As of today, Gavin's Trust Project fund is up to $19,300. To put this in perspective - that total was raised in 85 days... and is the sum of many, many small donations. There were a few large donations under a thousand dollars - but truly, this was a lot of one, five, ten and twenty dollar donations that added up. To say that I am grateful - and humbled - and proud of Gavin's legacy would be the understatement of the year. Perhaps the century. (**Note** That total is strictly PayPal donations. I forgot to ask about the mail in donations, but I know there's at least a few hundred dollars more! As soon as I find out, I will update the total and let you know!)
Here is an update I received from Nancy Saul, the supervisor at the Chester County Intermediate Unit that is overseeing Gavin's Trust Project:
We have put through a few orders primarily feeding equipment and items that will be kept here at the IU for loans.
We are all ready to go with the orders for our program sites at the Kindergarten Center in Phoenixville, the classroom here at the TCHS Brandwine site, the Early Childhood Wing at the Child and Career Development Center in Coatesville and the TCHS- Pennock's Bridge. Most of the orders consist of specialized toys, assistive technology for communication including 2, 3 and 4 compartment communicators, switches and cheap talks. We also have ordered therapy balls and a step rocking boat. The order for the Coatesville site alone is close to $4000 and $2500 for the Phoenixville classroom. We are ordering over a 150 items. These orders will be put through closer to the beginning of the school year so they are delivered when we are sure people are in the buildings.
We have kept aside several thousand dollars to allow for purchases necessary for individual students as they come into the program.
Again we thank you so much for the gift of money for all the wonderful extras we can provide for our students. It is truly a blessing.
Nancy Q. Saul, M.A. CCC-SLP
Supervisor Preschool Special Education
When they do make purchases for individual students, I asked that they handle it with trust. Obviously, the best case scenario is that the family uses the item until the child outgrows it... and then returns it to the Intermediate Unit or through their child's teacher or therapist. But I know what it's like to be a special needs Mom - to have so much to think about, handle, deal with and keep track of. I want all of the equipment or devices purchased to be given with love. It's part of my own personal gift giving philosophy - if you give a gift with any attachments or expectations, you make the gift about you... and not about the actual beauty in giving. So, with that in mind, a beautiful card was created by Jessica Cratty (Gavin and Brian's incredible service coordinator from the IU) that will be attached to each item purchased for an individual. It will not only serve as a memory jogger... but hopefully it will inspire them to learn more about Gavin's life and journey of inspiration. And maybe they will also be inspired to pass on the goodwill to someone else somehow. Here is a photo of the card - I can't figure out how to make it bigger, so if you can't read it scroll down below to see what it says.
This item has been made available for use through the
Gavin’s Trust Project: Making the Impossible Possible
The Gavin's Trust Project was created by the Leong family as a way to honor the unique ability their son had to change the lives of those around him without ever uttering a word. This item was thoughtfully purchased to help CCIU PSE teachers and therapists provide materials for students who may not have been otherwise able to afford the expense of, or had access to, special needs assistive technology devices and materials.
The greatest “Thank You” that you can give for the use of this item is to honor Gavin’s memory by returning it to your child’s teacher or therapist, once your child no longer has a need for it, so that another CCIU PSE student can benefit from the
Gavin's Trust Project.
To Learn more about the Gavin's Trust Project, or Gavin’s life journey, please visit:
Chasing Rainbows at http://www.kateleong.com/
If you'd like to see some of the more specific items purchased, I have some of the items listed and pictured below. But before you look, you should know one thing. It is not always easy to get even one of these items - let alone MANY! Working within a small budget means that coordinators need to be very selective in what they buy... often meaning that they use items for years and years until they the tape and glue stops holding them together. (I'm only half kidding!) To be able to purchase all of these items, some in multiple quantities - which will last for years in classrooms all over the county - is such a big deal. It really is. We should ALL be very, very proud that we have, and continue to honor Gavin in such a beautiful way. Together we are making the impossible... possible... for kids just like my sweet little boy.
Click each item to read more about how it's used in classrooms and homes for therapeutic purposes!
Thank you, once again, for your generosity and making this dream a reality for me. It brings comfort to me to be able to help others - especially kids like Gavin that are in our immediate area - during this time of intense grief.
You are welcome to contribute to Gavin's Trust Project at any time - it is always open on the right side of my blog. You can click the "Donate" button to give through PayPal - or you can mail a check to the address provided.
Also - I am planning several events through September to help me get through Gavin's sixth birthday month and what would have been the start of Kindergarten for him. I'll be announcing that soon and all are invited to join in the giving celebrations!!
I remain honored that so many of you care about our little boy... and our now growing family.
Never lose hope. One little boy who never uttered a word is now changing the world. Makes you feel like the impossible is never really impossible, doesn't it?