Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hat in Hand

'Tis the season to offer thanks and to get in your last minute donations if you want them to count for 2006! With that in mind, I would like to offer an option to those of you who are still looking for the right program to bless with your donation.

Charlotte attends the Infant Program at C.A.R. (Community Association for Rehabilitation) in Palo Alto. About 2500 people benefit from services that include (but are by no means limited to) physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, swim therapy, day care, adult day care, job training and placement for the developmentally disabled--not to mention support for their families. The care and attention they lavish on all of their clients--children and adults--is wonderful to see and has already had a big impact on our family.

When Charlotte started at C.A.R. in July of this year, she was not yet walking or talking. She didn't follow directions or make eye contact when we talked to her. As of today, she is walking like a champ--often almost running. She knows and uses the signs for dog, airplane, eat, bath, more, please, friend, and daddy. She also recognizes the signs for mommy, frog, drink, turtle, and--her favorite--cookie. We're pretty sure she can say "Hannah" and "eat." And today at physical therapy, she said "kick" when asked to kick a ball. (This time I know it's not just wishful thinking, because Lora, our PT, heard it too!)

Seventy five percent of C.A.R.'s funding comes from regional centers as well as state and federal grants. That, of course, leaves quite a chunk that they must make up every year to keep up the quality and number of classes and services. It allows them to buy new equipment and to hire staff--Charlotte was on a waiting list for PT for two months and for speech therapy for four months--we start next Wednesday! We're not sure when she'll get into OT. But in July there were 26 kids ahead of her on the speech therapy list, so we are immensely grateful to get in so soon.

So here's my pitch: If you have a few extra dollars that you would like to donate, by sending it to C.A.R., you could make life just a little better for Charlotte and 2,499 other children and adults. You would also have my eternal gratitude (I'm actually crying as I type this), and the thanks of the 2500 families served by the amazing, wonderful, caring staff at C.A.R. As an added bonus, because C.A.R. is a 501 (c) (3) organization, your donation is tax deductible!

If you would like more information, please send me a private email with your address (makriese at gmail dot com--don't forget to put it in the proper form; I'm trying to keep my spam to a minimum!). I'll send you a packet from C.A.R. If you decide to make a donation, you would just send it directly to them.

Wait, wait, there was one more thing: Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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