Giving Is Healing

 

In that moment, when I notified the winner of our Dubai Getaway, I was part of the joy they experienced.  A wave of healing gratitude washed over me and it was greater than the year of struggle and recovery after Hurricane Irma.  How true it is, that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

We are delighted to announce Martin D. as the WINNER of our Dubai Getaway and we wish him a wonderful stay.  And we thank God for all the kind persons and businesses who reached out to offer us assistance with our recovery.  Extra special thanks to Tania Browne and Fairmont the Palm hotel in Dubai who made this special giveaway possible.

Photo credit: Lidya Nada, Unsplash

 

 

 

 

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Dubai Getaway

Win a 4-Night DUBAI GETAWAY for 2 and help children with special needs in Anguilla to blossom.

On September 6, 2018, the 1 year anniversary of Hurricane Irma, we will draw the winner of our Dubai Getaway thanks to the kindness of Fairmont the Palm and Tania Browne and Alison Davies and her Walk Around the Isle of Wight and celebrate how so much goodness came out of the devastating passage of Hurricane Irma over Anguilla.

To enter the Dubai Getaway we are kindly asking you to make a $10 USD or £10 GBP donation to The Arijah Children’s Foundation to help us remake our Blossom Centre for children with special needs better than it was before Irma took our roof off!

So what do Dubai, Hurricane Irma, Anguilla, Isle of Wight, Arijah Children’s Foundation, Blossom Centre and children with special needs have to do with each other?  To find out Read On below after the entry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On September 6, 2017 Hurricane Irma devastated the island of Anguilla and blew off many roofs including the one at Blossom Centre created by the Arijah Children’s Foundation for children with special needs.  In the aftermath of the storm many many kind people reached out to the Arijah Children’s Foundation to provide assistance with recovering from Hurricane Irma.  One of the many kind people who reached out to help us was long-time supporter Tania Browne.  Wanting to find a way to help us raise much needed funds for our recovery Tania reached out to her network to see who could help.  She was able to obtain a 4 nights stay for 2 at the beautiful Fairmont the Palm in Dubai!  We were so thankful to Tania and Fairmont the Palm for their kind gift to us and we created the DUBAI Getaway giveaway to help us raise funds.  But the goodness didn’t stop there is kept growing.

We were contacted by Alison Davies, a lovely lady from the Isle of Wight who happened to be a Speech Language Therapist.  She had seen a recent television show about Anguilla and was very keen to visit us and provide therapy for our children with special needs served through the Blossom Centre.  She came to Anguilla and gifted our children a week of speech language therapy and even after she returned back to her home on the Isle of Wight she wanted to continue to support us and our special children.  She decided to plan a walk around the Isle of Wight to raise awareness and funds for the Arijah Children’s Foundation and amazingly her walk was coinciding with our Dubai Getaway draw date!   Alison kindly offered to promote our draw as part of her Walk Around the Isle of Wight and help us further promote it in the U.K..

The countdown is on to September 6, 2018 when we will draw a winner for the Dubai Getaway.  Please will you enter our draw and help us continue to do good for children with special needs in Anguilla?

 

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A Whole Lotta Love

image (3)“This was going to be the most humbling and rewarding speaking engagement yet because when I stepped into this room I saw a whole lot of hope, faith, and most importantly love.” – Ivan Connor
These words impacted me profoundly.  And I wasn’t immediately sure why.
I heard these words spoken at the special assembly at the ATHPS for Special Education Week 2014 activities in Anguilla.  They were the opening words of the guest speaker Ivan Connor.  More than twelve hours later I still cannot stop thinking about these words.
When I began to ponder why I was so affected my thoughts went back to the morning and how it began.  The life of a parent of a child with special needs is not an easy one.  And mornings are particularly challenging.  It takes twice as long to do normal getting ready for the day activities and waking up extra early never ends up being early enough to get you ready on time.  Stepping out the door late sets the stress level a bit higher and brings a feeling of failure (to be on time) before you’ve even gotten your day started.  Once you arrive at your destination, getting your special needs child out of the car to where you need to be is often physically challenging if your child can’t walk and emotionally challenging when everyone stares at the behaviour of your challenged child.  Being able to slump down in your seat is often a relief from the eyes staring at you and the weight of physically supporting your child.  Finally at your destination you are completely exhausted.  Completely exhausted is exactly how I felt when I finally got my daughter and I seated for the special assembly.  I was hardly able to give the proper attention to the presentations which were prepared by the teachers and children with special needs.
As the guest speaker, Mr. Ivan Connor stood to speak, he began by saying these words,
“This was going to be the most humbling and rewarding speaking engagement yet because when I stepped into this room I saw a whole lot of hope, faith, and most importantly love.”
I have not stopped thinking about these words.  And finally, in pondering, I realize that what Mr. Connor said, meant that my exhaustion, my failure, my inability, was seen in that room as hope, faith, and most importantly love.  And that stops me in my tracks.  It turns me upside down.  That means that the hard life of a parent of a child

with special needs is all hope, faith, and most importantly love.

 

After hearing Mr. Connor’s opening words, I sat through the rest of the assembly attentive and with a huge smile on my face.  And at the time I didn’t even know why.   But now I know.  It took hearing those words to show me what I couldn’t see myself.  That my exhaustion is hope, my failure is faith, and my inability is love.  And how that makes my heart sing.  May I never forget.
So grateful to Mr. Connor for his powerful words, and so grateful to God for showing me what they mean.  When I am not able, God is more than able and He gives peace and joy in the midst.  Amen.
Originally written March 2014
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Precious Laughter

Laughter is sacred space where the abled and disabled meet as equals.  It has been said that love cannot be seen.  If you visit the Blossom Centre in Anguilla you will see love between our children with special needs and their teachers, volunteers, therapists, and family members.  Love is seen, it is felt, and it is tangible in the sheer existence and will to live and thrive of children with special needs.  Meet Micah!  He has faced many operations and challenges in his young life.  And yet, he shares much laughter seen here with our dear friend and volunteer Ann.1174809_538871426023_1812842198_n

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