You are going to love what we have to tell you about Matt.
But before we share Matt’s story, we have some news about how you can support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, especially as we end this challenging year.
As we near the end of 2020, you can make a greater impact on a STAR like Matt by becoming a monthly donor.
It's easy to do.
Just click on the green donate button at the top of this page, choose an amount that works with your budget and select the recurring donation option. For example, a monthly $25 gift will supply books to participants in the virtual Next Chapter Book Club.
You’ll help a STAR learn job skills and find work, take classes that teach reading and math skills, focus on health, or engage in social and artistic experiences that open our community to them.
Will you please send a year-end gift before midnight December 31st?
Matt started 2020 with so much promise.
He was brushing up on his math skills, speaking up for himself and going to a job he loved. Matt was proving to himself and the people around him that having Down syndrome wouldn’t keep him from achieving his goals.
Then in March, everything that he enjoys about STARability suddenly ended. In-person classes stopped. He couldn’t go to work. And the best part of the day—the high fives and hugs from his STAR friends—were taken away from him.
COVID-19 has changed the way Matt and his friends learn and connect with their world. Classes and activities are online. When they do see one another for small in-person sessions, they still can’t give an encouraging hug or high five. And the large socials that bring out their inner dancers sometimes feel like they’re never coming back.
What hasn’t changed in these challenging times is the need to support a STAR like Matt achieve all that they can.
And you can help a participant by becoming a monthly supporter. Monthly giving is the best way to provide steady support. Each month, you’re investing in the programs that help a participant like Matt learn and grow their abilities.
Today, Matt speaks up for himself—trying two or three times if he has to so you can hear and understand him.
He jumped onto Zoom sessions as soon as Trailblazer classes became virtual in March, and he’s still a familiar face in those classes.
He remains connected with his STAR friends through small in-person classes.
And his love of cleaning and the skills he’s developed through classes and activities helped him land a job as a custodian and office clerk.
Matt is transformed.
“His world got bigger,” his dad, Mark, says.
All the strides that Matt and his fellow STARs achieve every day—in spite of challenges like COVID-19—wouldn’t be possible without you.
Without your investment in the classes and activities that have helped our STARs thrive, their world would become much smaller again.
But we hope you won’t let that happen.
Your year-end gift will help a STAR be included in a world that often excludes them from discovering who they are and what they can do.