Your support makes a world of difference.
Every parent of a child with an intellectual or development disability worries about their children’s future and making sure that they will continue to have everything they need through their adult lives. For me, that worry was doubled, having both a son and a daughter with disabilities.
Not only did I want to make sure that they had a safe place to live and people who would care for them, but I also wanted to make sure that they would always be able to keep the strong bond between them in place. As I searched for an agency that could care for both of my adult children to no avail, I resigned myself to the fact that they were likely going to be supported by two different agencies. I did my best to get them the support they needed in my home, but I knew it was not the right plan for them in the long run.
In 2019, Samantha (or Sammie), my daughter, was given an opportunity to move into a new, all female home that CMA was developing in Malverne. Sammie and I were excited, but I was also nervous. Sammie had never lived with anyone but me and her brother. How would she adjust to living with five strangers? Then the pandemic came, and all of the families were worried, could we/should we move our daughters into a group home? Would it be safe? How would they protect our girls? Despite all our fears, Sammie and her housemates moved into their beautiful home in September of 2020. It was a surreal experience, there were so many restrictions and protocols in place because of the pandemic. I was afraid it would be too much for Sammie. Boy was I wrong! She loves her home, her staff, and her new friends. She is safe, happy, and learning new life skills and we all became part of the “CMA Family.”
With Sammie settled, I turned my attention to my son, David. I worried that he would not be able to find a home like Sammie’s because he had more complex support needs. Toward the beginning of 2021, I received a call from Heather Aylward, Senior Director of Residential Services, telling me there was an opening in a home that she thought would be perfect for David. David moved into his home in Westbury in April of 2021. The transition was not as smooth for David and I worried he might not be able to stay, but Heather and his entire residential team, including Evens, Courtney and all the DSPs made sure that David’s home will be his “forever home.”
This is what makes CMA such a special place. The entire team, Eileen Egan the Executive Director, Heather, and all the residential staff know each resident and their families. They pay attention to the little details. They check in on the homes and treat the families like they are all part of the team. I don’t know that another agency would have taken the time to know me and my family, to understand my desire for my children to be together, and to assist me in making that wish a reality.
CMA is a special place, and that is why I am asking you today to make a donation to this wonderful organization. Please help CMA so that it can continue to help families like mine.