Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Changing mentalities during a day of serving special-needs

Running consecutive trips for groups with vastly different special-needs can be a mental and emotional workout. Yesterday, for example… a grieving family came out with us. It wasn’t a case of a family member passing away. It was a case of the father having to leave to serve a jail term. The children and wife were suffering terribly and they needed a family educational adventure to have as a memory. They had a blast and built a beautiful memory together.

Minutes after they disembarked the next group came aboard… children at high risk as a result of their parents’ involvement in the drug culture. They came to us with therapists from our collaborating partner, Child Abuse Listening & Mediation (CALM). They children learned a great deal about part of the world they new little-to-nothing about.

The needs of these two specific groups were very different, yet each was a special need that SOFTIN is perfectly and uniquely positioned to fill with an at-sea educational, self esteem and skill building adventure. It gave the grieving family a time of togetherness and adventure to cherish during the forced separation. It gave the children at risk a look outside the box they usually live in, gave them a taste of adventure and a sense of what lifestyles they could strive to live and what waterfront or at-sea professions they could aspire to.

Meeting varied special-needs is challenging yet equally rewarding because we see so clearly that we are helping special needs people in profound and unique ways. We sure could use your help. Will you contact us and offer to help fund our work?

Capt. David Bacon
Executive Director, SOFTIN 895-3273 (my cell phone to call and arrange a donation)

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