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A Huge Sucess!

The first SPECIAL LIFE® Walk Run & Roll

There were about 300 people in attendance, including many wonderful volunteers at the very first Walk, Run & Roll held in The Woodlands, Texas,  SPECIAL LIFE ® Community Event. It was a huge success! As people checked in, we were entertained by an awesome...

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SPECIAL LIFE® Walk Run & Roll!

A Community Event for All Abilities!

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On September 27, 2014, SPECIAL LIFE NETWORK held it's first annual SPECIAL LIFE® Walk, Run and Roll in The Woodlands Texas. This is a fun community event for all abilities.  Over 300 participants and volunteers enjoyed a friendly competition as we mobilize along a 1.5K scenic path designed for all levels of ability, from individuals in wheelchairs, weekend walkers, teetering toddlers, to avid runners. 

After the 1.5K walk, a fun children's festival ollowed, full of fabulous games and family friendly entertainment. The event is designed to be a fun event for the entire community that promotes integration and builds awareness. SPECIAL LIFE NETWORK wants to help transform lives by building a community rich in awareness and acceptance, where all are included. 

Our next Walk Run & Roll is scheduled for Saturday, September 26, 2014 9:00am to noon at Rob Felming Park, The Woodlands, Texas. Stay tuned for more details. This event is benefiting SPECIAL LIFE NETWORK, an approved 501c3 public charity in The Woodlands, Texas. At Special Life NetworkEvery Life is Special®

 

 

 

 

 

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About Special Life

  • How are the mission and goals of Special Life Network implemented?

    Special Life Network is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) public charity founded and established in The Woodlands. We are governed by a board of directors that have other professional jobs, but are actively involved in the organization, heading up various leadership teams and projects. At Special Life Network, we believe “Every Life is Special®.” This is a message for the heart. To accomplish our purpose of facilitating integration opportunities for individuals with special needs, we incorporate three core strategies;  increasing awareness, providing education and training, and networking resources. In this way, we support needed changes and adaptions, so all can be included.

    Through SPECIAL LIFE® Fun Family Events and Activities, we directly serve special needs individuals and their families and help connect families with each other and with adaptive programs in churches and the broader community. (Examples of these include our SPECIAL LIFE® Fun Family Bowling, Family Skate Nights - wheelchairs included, and Holiday Craft Making, organized groups to attend area events, and we have partnered with area churches and organizations to do combined events such as the teen and adult program, “VBS for VIP’s.”)

    By network resources and providing education and training, we have helped churches start up or grow special needs ministries. We have met with church leaders, shared best practices, and provided tours of existing Special Needs Ministries to share example models for other churches interested in starting a Special Needs Ministry within their congregation. We held our first Disability Training event in partnership with Joni and Friends in 2005. Since then, Special Life Network has provided several disability training events for the community and for Special Needs Ministry volunteers.

    We established SPECIAL LIFE® Ministry Network Meetings and the Special Needs Ministry Coordinator Breakfast. Through the Network of area churches, we provide encouragement and support for Special Needs Ministry leaders and share knowledge and resources to help churches better reach out to individuals with special needs and the families that support them.

    In addition, we have provided ASL classes for the community, attended by area teachers, parents of special needs children, church volunteers, adaptive program directors, and other interested individuals. We have provided ASL workshops designed specifically for Special Needs Ministry volunteers. We also designed a free website with E-Community capabilities and resources and information on disabilities, a community calendar of events for families to find out about programs and events offered for the special needs community, and the capacity for discussion forums.

    Special Life Network also connects with area other community organizations to increase special needs awareness and the need for adaptive programs and network resources. Previously, we met with the executive directors over the YMCA’s in The Woodlands and Conroe to discuss the need for adaptive programs and facilitated a Public Forum that resulted in the startup of an adaptive swim program at the Conroe YMCA, and later, the hiring of a recreational therapist to develop special needs programs. The Conroe Family YMCA now offers several adaptive sports programs including the Leap of Faith therapeutic riding program. Today, The Woodlands Creekside YMCA is running a 3-day a week adult day program for individuals with special needs.

