From UGA Special Olympics: community outreach opportunity

Hello Friends,
 
There is a group of people who are beginning a ministry devoted to special needs individuals and their families. A parent of a Special Olympic athlete had these words and ideas–so let’s spread the word and get excited about the potential!

In this country, more than fifty million people have some sort of disability—that is one in six people! However, it is believed that about 95% of these people are not a regular part of any church family, making them one of the largest unreached groups in this country. Why is this? A parent of a child with special needs could list many reasons that range from fear of not being accepted to utter fatigue. 

In the Clarke, Madison, and Oglethorpe school systems there are over 3000 students, ages 3-21, receiving special education services. Yet, there are no churches in this area that have special needs ministries. This conveys the enormous need for ministry settings that are geared towards those with special needs.

The vision: to one day grow and the possibilities are endless…but for now one step at a time. Ideally we would like to make this a sustainable group to continue on next year and years to follow.

The first step: “Friday Fun Night”, a Respite night on May 1st at Winterville Baptist Church from 6-10pm. 

Purpose of Friday Fun Night: To provide time of respite for parents to do something without their special needs child, and without them having to pay for care. This would allow time for parents to drop their kids off and they could go have dinner and/or a movie. And also to provide socialization and activities for the special needs child in a safe and loving place.

Activities might include: recreation, arts and crafts, movie, board games, music, etc

Possible schedule:
-Arrive/get instruction/meet each other
-Recreation
-Snack
-Activity time
-Devotional/prayer
-Parents arrive

In order to prepare we would like to have a planning meeting on Sunday 29th 7:30 at Winterville Baptist Church (305 N Church St, Winterville, GA 30683). 

If you are at all interested, please join the Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=70101041881 and invite anyone who would like to help out! If you have any questions at all please contact Christin Johnson at christinwj@gmail.com or Tracy Bialisteebi@uga.edu 

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