Charity Spotlight: Matthew’s House

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Very rarely does a blog move me to tears.  As I was looking into Matthew’s House though, his Mom Andrea’s blog did just that.

I have no real experience with disabled children, but reading through accounts from different perspectives on what it’s like to have a child with physical and mental challenges opened my eyes to the battle these families face.  These children are loved by so many, yet it’s difficult for families to get the support and funding they need to care for them properly.  That’s where Matthew’s House comes in.

Matthew’s House is a home for disabled children aged 0-19, and is slated for building in 2011.  Half the kids who live there will be long-term residents, and half will be extensive respite care children staying for shorter periods of time.  The reason for this is that parents with children who need very specific medical care do not typically get the opportunity to take a vacation, due to their child’s medical needs.  Because of Mathew’s House, they will soon have that opportunity.   Named after a very special boy, this program is not only good for giving parents and siblings the much-deserved time off they need, it’s also a community where parents of disabled children can encourage one another and get to know other families who share the same challenges.  Matthew’s parents experienced a need in their lives for the kind of support they will be offering through Matthew’s House, so they rallied their friends, family and neighbours to raise money and awareness for families with disabled children and Matthew’s House was born.  This incredibly loved 9 year old passed away this August in the arms of his parents, and will be missed by the many people he touched with his life.

None of this would be possible without the generous donations to build Matthew’s House.  Although government funding is provided to families facing challenges with disabled children, the program is still pursuing funding for Matthew’s House itself.  It takes a lot of dedication and perseverance to start and run a House like this.  Matthew’s House is also teaming up with Canuck Place, new to Abbotsford.  If you or someone you know would benefit from a home like Matthew’s House, please contact Eugene Klassen of Communitas Care.  Waitlists are not in effect yet, but will be drawn up closer to the date of building.

Who: Matthews House

What: A long term/Extensive respite for children with disabilities and significant medical challenges.

Where: Abbotsford

Why: To provide families with the help and support they need raising children with severe disabilities.

How you can get involved: Donations are always appreciated.  You can also monitor the website for volunteer opportunities coming up such as taking kids to the park, reading and do0ing homework with them, playing games, etc.  If you have a heart for these special kids, you can help make a difference in their daily lives.

Contributor: Brianna Carson

Brianna is a nomad freelance writer from White Rock, currently residing in Edmonton with her boyfriend. She spends most her time writing and working in interior designs. Brianna visits the Fraser Valley as often as she can as it's her favourite place on earth.

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