Date: March 9, 2024

Open Hands Community Care (OHCC) proudly embraced the spirit of International Women’s Day, commemorating the remarkable achievements and resilience of women worldwide. On this special occasion, OHCC celebrated the inspiring women who contribute significantly to the organization’s mission every day.

The day commenced with a heartfelt acknowledgment of the incredible strength, resilience, and accomplishments of women globally. At OHCC, we recognize the privilege of working alongside inspiring women who leave an indelible mark through their dedication and impact.

Two prominent OHCC figures, Co-Founder Mariatu and Operations Lead Pule, had the honour of attending a meaningful Women’s Breakfast hosted by Leeanne Enoch MP. This gathering brought together influential women from Murri School, Algester State School, Pallara Special School, Kids Magik, and Girls Guide. The morning was characterized by inspiration, connection, and shared stories, fostering a sense of community and empowerment.

Certificates of Appreciation were presented during this heart-warming event, recognizing the invaluable contributions of the attendees. The breakfast became a platform for women to share their experiences and celebrate their strengths and achievements collectively.

As OHCC embraced the theme of Queensland Women’s Week (QWW), our team had the privilege of participating in the empowering celebrations of women and girls throughout Queensland. The week served as a testament to the remarkable successes and contributions of women across the region.

OHCC stands proudly as part of this empowering initiative, championing the strength, resilience, and invaluable contributions of women within our community and beyond. The organization remains committed to fostering a culture that uplifts, supports, and celebrates the achievements of all women.

The Women’s Breakfast and QWW celebrations underscore OHCC’s dedication to building a supportive and inclusive environment. The shared spirit of sisterhood, evident in the connections formed and stories exchanged, continues to inspire the OHCC community.

As the week unfolded, OHCC emphasized the importance of ongoing support, recognition, and celebration of women’s achievements. The organization remains committed to fostering an environment where women can thrive, empowering each other to reach new heights.

The essence of International Women’s Day, the Women’s Breakfast, and Queensland Women’s Week resonates with OHCC’s core values—equality, empowerment, and community. Here’s to the uplifting spirit of sisterhood and the ongoing commitment to celebrating the strength and achievements of all women.

Cheers to the women who shape our world and the collective journey towards equality, empowerment, and support!

#OHCC #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2024 #WomensBreakfast #QueenslandWomensWeek #QWW2024 #CountHerIn #EmpowerWomen #CommunityUnity #InspiringWomen #WomenSupportingWomen #EqualityForAll

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Date: March 4, 2024

On the 1st of March 2024, the Open Hands Community Care team had the honor of attending the Brisbane Disability Connection Expo 2024, hosted by Developing Australian Communities at the prestigious Brisbane Entertainment Centre. The event was a profound showcase of the incredible efforts and services dedicated to uplifting individuals with disabilities and their families.

Amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the expo, our team had the opportunity to connect with outstanding Disability Support Services that are making a remarkable impact in the community. The commitment and dedication exhibited by these services, including Aspire Hub, Anchored Care, and Empower Healthcare, resonated deeply with our mission at Open Hands Community Care.

Witnessing the array of support, resources, and guidance provided by these organizations emphasized the transformative power of disability support services. It was truly inspiring to observe the positive influence these services can have on the lives of individuals and their families, fostering a sense of empowerment, independence, and inclusion.

At Open Hands Community Care, we are driven by a shared commitment to making a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve. The expo served as a valuable opportunity for us to explore and learn from the best practices of other organizations, reinforcing our dedication to excellence in disability support services.

As we continue to grow and evolve, our aspiration is to build upon these connections and expand our support and services to individuals and families who need it the most. Our mission at Open Hands Community Care is rooted in the belief that every individual deserves the opportunity to live a life abundantly, filled with support, care, and meaningful connections.

The expo was not only a platform for showcasing existing services but also an avenue for collaboration and partnerships. The collaborative spirit exhibited by organizations like Aspire Hub, Anchored Care, and Empower Healthcare reflects the shared goal of creating a network of support that truly transforms lives.

