Partnerships are at the core of what makes Sahuarita the place it is. Entities ban together to sponsor and host major events, promote community initiatives and raise money for good causes. With everything happening, sometimes its easy to forget those who may have special sets of circumstances. Families of children with special needs are among those most needing, of information, resources and of help.
Various organizations throughout Sahuarita have different levels of support that they offer these families, from financial to educational to connecting them together.
Organizations such as the locally run, Sahuarita-Green Valley Family Support Network, help bring together these families, and dissolve the stigma that is often involved when one talks about special needs. The network was formed 7 years ago, by two mothers with special-needs children, Hania Medrano and Jamie Comeau.
Each month, the network partners with Rancho Sahuarita to host special events at Club Rancho Sahuarita, for kids to have a chance to socialize and have fun experiences they might otherwise not have the chance to. The meet ups also give the parents, siblings and support people the chance to connect and share stories and common experiences. It is also their chance to exchange insight about various resources, services and healthcare professionals they may know about with others in the same situation.
Rancho Sahuarita partners with the Sahuarita-Green Valley Family Support Network on these events, making them available to its residents, and helping to make them possible for those in need; resident or not. These events are a part of the community’s extensive special needs program, whose mission and events are included in the community’s event promotions and online resources.
Jeremy Sharpe, Chief Operating Officer for Rancho Sahuarita, once commented on the program in an edition of local industry publication, BIZTucson, saying, “We partner with organizations and do events each month, such as the Valentine’s Day Dance, Easter Egg Hunt or a special private day at the Splash Park.” These events give those families a chance to experience the lifestyle in a safe and more private way, since the venue or specific amenity is closed to other residents for the duration of that event. It also gives the families the chance to have the same experiences as others, but without the added crowds, noise or worry. “They feel a part of the community, and feel comfortable and supported,” Sharpe noted.
The network’s events are accessible to interested families, regardless of a formal diagnosis or not. The events are also often lower-key, being mindful to not overstimulate or overwhelm their participants. Additionally, these events are free. Upcoming events for Fall include a Homecoming Dance, Halloween Dance, Give Thanks Potluck, and a Polar Express and Visit with Santa Event for Families of Children with Special Needs at Club Rancho Sahuarita, (15455 S. Camino Lago Azul, Sahuarita, AZ 85629). For more information about the Sahuarita Green-Valley Family Support Network or to inquire about attending an upcoming event, contact Jamie Comeau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sahuarita Unified School District also has additional offerings and services available, as a piece of their Student Services Department. The District and Department are “committed to providing quality support programs and services to students and their families” with the help of their staff. This staff includes a system of special education teachers, school psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists (visit www.susd30.us for more information).
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