The news was bittersweet for Phyllis.* She was surprised, thrilled and excited that her daughter, Penny*, who six years earlier was struggling with educational success, had earned enough credits to graduate high school. But at the same time, this meant Penny would no longer be enrolled at CIRCLE Academy in Urbana.
"You could immediately see the tears of joy streaming down Peter’s face," Kandis said. "He never gave up hope. Even when we didn’t think it was possible he would be able to return home, he never doubted. At Cunningham Children’s Home, sometimes the impossible can be possible."
During the Christmas holiday season, our Special Therapies team works with our youth on a generosity project where they can use their creativity to show care for others. Traditionally, this project has included decorating stockings for staff members at the Champaign County Nursing Home.
During these challenging times, it can be difficult to find physical activities for our youth that comply with our safety and social distancing efforts, but our amazing Special Therapies team continues to do so time and time again.
Hope…it is the light in all of us that can’t be extinguished. It rages on to give us a glimmer of what we can do and of who we can become because hope fuels opportunity.
So much opportunity, like for Ivan.* The 13-year-old loves sports and Cunningham’s Special Therapies team provides him, and all of our residential youth, opportunities every season to work with skills groups and practice with teams.
BROOOOOKKKKEEEE! BROOOOKKKEEE! WHERE IS BROOKE?!" echoed loudly throughout the lobby of the Spiritual Life Center one afternoon.
It was obvious by his yelling that Jeremy* was anxious to find his friend Brooke, Associate Director of Advancement, and Chaplain Gay quickly pointed him in the direction of her office.
Staci has a lot on her plate. A single mother, she is the primary caregiver for her two children with special needs and her elderly parents who live with them. When Staci sought services at HopeSprings Counseling Services for her son, Jacob,* she did not realize how much her own life would change. Once skeptical for hope, she now sees there is light in the darkness.
Adrian* took a bite of his pizza and then shouted across the table, "TJ, TJ, TJ, I love you TJ!"
Reassuringly, TJ responded, "I love you too."
Projects in Deb Heater’s Social Skills class at Gerber, our residential education program, help equip our youth with the tools they need to be flexible and adjust their behavior to fit particular situations. They also teach life skills or as Deb says, "teach the kids they can do things to help themselves."
The article below was featured as part of the News-Gazette's: Sunday Special | Coronavirus and the community, Part V (April 19, 2020)
The Children’s Home
‘They’re actually getting a lot of work done’