Another playset given!

We just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone at Andrew’s Gift for your generous grant donation. Although we really can’t thank you enough, we wanted to let you know how appreciative we are of your generosity. We are sure that Jack will get years of enjoyment from our new swing set. He already loves it, and would spend all day playing on it, regardless of the weather, if we let him. We have already seen much improvement in Jack’s swing set skills. He climbs the ladder with ease, loves the slide, and is slowly getting used to the swing. He has noticed the monkey bars, and is curious, but is not quite ready to take on that challenge yet!  

We wanted you to see the end result so we have provided a few pictures for you. We wanted you to see the set itself, and we wanted to show you Jack enjoying himself.  Your gift has certainly gone to a great cause, and again, we wanted to express our utmost thanks for your generosity.

Eric, Lauren, Jack, and Olivia Maguire

A thank you from Owen and family

Dear Andrew's Gift,

Thank you for the gift of a grant to allow our 5-year-old son, Owen, to increase his sessions at Fitness 4 Focus!  He has been working with Shawn once a week for almost a year, and he is always excited when it's time for his session.  Chris and Shawn are completely invested in helping Owen not only work on physical strength and coordination, but they also challenge him cognitively and have high expectations and get him to work towards them.  When I get stuck in the mindset of, "He can't do that yet," they prove me wrong time and again.  I was blown away a couple of weeks ago when they wrote his schedule on a white board and told him to erase the tally marks beside each activity every time he completed one, and he'd march right over to the board after each set and holler, "Erase!" and take one mark off.  (Sometimes he'd erase two or three at a time - didn't like those sets??)

They even promote social interactions by getting the kids to work together in the gym.  Then last week they invited us to sit in front of their Hershey location to watch the Halloween parade while they were walking in it, and when they came past us, they scooped Owen up and took him with them.  He was all smiles and laughed the entire time we walked the parade route.  These guys are not only amazing at what they do with the kids while they're in the gym, they make their clients feel like a part of a big family.  Having local organizations like Andrew's Gift and Fitness 4 Focus who genuinely care about the special needs kids in the area means the world to us parents.  Thanks again!!

Andrew's Gifts providing service dogs

Andrew's Gift understands the tremendous value that service dogs provide to individuals with autism. We are excited to support their mission and wish them tremendous success. Pam Foreman, Director for SSD, sent the following note:

Dorothy, I want to personally thank you for funds to be applied to the cost of a service dog for a family. I know the family is so very grateful and all of us here at SSD are as well. It was such a pleasure meeting you. I've enjoyed perusing Andrew's Gift website. Very nice! The most sincere gratitude....Pam Foreman

Check out the website to see all the wonderful work going on with SSD.
Susquehanna Service Dogs raises and trains services dogs to assist children and adults with disabilities to become more independent.

iTaalk Training makes an impact

Andrew's Gift hosted its first iTaalk seminar at the Vista School in Hershey recently. Fourteen iPads were distributerd to grant recipients. Fifty people attended this training. Along with the 14 families, there were several Vista School parents attending for further training for their family member, an iTaalk family traveled from Phila., and many local professionals attended as well. (speech language pathologists, special education teacher, TSS, case managers and behavioral therapists)
Tammy, Brooke, Beth, Kate and Kelly from iTaalk presented an outstanding day long seminar.The attendees were given an introduction to the use of iPads. Free apps were given out and everyone was off and running.
There were tears of joy and happiness for some of the parents. One boy was counting using a new app he had received. His mom was crying because she said he did not like to do this prior to getting this app. A professional received a mini iPad during the raffle. She could barely contain her excitement. She now has her own personal device to work with her clients in the community.
It truly was a day of gratitude on so many levels. Andrew's Gift is very grateful to our new friends from iTaalk. A huge thank you goes out to the Board of the Vista School for sharing their beautiful facility. A special thanks to Carvel for helping with the tech setup.
It was amazing to witness the excitemnt and enthusiasm displayed by the parents, families and professionals on Saturday. Everyone present was fully aware of the impact that these iPads will have on the lives of the grant recipients.

Help Andrew's Gift make a difference in the lives of those living with autism by donating to Andrew's Gift, PO Box 6014, Harrisburg, PA 17112**Note from a parent** "I just want to say thank you so much for the wonderful event today. It was amazing and exceeded my expectations. I was so blessed to have the opportunity to attend and learn. I came home and developed an evening schedule for Cody and we walked through it together. I think it is actually wonderful that I can learn and teach him at the same time. As we move forward with his communication I will keep in touch and share his progress. Cody is completely non-verbal, so I am excited to watch him grow and communicate with us.  Thank you again for everything, you are amazing people and are doing a great job touching our lives."

A birthday for Kara

Andrew’s Gift recently encountered a very special young lady, Kara Young. Kara recently had her 10th birthday and celebrated with a party with her friends. Instead of gifts Kara asked her friends to bring donations for two of her favorite charities, Andrew’s Gift and the Food Bank. Kara is a very special individual to think about the needs of others ahead of herself. Our heartfelt thanks to Kara for her kindness and our great admiration for a very special young lady.