Special needs volunteer gives hope to client

Braedon and Donald

Kimberly, Linda, and Braedon meet longtime volunteer, Donald and job coach, Rebecca.

A young mother, Kimberly, and her son, Braedon, received a special kind of hope through Catholic Charities. Kimberly was attempting to move from Tulsa to California for special medical care for Braedon, who is autistic.

When Emergency Assistance coordinator Todd Sleazak met with Kimberly and her son, he noticed that Braedon had similar behavioral characteristics as longtime volunteer, 52 year-old Donald. Todd mentioned this to Kimberly, and she seemed surprised. Kimberly worried that it might not be possible for Braedon to function successfully in a work place later in life. Todd encouraged Kimberly to meet Donald and his job coach, Rebecca.  She loved the idea.

As Donald and Rebecca met with Braedon and his mother, Kimberly expressed excitement to witness Donald respond to questions with his hand signals.  The group sat down together for lunch, provided by our San Pascual hot lunch program, during which Rebecca and Kimberly exchanged notes and ideas.  Many times in the conversation, they would comment to each other, “Yes, he does the exact same thing! They really are similar in many ways.” Later, Kimberly told her mother, Linda, “I am so encouraged!  This gives me hope with Braedon.”

Kimberly thanked Catholic Charities for the assistance, and said she wished she had discovered our organization earlier before their move. In response, Todd told Kimberly that Catholic Charities programs exist all over the nation. Kimberly replied, “Yes, but it is not the Catholic Charities in Tulsa.”

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