In line with our commitment to transparency, collaboration, and innovation, Open Hands Community Care will continue to explore new avenues for growth and improvement. We are grateful for the valuable insights gained from the Brisbane Disability Connection Expo 2024 and look forward to applying these learnings in our ongoing efforts to provide exceptional support services.

As we express our gratitude to the expo organizers, fellow support services, and the wider community, we extend an invitation to all those in need of support to join hands with Open Hands Community Care. Together, let us build a future where everyone can experience life abundantly.

#OHCC #BrisbaneDisabilityExpo2024 #OHCCares #Connections #NDISSupports #CollaborationAndPartnerships #LifeAbundantly

Date: March 1, 2024

In the spirit of unity and friendship, February became a month of joyous celebrations at Open Hands Community Care (OHCC) as we came together for our Staff and Volunteer’s Post-Christmas festivities. This heartwarming occasion served as a much-needed regroup for our dedicated team, providing a platform for both new and familiar faces to connect and celebrate.

The atmosphere was electric with laughter and shared moments as our team reveled in the festivities. It was a day marked by a sense of togetherness, where bonds were strengthened, and friendships were forged. The event not only highlighted the commitment of our team but also emphasized the importance of fostering a supportive and inclusive community within OHCC.

One of the bittersweet moments of the day was bidding pre-goodbyes to our beloved Managing Director, Sherifaye Kagbo. Sherifaye, who has been an integral part of the OHCC family, is gradually winding down for her maternity leave. As we extend our warmest wishes and congratulations to her and Robert, the impending addition to the OHCC family fills our hearts with excitement and anticipation.

The day’s festivities were a reflection of the positive and collaborative spirit that defines OHCC. Our team, comprising passionate individuals dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those we serve, took a moment to celebrate achievements, share stories, and express gratitude for the collective efforts that make OHCC a remarkable community.

The occasion was not just about the festivities; it was about acknowledging the value each team member brings to OHCC and recognizing the synergy that propels us forward. In the midst of laughter and joy, there was a sense of appreciation for the diversity of talents and perspectives that contribute to the success of our organization.

As we bid farewell to February, the memories of this special celebration will linger, serving as a reminder of the strength that lies in unity. OHCC remains committed to fostering a workplace culture that not only values professional excellence but also prioritizes the well-being and happiness of our team members.

Looking ahead, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of the newest member to the OHCC family, knowing that this addition will bring immeasurable joy and inspiration to our community. The legacy of warmth, compassion, and dedication that Sherifaye leaves behind will undoubtedly continue to guide OHCC as we navigate the path ahead.

In the spirit of unity and with hearts full of appreciation, we express gratitude to our team, volunteers, and especially to Sherifaye Kagbo for her outstanding contributions. Open Hands Community Care thrives because of the collective efforts of our incredible team, and together, we look forward to creating more moments of celebration, growth, and shared success.

Here’s to a future filled with continued camaraderie and the unwavering spirit of Open Hands Community Care!

 

#OHCC #Celebrations #TeamSpirit #CommunityLove #MaternityLeave #SharedSuccess

What an incredible way to conclude our 2023 – true to the Open Hands spirit! We kicked off December with our remarkable ‘Leave No One Behind This Christmas’ initiative, staying true to our mission of making a difference in the lives of those facing hardships.

Thanks to the generous support from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust – Ratepayers Grant Round, Open Hands is distributing over 500+ food relief hampers. This initiative has provided essential food and groceries to thousands of households this Christmas. The initiative continues until Fri, 22nd December, and our volunteers have done an outstanding job spreading love and support throughout the wider community this December.

But we didn’t stop there!

On Sunday, 3rd December, our team seized the fantastic opportunity to attend not just one, but two incredible events. One half of the team had an absolute blast at the Souths Sports Club’s Spectacular Funday, complete with a breathtaking fireworks display! Simultaneously, the other half of the team had an equally amazing time at Calamvale District Park for Christmas in the Park. The joy of witnessing countless smiles and connecting with so many wonderful people from the community was truly heartwarming.

A special thank you goes to Cr Angela Owen – Councillor for Calamvale Ward & the Acacia Ridge Souths Sports Club for the gracious invitation. Our team thoroughly enjoyed the delightful experience!

