one, he started screaming. He had such a neurological impairment, he would scream eight hours a day for years. He was so impaired, he just couldn’t communicate in any way.”

As Timothy’s condition became more clear, Kavolius said she felt like Michaela Odone, the mother featured in the movie “Lorenzo’s Oil,” where she felt that if she found the right treatment for Timothy, she would cure him; “I was a stubborn, Irish girl who could fix anything if I worked hard enough. I took him to every major hospital in Boston, every major specialist you could imagine; I did afterschool, during the week services from cross-crawl therapy to craniosacral therapy — I’m going to look like a nut, but that’s what I did — speech and OT, and behavioral techniques. You name it, I did it.”

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Women in Business Q&A: Paula Kavolius, Founder and President, House of Possibilities

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.

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All About Raising the Green: Kavolius Named Friends of St. Patrick Person of the Year

Each year, the streets of downtown Walpole fill with those watching a parade honoring the Friends of St. Patrick Person of the Year. After the parade, everyone can follow the trail of green clothing and costumed leprechauns to an annual luncheon featuring Irish Step Dancing, a traditional corned beef and cabbage, and a variety of other entertainment.

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Canton Family Team Kelson Will be Running the Boston Marathon 2014 as Part of team HOPe

April 17, 2014—Father and sons who make up Team Kelson, from Canton, MA, will run the Boston Marathon on Monday on behalf of teamHOPE, the organization that is creating a new paradigm in helping families with loved ones who are developmentally disabled by providing much needed relief to families. Last year, they were stopped at the 25.2 miles, due to the crime scene at the finish line, and invited back for 2014 by the B.A.A. (Boston Athletic Association.) As a bystander at the Finish Line, emotionally rocked David Jr. Kelson took up running the next day, so he could join his father and brother for the Boston Marathon 2014 forming Team Kelson, made up of David Kelson, Bob Kelson, and David Jr. Kelson.

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House of Possibilities Expands Its Overnight Respite Program; More Families in the Boston Metro Area to Benefit From Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HOPe will Sponsor Free Additional Overnight Care for Families in Need Due to Fundraising Efforts

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