    Special Life Network has also provided financial support to local programs that support integration opportunities or adaptive programs for individuals with special needs. (Top Hands Horse Show at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Conroe YMCA to put in a wheelchair lift in their pool, Leap of Faith Therapeutic Riding Scholarship Program, Panther Creek Inspirational Ranch,          Best Buddies at College Park High School, Best Buddies at Oak Ridge High School, Special Life Student Club at College Park High School)

    Our SPECIAL LIFE® Vision 2020 is our plan designed to take our community to the next level of awareness, understanding, and leadership specifically as it relates to the development of more opportunities for individuals with special needs to be active and included in our community. The first stage was initiated this year with the inaugural Walk, Run and Roll, a SPECIAL LIFE® Community Event,held September 27, 2014 at Rob Fleming Park. Our objective was to create and implement a repeatable fun family community integration event. The Walk, Run and Roll provided an opportunity for participants and volunteers alike to experience what inclusion looks like while learning real facts about special needs and ways to adapt. The 1.5 K walk included runners, walkers and wheelchair rollers, all participating together. A festival followed, full of fun games and activities that incorporated education and ways to adapt so everyone is able to participate. We also had fun entertainment, brief talks from area community leaders, (Dr. Ann Snyder, President and CEO of Interfaith of The Woodlands and Dr. Sherry Sellers Vinson, Director of Meyer Center for Developmental Pediatrics, Texas Children’s Hospital) and educational puppet performances by Conroe Kids on the Block and the interactive drum line, Let them Drum. There were 300 people in attendance and volunteers were recruited from area Boy Scout Troops, National Charity League, Sam Houston University Kinesiology class students, the Sam Houston Chapter of Project Sunshine, The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce - Community Relations Team, College Park SPECIAL LIFE Student Club and Interact Club, Houston Northwest Medical Center Rehab Services Department, as well as area churches that have Special Needs Ministries. Whether people attended as a participant or a volunteer, awareness was raised and education about special needs provided in this fun festival setting!

    The year 2015 marks our 10 year anniversary as an organization. We have a busy year planned which includes our SPECIAL LIFE® Family Events, the Second Annual Walk, Run and Roll SPECIAL LIFE® Community Event, SPECIAL LIFE® Ministry Network Meetings, updating the Special Needs Resource Section of the Interfaith Phone Book, providing financial support to assist local programs that support integration or adaptive programs, and Special Life Network 10 Year Anniversary celebration programs to be announced.

  • SPECIAL LIFE® Fast Facts

      1. What is SPECIAL LIFE NETWORK?
    • A Christian-led 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity organization.
    • Incorporated in April 2005. Founded and headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas.
    • A 100% volunteer organization led by parents, professionals, volunteers and church leaders.
    • As a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, we serve the "entire community" with no exclusions.

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  • sln heart stamp  SPECIAL LIFE® Vision and Mission

    At SPECIAL LIFE NETWORK, we seek to enrich the life of individuals with disabilities and the families that support them by improving the integration with their local church and broader community. 

    Vision

    • Create a global network of SPECIAL LIFE® communities that are rich in awareness, integration and spiritual growth for children, teens and adults with special needs, and for the families that support them ... Special Needs Families

    Mission

    • Create, within local communities, a resource network of churches, businesses and other community organizations that provide support, encouragement, education, spiritual growth and meaningful integration opportunities for children and adults with special needs and their families.
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  • What is the purpose of Special Life Network?

    The purpose of Special Life Network is to facilitate the integration of children, teens and adults with disabilities into the broader community. We do this by implementing a simple 4 point strategy.

    •1.    Increase Awareness

    •2.    Network Community Knowledge, People and Resources

    •3.    Provide Education and Training

    •4.    Transform Lives


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    sln heart stamp SPECIAL LIFE® Why We Care

    Disabilities reach far beyond the physical realm of an individual and have emotional, financial, social, and spiritual impact on families, caregivers, communities, and society as a whole.  For a better understanding of this issue, view Autism Every Day, a new film screened in May at the New Decade for Autism event.

    Impact on Families

    • 90% of families that care for a family member with a disability of any age find it difficult to integrate into church and/or community events on a regular basis.
    • Divorce rates are typically higher for families that care for children or adults with disabilities due to the added demands on the family.
    • In many situations the demands on the family are such that siblings must participate with their parents in daily care.
    • Without intervention, these families risk physical and spiritual isolation, living their lives disconnected from their local church, community, and God.

    At SPECIAL LIFE NETWORK Every Life is Special!®