Sunday, January 09, 2011

I have blogged about my son Nathan for over 2 years, and have loved the company I find myself in. I have enjoyed reading posts about kids older and younger than my son. I have quite frankly fallen in love with 2 little guys who are the exact same age as Nathan. (JM and Matthew) and I have specifically enjoyed reading stories of women who have blogged while carrying a child with Ds (a-hem....Adrienne :)It is interesting to read how the stories change, including my own...and how similar a path we all travel. These days, I am reading a lot about how we are interlocking arms across the globe and doing some truly amazing fund raising, awareness posts, and word-spreading through facebook and others venues. We are encouraging the general public to embrace inclusion, fairness and support children with Ds. I am certain that the NDSS, NDSC, the Buddy Walk and other organizations have seen an positive impact due to all of our efforts. After all, we make up a group of mostly women bloggers, and science shows that women speak up to 20 thousand words a day (3x more than guys). Research also proves that by simply speaking, it causes emission of hormones in a woman's brain, similar to a drug-induced high.
Ha Ha! No wonder! (I don't know if that includes blogging but I'm going with yes.)
With proof like that and passion like I know many of you have, I feel so strongly that this generation of kids with Ds will see incredible changes in care, inclusion and opportunity.
For as great and wonderful as it is to be a part of a huge number and to follow those who implore us to give and who raise thousands for important causes, don't forget that your local organizations need your support and advocacy, too.
I confess that for awhile, reading post after post about the huge efforts many of you have done, I have felt inadequate. I have thought, "what the heck am I doing for my kid?" I don't have hundreds of followers, I don't even facebook. I basically post cute pictures of my son and tell everyone how much I dig him.
I have felt like I have let Nathan down by not coming up with something clever that goes viral.
Don't get me wrong...I am so stinking impressed with all that has been accomplished! But my heart is a little closer to home. And I love ASPIRO, which is a local organization that assists and supports the disabled in my community.
The main office is just down the road from where I live.
I wanted to give back somehow because I am indebted to them for the excellent care they have given my son for the first 3 years of his life. Their devotion to him and his well-being have inspired me.
So I called them up one day and asked if I could help somehow.
I was directed to Sheri and Linda who were in charge of an annual fundraising committee, which I joined.
ASPIRO offers adult day services, citizen advocacy, community employment, early intervention, respite care, residential services and so much more for over 1200 individuals with disabilities, right here in Green Bay.
Now I am beginning my 2nd year as a member of the board of directors at ASPIRO, and my 3rd year on the fundraising planning committee. I get to be in the company of some of the sharpest individuals I have ever known. I am honored to give back to them.
And Camp Daniel.....I will forever be involved in Camp Daniel!
This ministry serves people with disabilities in a most significant way; not only giving them a week at camp with a one-to -one ratio of camper to councelor, but Camp Daniel gives those with disabilities the gospel of Jesus Christ. The salvation message. The hope and assurance that God is sovereign and He loves them. Camp Daniel offers more than a week of camp. The staff and founders continue to strive for more information in their field, are incredibly creative, college-degree'd, sold out and motivated to bring awareness in ways I never would have dreamed for my own son. I would do dishes, serve meals, paint fingernails and toes or decorate the dining hall any day of the week for this gang. I love camp and I love the campers.
It may not be as glamorous as raising thousands of dollars for a national organization and being recognized in blogland worldwide....but my home town and its community of disabled citizens is just as significant, and so is yours.


  1. You are absolutely right Jill! And just by blogging about Nate you are bringing awareness so don't feel like you've let anyone down! I think being a member of this organization is awesome and I would love to do something like that! Maybe that will be my goal this year!

  2. I am one of those lurkers who is a lazy commenter, but happens to think you ARE doing something glamorous just by blogging about your incredible son and what a joy he is. I don't want to downplay other's efforts or what the NDSS can do...but I think blogs like yours are making the world a better place for kids like ours just as much as an organization. I came here when Lily was first born and your words and faith and love for your son gave me hope for my future.
    If you had a "like" button at the top of your blog I would "like" you a billion times:)

  3. Very heartening and lovely post Jill! But I was surprised that you feel like you're letting Nathan down - your work and involvement with Camp Daniel is amazing and your family should be very proud!

    On a COMPLETELY different note, I found out there is a switch on the bottom of Lulu's belly. It comes set so the cat doesn't roll over - just move the switch to on and the kitty will roll! Love ya!

  4. Благодарю за информацию действительно увлекательно, однако меня также интересуют и новости голографии. Надо же развиваться в области голографии