 

We didn’t just stop at that! Here at Open Hands, our participants are more than just individuals—we consider them family and include them in all our endeavours. As part of our festive celebrations, we organised a delightful Christmas Lunch welcoming participants, carers, and families. The day was brimming with joy as our incredible participant families connected and engaged with one another. Witnessing everyone come together for lunch, enjoying themselves, was truly heart-warming.

As the year closes, we look forward to ending with a bang, with our Community Christmas Carols, where we will be distributing to the kids, enjoying food, carols, decorations, gifts, and each other’s company. Events like these play a significant role in eradicating loneliness, fostering social interaction, nurturing self-esteem and improving metal health.

A special thank you goes to Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust – Christmas Grant Round, for help making these events possible for our community members, participants, carers, and families.

We’re eagerly looking forward to hosting more of such events in the upcoming New Year.

Here’s to an exciting 2024 ahead!

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Brisbane City Hall, a historical and iconic landmark in the heart of the city, recently played host to a momentous occasion. On Thursday, 26th October 2023, Open Hands Community Care (OHCC) Co-founder, Mariatu and MD, Sherifaye, had the privilege of visiting this grand venue as recipients of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust – Ratepayers Grant Round.

 

As an organisation dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those facing challen

 

ging circumstances, we will continue our cherished tradition this year with the announcement of our “Leave No One Behind This Christmas”. The grant awarded to OHCC will be used to provide essential Food Relief through hampers to individuals and families within the community who are in need, especially during the crucial festive period.

This year, the Food Hamper Drive will be held in December, with the theme “Leave No One Behind This Christmas.” The theme emphasises the importance of ensuring that everyone in the community has consistent access to nutritious food during the holiday season, regardless of their circumstances.

This initiative embodies the spirit of giving, compassion, and unity. It underscores the collective effort to ensure that no

 

one is left behind, and that every individual has the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with the joy and nourishment that it brings.

OHCC and its supporters extend their heartfelt thanks to the generous ratepayers who continue to support charitable endeavours like this. We also express our gratitude to the Chair and Brisbane Mayoress, Nina Schrinner, the Brisbane Lord Mayor, and all the dedicated trustees and ambassadors for their incredible generosity. The support from the Ratepayers of Brisbane and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust has been instrumental in making this initiative a reality.

As the holiday season approaches, we eagerly anticipate more details about the Food Hamper Drive and the positive impact it will have on the Brisbane community. Let’s come together to make this Christmas a time of warmth, compassion, and inclusivity, leaving no one behind.

Stay tuned for updates and consider how you can contribute to this heartwarming cause.

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What an eventful month it has been for us at OHCC!

Our team has been immersed in a whirlwind of exciting events. We kicked off the month by attending our very first Brisbane Disability Expo as a registered NDIS Disability Provider, held Friday, 13th October 2023.

This expo is a significant event in the disability services calendar, offering a distinct platform for Open Hands and other providers and services to engage with the community and demonstrate their dedication to empowering individuals with disabilities. Held at the Royal International Convention Centre, our team engaged with diverse audiences, including individuals with disabilities, their families, caregivers, support workers, and fellow providers and services.

During this event, our team engaged in insightful discussions, shared informative materials, and had the opportunity to learn, equipping OHCC to better support both new and existing NDIS participants and their loved ones on their journey.

Open Hands Community Care is enthusiastic and anticipates being part of next year’s Brisbane Disability Expo as an Exhibitor / Sponsor. We eagerly look forward to connecting with the community to further OHCC’s mission of enhancing the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, one life at a time!

The very next day, Saturday, 14th October, we had the privilege of actively participating in the Pasifika & Māori Health & Wellbeing Strategy Workshop, an Australian Government initiative organised by the Primary Health Network (PHN). These workshops play a pivotal role in addressing the distinctive health and wellbeing needs of Pasifika and Māori communities in Queensland.

Engaging in these workshops brings about several advantages for organisations like Open Hands Community Care, such as:

Contribution to Community Wellbeing: By actively participating in discussions and strategies, we can actively contribute to the creation of initiatives tailored to the specific needs and challenges faced by Pasifika and Māori communities.

