“As you have done it unto the least of my brethren; ye do it also unto me”. Matthew 25:40
When Pervis Sr was alive, we often discussed what we could do for children with disabilities. We knew first hand the difficulties and challenges that these children faced. We knew the challenges and disappointments that their parents faced. He was a public figure and felt that we had a responsibility to help. I felt the same responsibility. But what should we do?
We decided to start a fund to pay for camp for children whose parents could not afford it. Camp is good for both the mother and the child. It gives the mother respite and gives the child a growth experience. The first time that I took Pervis Jr to camp, he cried and fought to go home with me. I felt so guilty leaving him there that I worried about him the whole time he was gone. However, when I picked him up at the end of the week, I saw a different little boy. He was calm and happy.
We realized that some parents had more immediate needs than camp, so we decided to provide the grants to the parents and let them decide how to use it. Just as we were getting it off the ground, Pervis passed away. I was devastated about all our plans. What was I to do? I decided to try to implement his plans without him. Thanks to volunteers who help me on the board of directors and the advisory board, we have been able to help children and their parents.
I want to share with you some of our accomplishments. Since we began in 2009, we have:
* bought matching T-shirts for parents and children enrolled in the Children’s Center Program in Detroit.
* paid for spa days for parents and splash camps for children being served by the Autism Collaborative Center at Eastern Michigan University. (ACC-EMU).
* helped with expenses at St. Francis Camp, one of only two camps in the state that serve all ages and all disabilities. Pervis Jr has attended that camp for over 20 years.
* Paid for refreshments for parent support group meetings.
* Granted a Christmas wish for children served by the Detroit Institute for Children
* Helped individual parents pay for insurance; medication; therapies; camp.
* Published a calendar featuring children with special needs.
I want to thank all of our supporters who have helped me with fund-raising and made generous donations. We could not have accomplished this without you.
But I do want to say that you do not have to start a foundation to help children with disabilities. Do you have a friend or a relative who is raising a child with a disability? Could you take them dinner a couple of times a month? Could you take them to a park or other outing when the weather is nice? Could you offer to child-sit for an afternoon to give the parent a break?
I decided that I needed to do something good in the world to balance out some of the bad that is being done in the world. I am in my 70s, so I don’t know how much time or energy that I have left, but I have been blessed to be able to help others as others have helped me. I will continue to do what I can.
Until next time; May the Power of God protect you. May the Love of God enfold you.