On Saturday, December 8th, we hosted our Annual Special Needs Holiday Party. Along with the Palliative Care Team of Dell Children’s Medical Center we gathered families together to celebrate the holiday. We hosted 2 parties again this year. We had one that was invite only that we kept small for our more complex families, then we had a larger party for all special needs. Both parties were a ton of fun!
Santa had books for all of the kids, and we had gift baskets donated by local organizations as well as some donated by individuals that we were able to hand out to families as door prizes.
This party continues to grow each year, and we want to say a very special thank you to all of the amazing companies and individuals that help us to make this party such a success…
HEB provided all of the food and drinks, as well as the cups, plates, etc and they delivered it all. This year HEB sent Buddy along to hand out treats and welcome all of the party guest. HEB supports a lot of local charities and we are so grateful for all that they do for us and other organizations like ours.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt sent Curious George and the Man in Yellow Hat to read the kids some stories. HMH also provided new books, all wrapped, for Santa to hand out to all of the kids that attend the party.
Aveanna Healthcare provided all of the crafts for the kids to do, as well as many volunteers to help with the event.
Nic volunteered his time to do photos from the first party and Sheridan volunteered her time to take photos during the second party. We are so thankful to have such talented and generous volunteers!
We are looking forward to seeing everyone again soon!
Check out photos from this year’s parties – Continue to Album
On Wednesday, December 5th, we teamed up with sMiles 4 Sammy and the Palliative Care Team at Dell Children’s for our 5th annual angel dinner.
We had a wonderful time sharing memories of the children that have passed with the sweet families that joined us. Chuy’s in Cedar Park works closely with sMiles 4 Sammy and donated dinner to them for everyone. This has become one of our favorite annual events. We love to spend time with these families and bring them together to support one another. We are looking forward to seeing them all again soon.
Here are some photos from the dinner – Continue to Album
On Tuesday, November 6th, we hosted our first ever fundraiser. We invited everyone to join us at the beautiful Lone Oak Barn for a fun night of Bingo, BBQ, and Open Bar. We raised a lot of money to help fund our services for 2019. The entire evening was planned down to the last detail by Hennithing is Possible Weddings. If you need an event planner be sure to call to Henni- she is FANTASTIC!
In addition to the wonderful people that joined us at the event, we had amazing support from the community. Thank you so much to all that helped us to make this event a success!
Silent Auction/Event Donations:
Berverly Nail Salon
Cap City Comedy Club
Card My Yard
James Avery Artisan Jewelry
Jennifer Aaron Fine Art
Maudie’s Tex Mex
Mighty Fine Burgers
Round Rock Express
Sea World of Texas
Six Flag over Texas
Texas Stars Hockey Team
The Dry Bar
The Georgetown Palace Theater
The Palacios Family
Check out photos from the event – Continue to Album
There is one question I get asked a LOT- what are some programs out there to help cover the cost of the items my kids needs? If that many people are asking, I figure this is something worth sharing with all of you as well.
Surprisingly, there are actually a good number of organizations that can help with financial needs for families in the Austin area. Some are local, some are statewide, and some are across the country. Hopefully these may be able to help you.
First up let’s talk about a grant program available to families across the US. United Healthcare Grants will give up to $5000 for some cases. There is a lot of paperwork, and it is income based. However, that does not mean you have to be on SSI to apply. You can find more details, and apply here:
There are 3 organizations that focus on Texas families. Variety offers grants up to $5000. They have different categories that they support. You can find more details on qualifications and how to apply here:
CPATH grants up to $500 for equipment. Depending on the specific item you need $500 may be great, but it may not be enough. The good thing about this one is that it is NOT income based. Here is the link to apply:
Be An Angel offers grants to help pay for respite, camp as well as some equipment needs. To apply:
Another grant program available is specific to the 4 points area. If you live in this area, Hill Country Special Needs Alliance may be able to help with a handful of different needs. They have been known to cover nonstandard therapy, camp, equipment, and many other medically necessary items that insurance does not cover. You can find out more about the area they cover and apply here:
If the grant programs don’t work out, maybe you would consider used equipment. Many organizations find items that have been outgrown, no longer needed, etc and match it up to families like your own that need them and are having a hard time getting them covered:
Parker Lee Project
One last suggestion is to look on Facebook. There are groups where people will post ISO (in search of) and list items they need. Or FFS (Free For Shipping) and list items they don’t need and will send you if you can cover shipping. There are LOTS of these groups. The best way to find them is to search for “medical supply exchange” and you can then request to join any that come back in your search. Some are local, some are US, some are worldwide, some are specific to a diagnosis or type of equipment too.
Michell Huber with Texas Learning Advocacy presented some great tips on preparing for an ARD, as well as some methods for families to use to be the very best possible advocate they can be for their child in the special ed system.
Unfortunately, we had some technical issues and our video cut out about half way through. Michell was kind enough to share a copy of her presentation and our wonderful volunteer, Amairani translated it to Spanish for us as well. There were a few key points that came from Michell’s presentation.
First- Know your rights- even though it is long and dry, read the procedural guide that you are given at each ARD. It lays out all of your rights and can answer a lot of questions.
Second- Ask for an advanced copy of the paperwork before the ARD so that you have time to go over the goals, any assessments, etc.
Third- Be firm, be clear, be polite, but don’t be afraid to ask for a recess or sign it as “I don’t agree”. You can take home the paperwork from the ARD and make sure you are okay with it before signing that you agree.
Below is Michell’s top goal writing tips, as well as the presentation she shared (full of additional tips, resources and much more). If you need further assistance and/or think you may need an advocate, you can always reach out to Michell.
TEXAS LEARNING ADVOCACY
You can also try COPAA to find other advocates and attorneys. There are more resources listed in the PowerPoint below as well.
Thank you Michell, this information is so helpful! Downloads from this talk are available below and include the presentations as well as the handouts.
On July 31st Casey’s Circle Founder, Marty, Board Secretary, Val and some of our long time volunteers, Sara, Rachel and Natalie were part of KOOP’s Community Pilot Show. They talked about the history or Casey’s Circle, a little bit about Casey herself, and much more.
If you were unable to listen to the interview, you can stream it below:
[mp3t track=”Interview@http://caseyscircle.org/downloads/KOOP31JUL18.wav” stop=”Pause”]