Collaboration: These workshops typically bring together diverse stakeholders, including government agencies, healthcare providers, community organisations, and community members. This collaborative approach can result in more comprehensive and effective strategies.

Cultural Competency: Understanding the cultural intricacies and values of Pasifika and Māori communities is crucial for delivering culturally competent care. These workshops serve as a platform for learning and sharing insights in this regard.

Policy Influence: Active participation in such events can exert influence on policies that are more attuned to the unique requirements of these communities.

Network Building: These workshops provide an opportunity to connect with other like-minded organizations and individuals who share a commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Pasifika and Māori populations.

Education and Awareness: Such workshops often include educational sessions and discussions on pertinent topics, which can broaden our knowledge and awareness about the challenges and opportunities in this field.

Our commitment to sharing our organisation’s experiences from these events and workshops with our audience and community members remains steadfast. We are continually growing and learning from the experiences of others. These kind of active participation leads to positive outcomes for both OHCC and the communities we serve. We look forward to actively participating in the 2024 Community Workshops and being a part of change needed for our communities to Flourish and Thrive.

In a world that often prioritises physical health, Mental Health Week serves as a crucial reminder to focus on our emotional well-being. Mental health is an essential component of our overall wellness, and it deserves just as much attention and care as our physical health. Before diving into ways to celebrate Mental Health Week, it’s important to understand what mental health truly encompasses.

Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act, influencing our ability to handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

At Open Hands Community Care, we are always taking steps to maintain not only our physical health, but ensuring to always prioritise our mental health. We do this by checking in with our colleagues on a daily basis and encouraging open communication. We also ensure we are constantly paying attention to changes in behaviour, mood, or work performance that might indicate a colleague is struggling with mental health issues and offer support or professional help.

At OHCC, we also recognise the stigma associated with mental health issues. Mental health has long been shrouded in stigma, preventing countless individuals from seeking the help they need. The fear of judgment, discrimination, and misunderstanding often hinders people from reaching out for support. As a multilingual and CALD organisation we recognise the importance of addressing mental health stigma and provide compassionate care to those in need.

As part of our organisational values, we are dedicated to eradicating mental health stigma and providing comprehensive support to individuals experiencing mental health challenges through our numerous support services.

There are many ways to recognise and care for mental health. It’s important to firstly educate and create as much awareness as possible.

Mental Health Supports, Advocacy & Advisory Services at Open Hands

At Open Hands Community Care we are always actively promoting education and awareness surrounding mental health issues. It’s also recommended to seek support groups and as an organisation we can assist in bridging that gap linking individuals with support group services.

As a CALD organisation, we take a culturally sensitive approach to care. We understand that different communities may experience mental health stigma differently and tailor our services accordingly. In addition as an organisation we actively advocates for mental health reform and policies that protect the rights and well-being of those living with mental health conditions.

It is normal for families and individuals to experience a range of reactions to unexpected events. Every day we see people needing someone to lean on. Whether it’s someone battling with mental illness, facing addictions, struggling with finances, young people trying to find their way, or communities reeling from disaster, we’ll walk alongside you, to identify impacting gaps, assisting people identify social barriers. Our Psychosocial Recovery Coaches, Counsellors & Pastoral Care Team help participants on their individual journey to recovery and wellness, offering a listening ear, strategies to understand feelings, and ways to build resilience and emotional wellbeing. Contact us today, to find out how we can help!

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5 Self-Care Tips to Keep in Mind:

  1. Start each day with a mindfulness practice or meditation to ground yourself.

  1. Connect with Others.

  1. Educate Yourself.

  1. Reduce the Stigma.

  1. Seek Professional Help.

At Open Hands were here for you! Contact us today, to find out how we can help!

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In a powerful display of solidarity and commitment to mental health awareness, on behalf of Open Hands Community Care (OHCC), our very own Operations Lead, Pule Salafai made us proud by representing and participating in the Yellow Hope Walk event organized by the Black Butterfly Group. The event, held on Saturday 16th September, aimed to shed light on the critical issues of youth suicide and mental health, igniting conversations that can save lives.

