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.