There are days, weeks, and months to recognize, build awareness, or applaud everything under the sun. Heck, we celebrate everything from National Fresh Breath Day to Inventor's Month.* And of course, we all have our pet awareness days for our children's diagnoses.
So WHY did it take this long for someone to finally recognize parents raising kids with special needs?
Regardless, someone finally HAS! Our dear friend, author and editor of Not Alone, Sandra Peoples, founded Special-Needs Parents Appreciation Month this year. She aptly states...
Special-Needs Parents Appreciation Month is a way to recognize and celebrate some unsung heroes in our families, churches, and communities. Often, special-needs families feel isolated and neglected. But each August during Special-Needs Parents Appreciation Month, friends, family members, churches, and communities can say “We see you. We appreciate you.” This boost will be invaluable to the parents whose kids may not even be able to speak the words “thank you.”No one knows how tough this journey can be like one who has walked it. That being said, we want to encourage the parents we serve in even greater ways. We also want to prompt those same parents to encourage one another through observance of this month. Here are 2 creative ways you can get involved:
- Our friends over at Rising Above Ministries are part of the team celebrating Special Needs Parents Appreciation Month. They would love for you to join in their #bless2back campaign to do random acts of kindness for parents of individuals with special needs. Hear all about this national campaign and how you can participate in their short video on Facebook. Participate by using the hashtag #bless2back to let everyone know what you've done for a special parent or what someone has done for you!
- Snappin' Ministries challenges people to chose ONE WORD this month to describe what you admire most about special needs parents. Post it in the comment section here below. Use the hashtag #iadmirespnparents on social media. Not only will this build awareness and fill parents with encouragement, it will also help us identify and debunk some myths.
We also encourage you to visit the Special-Needs Parents Appreciation Month website to learn more about this inaugural year of the observance, and see who has been named "Special-Needs Parent of the Day" from the 100 parents previously nominated.
I am also personally honored to have contributed to Not Alone's e-book, 30 Prayers for Special-Needs Parents to be made available during this month. One of my favorite things about Snappin' Ministries is our dedicated, confidential prayer team. They relentlessly focus on the concerns of our caregivers and their children. It's AMAZING! Prayer is a HUGE part of what we do, so it was beautiful to be able to share some of that devotion via Not Alone's prayer guide.
Whether it be in a kind word, dedicated prayers, or kind deeds, ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER during this month. Raising a complex child is NOT for sissies! Parents like us know that full well. We need all of the support and kindness we can get. Honor God by responding in this remarkable way to His mandate to honor each other.
PRAY: O, Jesus, our ever-present help, make Your comforting presence known to parents raising challenged children this month. Fill our tanks, so we are ready to be poured out another day. Encourage us through word, prayer and deed. End the painful isolation, increase the kindness, and grow us in strength as we keep our hearts focused on You.
~ Barb Dittrich
*Source: Days Of The Year LTD