God blesses obedience and our parents were surely allowed to see that blessing this year at Snappin' Ministries. Our "Special Care for Special Caregivers" expanded in remarkable ways. More parents were served in person, online, and through shipments made via the US Postal Service. God's bounty and blessings have been overflowing in and through this unique ministry.
Here are some of the exciting things that happened:
Because of YOU, we were awarded GreatNonProfits' Top-Rated status again for the 4th consecutive year!
4. TRANSITIONS TO ADULTHOOD: 5 Insights on Self-Care by Barb Dittrich, posted September 1, 2016
3. I Don't Want To Be Your Project by Barb Dittrich, posted March 1, 2016
2. Does God Care? by Donna Mckenzie, posted June 21, 2016
1. Why it's Humanly Impossible to be the Parent of a Child with Special Needs by Tammie Hefty, posted September 22, 2016
- Tons of TLC Packages – WOW! Our parent TLC gift distribution was up 260% in 2016! We shipped out $5,215.70 in gift cards and gift baskets to 54 parents in need nationwide.
- AWESOME family events! – In January our families enjoyed another Winter Water Park Adventure at Country Springs in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. In July we had a phenomenal adaptive water ski and family picnic on Brown’s Lake in partnership with the Aquaducks. And for the first time ever, we held FREE play dates for families at Oconomowoc’s Imagination Station accessible playground.
- Matchless parent refreshment – Our annual Refresh Retreat for Mothers moved to Crosspoint Community Church on April 22nd in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Four dozen mothers received manicures, pedicures, haircuts, massages, enjoyed a prayer walk, bon fire, crafts, workshops, and an inspirational message from our leader, Barb Dittrich. On July 12th, we held our first Mom’s Summer Sanity Saver at Loft24 in Oconomowoc where moms enjoyed some relaxation and treats together. It was terrific partnering with local small businesses and volunteers on these events.
- Side-By-Side Parent Mentor Small Groups Our small groups at Crosspoint Community Church (Oconomowoc, WI), Elmbrook Church (Brookfield, WI), on Zoom video-conferencing, and on Facebook collectively learned and grew through tackling multiple book studies including ANXIOUS: Choosing Faith In a World of Worry; 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit; STILL LIFE: A Memoir of Living Fully with Depression; REFRESH: Spiritual Nourishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs; and The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas.
- New Mentors Trained – Five more women were trained in two separate sessions via 12-week video conferencing classes. From Wisconsin, to Arkansas, to Florida, to Texas, these individuals were thoroughly trained to provide mentoring support to parents raising children with serious diagnoses.
- New writers on the blog – We have been so blessed to have Bobby Lanyon (aka Jack’s Dad), Kimberly Drew, Amanda Furbeck, and Evana Sandusky join our writing team in 2016. While we were sad to say goodbye, writers Emily Krill, Michelle Bovell, Sheri Dacon, and Vangie Rodenbeck, we are looking forward to the addition of Jenn Soehnlin and Wendy Heyn in 2017. We are also grateful that Debbie Abbs, Cindy Barclay, Faith Clarke, Beth Clay, Alexandra Dittrich, Barb Dittrich, Mike Dobes, Tammie Hefty, Jennifer Janes, Donna Mckenzie, and Angela Parsley continue to share godly wisdom with our daily blog readers.
- New grant awards – Snappin’ Ministries was honored to be awarded grants this year for our ongoing parent TLC by the Stackner Family Foundation and for our new “Band of Fathers” events by the Oconomowoc Area Foundation.
- Offer unique refreshment for father’s only – Four social events for our “Band of Fathers” are in the works for the next 12 months.
- Develop a new inclusion guide for churches – Our team has been working on a parent-written guide to empower churches to make simple changes to become more inclusive of families living with disability of every kind.
- Train more mentors & start more Side-By-Side Parent Mentor Small Groups – We want to become multipliers by training additional mentors, starting new mentor small groups, and activate existing small groups to become missional communities that pass on the blessing.
- Maintain our signature events and programs – We are following God’s lead to continue and grow our existing events and programs. Expansion and replication are the key to reaching more challenged caregivers.