If you've been lucky enough to see a group outing of Sidekicks in and around West Michigan, you know you've witnessed something pretty amazing. Sidekicks is this months recipient of a grant from Tabono Law and Scherdel Sales and Technology of $1000 for their programs and we're honored to welcome Jeremy Weibenga from the organization to tell us more about it and receive the gift.
Like many of these monumental groups we didn't really know we needed until they got here, things began pretty small. Just a few families gathered to try and come up with a way to make life better for some of their kids. From their website - "Sidekicks of West Michigan is a nonprofit organization that offers individuals with and without disabilities the education and tools to gain independence and build friendships through guided adventures in inclusive settings throughout West Michigan." It's just that simple. There are only a couple of very basic rules to be a participant and the group operates year-round with a heavy focus on summer time activities. This is where you've likely seen a "Sidekicks" shirt in a group setting. I was in line personally for a sandwich at Party in the Park one Friday and found myself surrounded by Sidekicks people and delighted by what was going on around me.
Friendly faces, laughter and the ability to interact as we all enjoy is the goal of this group. A step toward independence too and even a moment of respite for those who are normal day to day care givers for some are a couple of the benefits. A couple more are seeing that what's on the surface is one thing, and what's inside is another and the success of those who are participating in this program is satisfying on every level. It's an amazing experience when everyone gets to be a part of something.
Part of the Step it Up program is to let you know about the incredible work going on by organizations like Sidekicks and now that you know a little more. Go after it. Help out with a donation of your own, maybe see if you can volunteer or maybe you know someone who can benefit from the group? Sidekicks has planted their flag and you can see more about this awesome bunch on the SIDEKICKS WEBSITE or you can FOLLOW THEM ON FACEBOOK.