Including Kids is a nonprofit that helps children and young adults with autism develop life skills to become self-sufficient, involved members of the community. The organization just celebrated officially moving into its new facility in late July.
The building offers ample functional space in which Including Kids can set up activities and equipment kids will encounter in their lives, such as a dentist chair, to get kids used to activities that may otherwise be overly stressful for them.
The bedroom and washer and dryer units are some of the newest editions to the Including Kids facility.
Jennifer Dantzler, executive director of Including Kids, invited members of the Humble Noon Lions Club on Thursday, Sept. 28, for a facility tour and first-hand look at the new editions, which were funded by the club’s annual donation of approximately $2,500.
The Humble Noon Lions Club has been making annual donations for five years. Dantzler commended the club for understanding the importance of funding materials to develop skills that can be implemented in everyday life.
“People take this kind of stuff for granted, but we’ve been working with (Humble Noon Lions Club) for so long that they know us now. Most people would have seen a grant like this and think, ‘Why do you need to buy a new bed?’, but (Humble Noon Lions Club) really got to learn what our needs are, so it’s been very helpful. They fill in those non-glorious gaps – not a big, pretty chair that goes out in front – but the real functional things, those things that are really most important,” Dantzler said.
The Humble Noon Lions Club donated the new bedroom and laundry room in memory of Lions Club members Herman and Rose Baumann, who were active in the Humble area and whose son, Phil Baumann, inspired CureFest, which raises money for MD Anderson Hospital’s Brain Cancer Research Team.
Dantzler said items donated by the Humble Noon Lions Club help kids and young adults with autism develop self-sufficiency.
“It is crucial to help them have as independent a life as possible,” Dantzler said. “The more we can work on the functional life skills, the higher it increases their safety, and then they don’t need staff in their bedroom with them. They can live in a less restrictive environment if they actually know how to do their own wash. Parents have more options of places they would be comfortable with their young adults living.”
For more information about Including Kids, visit www.includingkids.org.
To learn more about the Humble Noon Lions Club, visit http://e-clubhouse.org/sites/humble_noon/.