Written by: Sabrena Bishop
On June 11,2018, Madison and I made our way to Key Biscayne. Oh we wish it was for the beach, but it was to meet members of Act4Me Nonprofit Organization. We learned about Act4Me from Mark Thompson from the Special Olympics. Act4Me provides access to therapy for children with disabilities. Therapy can be a huge expense on families, the thought of having to spend over $30, 000 a year on therapy can easily create a financial burden on families.
After a quick interview with Madison, I began to ask questions about the different types of therapy Act4Me provides. Shortly after I introduced my book, “I May Not Be Like You, But We Could Be Friends”. and explained how my notes became a published book before my daughter was diagnosed with ASD, ADHD, and speech delay.
Marth Poulat, the Vice President began reading my book with tears in her eyes. I was happy to leave a copy to the organization knowing they are a big impact with families whom are struggling with children with disabilities/special needs. Ivette Chaustre-Fernandez, the Director and Speech Pathologist, was moved by the empathy throughout the book. Milly Alfaro, the assistant director, also wanted a copy of “Elijah and His Invisible Friend”.
After leaving the meeting, I realized that having a child with disability/special needs is a very expensive feat. When I heard the numbers, my heart almost stopped. In most families, one parent is resorted to staying home, while the other works due to the demands of a special needs child. Also most insurance policies do not cover all the expenses, which leaves families having to seek aid from organizations such as these.
There are eligibility requirements and an interview process before money will be granted to the families. What I admire the most about this organization is that the women we met at Act4ME are hardworking, ambitious women who have full time jobs yet donate their time to volunteer and source funds to help families in need.
Thank you Milly, Martha and Ivette for not for just sharing about my book, but for all the hard work and dedication to these families that you have helped throughout the years.