For many parents of a special needs individual, celebrating their 22nd birthday can be, quite frankly, scary.
Because at 22, all the services provided by the school system come to a screeching halt – no more speech therapy, no more para-pro assistance, Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s), etc. Often times the parents of the individual do not have the time, finances, and other resources to provide for the child. Often times the special needs person spends his/her days setting in front of a TV, computer, or sadly, doing nothing.
My wife and I are parents of one of these kids, our son Jonathan. At 22 his school provided services stopped and we had to scramble to find a meaningful future for him. After a few faults starts, we found two non-profits that he is now involved in.
“JD” now wakes up each morning with a sense of purpose, a desire to get out of bed, and (he considers this one of the best parts), a paycheck to look forward to!
One of the organizations is a bakery in Lawrenceville, Georgia called Special Kneads and Treats. They employ special needs individuals, giving them an opportunity to work.
The other organization is a day program called “The Exceptional Foundation of Atlanta”, also in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
The need for both these non-profits is so great that they each have lengthy waiting lists of prospective participants. And, both organizations are in need of vehicles to either deliver delicious treats or transport individuals to activities.
This is where I come in. I will be riding my bike from Manhattan Beach, California, (just south of Los Angeles), to Revere Beach, Massachusetts, (just north of Boston), to raise funds to help these charities acquire their vehicles.
And here’s the best part: YOU GET TO TRAVEL ALONG ON THIS ADVENTURE!!!
By checking the blog, you’ll be able to keep up with my daily trials and tribulations, track my progress, and learn a little more about these charities and the people who participate at each.