The Yellow Hope Walk event was a vibrant and poignant affair, with attendees donning bright yellow attire to symbolize hope and positivity in the face of adversity. CEO’s of Black butterfly Group Tapu & Joe started the group after sadly losing their niece to suicide late August 2023.

Pule a mental health advocate herself was fortunate to know and get amongst the conversation, raising awareness and encouraging communication.

Youth suicide and mental health issues have become increasingly prevalent concerns in today’s society. According to recent studies, the global youth suicide rate has been on the rise, highlighting the urgent need for intervention and support. In response to this growing crisis, Manawise Group and the Black Butterfly Group joined forces to make a meaningful impact on the lives of young individuals struggling with mental health challenges.

The color yellow was chosen for its association with optimism and sunshine, reflecting the event’s goal of bringing light into the lives of those battling mental health issues.

Pule, alongside members of the community, and other mental health advocates, gathered at Berrinba Wetland Park to walk together in unity. The walk route was adorned with uplifting banners and signs, each bearing messages of hope, encouragement, and resources for those seeking support.

The event also featured guest speakers who shared their personal experiences with mental health challenges and emphasized the importance of breaking the stigma surrounding these issues. These moving testimonials served as a reminder that mental health struggles can affect anyone, regardless of age or background, and that seeking help is a courageous step towards healing.

“This event is a powerful reminder that no one is alone in their mental health journey,” said Pule, representative from OHCC. “Open Hands Community Care is dedicated to being a beacon of hope and support for those who need it most. Together with the Black Butterfly Group and other like-minded organizations, we can create a safer and more compassionate community for our youth.”

The Yellow Hope Walk event organized by the Black Butterfly Group and attended by Open Hands Community Care was a resounding success, drawing attention to the pressing issues of youth suicide and mental health. By coming together as a community and embracing the color yellow as a symbol of hope, participants took a significant step toward reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and fostering an environment where young individuals can seek help without fear or shame.

As the sun set on the event, it left a lasting impression on all who attended, reinforcing the importance of continued efforts to raise awareness, provide support, and ultimately save lives in the battle against youth suicide and mental health challenges. Together, with organizations like the Black Butterfly Group, there is hope for a brighter, more compassionate future for our youth.

 

You’re not alone – We are here for you- Speak with someone today 13 11 14

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Housing & Accommodation at Open Hands Community Care

As an organisation we are dedicated to providing comprehensive support and care services to individuals with diverse needs. One of the key principles that underpin our approach is the promotion of Housing, Accommodation & Supported Independent Living (SIL).

Supported Independent Living (SIL) is an approach to care that prioritises enabling individuals to live as independently as possible, while still receiving necessary supports. At Open Hands Community Care, we recognise that every person we serve is unique, and their journey towards independence may vary. Our SIL encompasses various levels of assistance, including housing, personal care, and community engagement.

The Key Benefits of Supported Independent Living (SIL):

  1. Dignity and Autonomy: SIL empowers individuals to maintain their dignity and autonomy. It fosters a sense of self-worth and self-determination, allowing people to make choices about their daily lives.
  2. Community Inclusion: By offering support within community settings, SIL encourages individuals to actively participate in society. This inclusion enhances their social skills, relationships, and overall well-being.
  3. Cost-Efficiency: SIL is often more cost-effective than institutionalised care. It reduces the need for extensive facility-based services, making it a sustainable option for both individuals and communities.
  4. Personalised Support Plans: Each person receiving SIL support benefits from a tailored support plan that addresses their unique needs and goals. This individualised approach ensures that the support provided is meaningful and effective.
  5. Improved Quality of Life: When individuals have the opportunity to live independently with support, their overall quality of life tends to improve. They have the freedom to pursue their interests, engage in activities they enjoy, and maintain a sense of purpose.

Open Hands Community Care’s Commitment to SIL.

Our organisation is committed to the principles of Supported Independent Living, and we integrate them into every aspect of our services:

Supported Independent Living (SIL) is at the heart of Open Hands Community Care’s mission. It is a holistic and person-centred approach that recognizes the inherent worth and potential of every individual we serve. By prioritising SIL, we aim to enable individuals to lead fulfilling lives, actively participate in their communities, and achieve their unique goals. Through our commitment to SIL, we continue to make a positive impact on the lives of those we support, their families, and the communities we serve.

