Sunday, January 10, 2010

Buddy Break

Buddy Break has arrived in our state. A church not too far from us has a gigantic heart for families with children with special needs, and launched a Buddy Break program yesterday. It's been in the works for a while. Check out the About Us page for more information.

Families must register by completing an extensive application, which is available on-line. Then families must attend an orientation session that includes time with a nurse, before the child may attend a Buddy Break. The process is quite thorough.

The introductory video that we were shown at the family orientation is HERE.

So yesterday was my daughter's first visit to Buddy Break.

She went inside and never looked back at me.

The energy in the church building was exciting and contagious. Most of the seating in the sanctuary had been removed, and there was a maze of cardboard boxes on one side for children to crawl through or hide inside. There was a pop-up tent and maze in the room. Huge balls to bounce, throw or sit on. Face painting. And a band. Some of the men from the church were playing music. They thought the music was too loud and they'd turned it down for the children. I did not see my daughter cover her ears. (I'd forgotten to bring her noise canceling headphones. arg.)

I had to pack a lunch for the three-hour morning. My daughter ate almost nothing. She told me someone was eating a banana in the room and it grossed her out. She doesn't like to look at bananas. She was starving when she was finished. ;)

They had a game room of gross motor activities, a craft room, a balloon man came for a show (and made each child a balloon monkey that is adorable), and, when I arrived a few minutes before dismissal time, the children were being entertained by a dance group who performed, and then taught the children a dance.

The three hours flew by for them and for me.

The hearts of the volunteers has touched me. The volunteers were so excited to be there. I could see it on their faces. I know a few of them. They're parents, too. They gave up more than a 3-hour morning to be there. The sanctuary and building had to be prepped and then put back together afterwards. What a gift of time for children with special needs and their families!

Thanks, Buddy Break. You've given me a new hope and put a smile in my heart.


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poohder said...

this warms my heart to know you may have found a place that fits for your family

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