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The Gift That Keeps Families Together

The Gift That Keeps Families Together

Raising kids can be hard. I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you.

If your child has a disability, it can be even more challenging

Your donation can help weary parents access the support they desperately need. Give before July 15 and your gift DOUBLES, up to a total of $40,000, thanks to the Gyles Family and the Tashiro Family.

Parenting is a 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year job. There are no coffee breaks or lunch hours, and no paid vacations. It can be rewarding, exhausting, exhilarating and overwhelming.

We’ve all heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a child.” Sometimes, that village is hard to find, especially if your child has a developmental disability.

Kole’s parents, Travis and Tracy, know this very well. Grandparents have tried to help as much as they can but keeping Kole safe is getting more difficult as he grows.

Travis speaks about the non-stop nature of caring for his 10-year-old son and the corresponding exhaustion and worry. Kole is non-verbal and uses pictures in a photo album to communicate. When he can’t get the people around him to understand what he needs, his frustration often leads to him damaging their home and unintentionally hurting himself. “Last year, he gave himself a concussion by banging his head.”

”Our family simply can’t do normal stuff. Drinking my morning coffee is a challenge, never mind doing other things like attending family functions, going to a movie or having a family weekend at a hotel.” says Travis.

Tracy recalls asking in desperation: “What happens if we can’t take care of him anymore? We’re at the end of our rope.”

Respite care is one of the most requested services by families raising children with disabilities and, until now, there have been no out-of-home options for kids like Kole.

St.Amant is meeting this unmet need with two children’s respite homes, one in Winnipeg and one opening soon in Brandon. This new service offers short-term care for children ages 10-17 with a developmental disability or autism.

The goal of this service isn’t only to give families a break, it’s to keep them together.

Erin, the Coordinator of the Children’s Respite program at St.Amant, has a unique understanding of the importance of this type of support. She spent more than eleven years working in the Emergency Child Welfare system before coming to St.Amant.

She saw firsthand how this gap in service can lead to family breakdown. “Without this help, families in crisis sometimes have to place their children in emergency care with Child and Family Services in order to get the help they need,” says Erin.

While this service is invaluable, we need your support to make the homes functional, welcoming and safe.

Your gift today WILL help keep a family together!

Your donation will make the respite homes fun and exciting. When a child has a good time while being supported at the respite home, they’ll be happy to come back again and again. This makes the transition easier for families and eases everyone’s anxiety. Your help ensures these important services are more accessible, keeping kids like Kole out of emergency care placements and with their families.

Your gift will ensure the respite homes can support each child’s unique needs. You’ll help fund:    

  • Outdoor play structures that help kids relax, burn some energy and have fun!
  • Specialized equipment like adapted bikes and communication tools
  • Transportation to bring kids to school, appointments and leisure outings.
  • Games and sensory toys to help regulate emotions and self-soothe.

“The first time we dropped Kole off at the respite home, we were sure they were going to call and ask us to pick him up early. We were just waiting on pins and needles” said Tracy.

“I’m less nervous about his next visit now that we know the staff can handle his meltdowns. I’m looking forward to drinking a warm, uninterrupted cup of coffee and having a good night’s sleep.”

You can help this family receive the support they need. Your gift will help Kole feel more at home and make this vital respite service easier to access. This will provide much-needed relief for his stressed and tired parents.

Please give today.

With my gratitude,

Juliette Mucha
Executive Director

P.S. Please donate now and help a family in need. You can make your gift on our secure website at stamant.ca/respite or simply return the enclosed envelope with your donation to St.Amant Foundation. Give before July 15 and your gift DOUBLES.  


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