With our Short-Term Accommodation, you can find comfort in the knowledge that your family member is in a safe and compassionate setting, receiving tailored care and assistance. Our inviting amenities and devoted staff establish a comforting environment away from home for your loved one.

For those in search of longer stays, our Medium-Term Accommodation provides a smooth shift between one’s residence and the community, encouraging self-sufficiency and social integration. Our team collaborates closely with individuals to create customised support plans that cater to their distinct requirements and goals.

At Open Hands Community Care, we recognise the significance of respite for caregivers and the beneficial influence it has on the overall welfare of families. Be assured that our compassionate and skilled team is dedicated to delivering outstanding respite services, empowering both caregivers and individuals with disabilities to flourish.

Experience the solace and peace of mind that our Respite Services offer. Allow us to be your reliable ally in assisting your loved one on their distinct journey while you seize a moment to rejuvenate and prioritise self-care. Reach out to us today to explore our respite choices and begin a journey of renewal and assistance.

Here are some of recent feedback from our Housing and Accommodation tenants:

“You have provided me with suitable accommodation at an incredibly challenging time in my life and for that, I will forever be appreciative and grateful of your service.”
– OHCC NDIS Participant & Housing Tenant

“You have saved me from moving for the 18th time in the last 2 years, ultimately homeless. Proving me accommodation has allowed me to flourish in my recovery. I’m so grateful.” – OHCC NDIS Participant & Housing Tenant

Check out our current SIL/STA/MTA/Respite Vacancy

Require more info? Contact us today via our CONTACT US form.

Alternatively we’re only one call away – call us today on 0451 170 420 or (07) 3372 8632.

You can also reach us via our Facebook Page.

Open Hands Community Care is committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of its participants and clients by providing essential support and fostering a sense of belonging within the community. With dedicated support workers, we ensures that individuals have the opportunity to engage actively with their surroundings and live fulfilling lives.

We empowers our participants and clients to venture out into the community, enriching their lives through meaningful experiences such as the participation within our Neighborhood Marketplace.

Many participants and clients of Open Hands Community Care find immense fulfillment in giving back to their communities. We actively supports and encourages volunteer opportunities. Whether it’s helping at the Marketplace, attending or participating in community events, or mentoring youth, individuals are given the chance to make a positive impact, enhancing their sense of purpose.

This month our participants got to experience different exciting activities that encouraged them to explore their interests and passions, develop new skills, and build relationships with others in their community.

Check out some of our snaps of the month!

Open Hands encourages the above activities and more because we understands that being an active member of the community is essential for overall well-being.

Our support workers continuously build strong relationships with our participants and clients, gaining a deep understanding of their needs, preferences, and aspirations. This personalized approach allows for tailored support plans that empower individuals to engage confidently in community activities.

One of the key aspects of Open Hands’ approach is helping participants and clients discover and pursue their interests and hobbies. Whether someone is passionate about art, sports, or nature, Open Hands facilitates opportunities for engagement. The goal is to ensure that individuals have access to activities they are genuinely enthusiastic about.

Community engagement is about more than just participating in activities; it’s also about building meaningful social connections. Open Hands understands the importance of friendships and companionship for mental and emotional well-being. Our support workers are actively encourage participants and clients to connect with others who share their interests, fostering a sense of belonging and reducing feelings of isolation.

Open Hands Community Care places a strong emphasis on promoting independence among our participants and clients. Our support workers work closely with individuals to develop essential life skills, such as budgeting, grocery shopping, and using public transportation. This newfound independence empowers our participants to explore their community with confidence, knowing they have the skills needed to navigate various situations.

At Open Hands we’re not just a Registered NDIS Provider, we are a family and that is evident in all that we continually do and strive for every day, with the support and services we provide.

Thank you to our participant family for an adventurous and beautiful month, we can’t wait to create more memories.

Wish to be part of our family or know someone who can benefit from our disability services – reach to us today or refer someone on our REFFEREAL PAGE

Don’t forget to check out our many adventures and updates on our Facebook & Instagram