Buddy Break is a free kids/respite program where kids with special needs (we call them VIP kids) make new friends, play fun games, enjoy crafts, stories, music, activities and more! Siblings have fun too! Meanwhile, their caregivers get a break from their ongoing care-giving responsibilities for three hours.
First Church is proud to work in partnership with Nathaniel’s Hope, a program that provides respite care for parents with special needs children. By providing this service, it is First Church’s desire to be and become passionate followers of Jesus, to share our resources generously and strategically, and to invite others to follow Jesus. Everything we are and do grows from our desire to be partners together under the influence of God’s Spirit for the healing of the world in Jesus’ name.
VIPs are kids with special needs, including any physical, cognitive, medical or hidden disability; chronic or life-threatening illness; or medically fragile conditions.
Buddies are friends to VIPs and siblings. They are members and friends of First Church who have completed special training to be able to spend quality time with VIPs and their families.
The weight and stress of a special needs child can be overwhelming. Those responsibilities, along with the never-ending demands of daily caregiving and life in general leave little opportunity for caregivers to take time for themselves, run errands, or spend time with a spouse or other children. Buddy Break provides a safe place for VIPs and their siblings to have fun and establish meaningful friendships with other kids and adults while their caregivers get a break.
As a mom of a special need child, I know firsthand what it is like to go without a break when you desperately need one. As a professional who works with special needs children, I constantly meet mom and dads throughout our county who need a break but do not have access to trusted trained care. Buddy Break at First church will help fulfill this widespread need in a place that is centrally located for all the families in our area.