As a pillar of North Iowa, we at CENT are always looking at new ways to give back. We are at the CENTer of it all, and we want to share impactful stories of people right here in our area. We now have a new vehicle for outreach, and a new way to get those local stories out to the community. It’s called #CENTerofitAll, a video series featuring the best of what’s happening in the community.
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Our Loving Children is always finding ways to help local families of children with special needs. Last weekend, they held a sensory-friendly screening of the new film Sherlock Gnomes, giving kids with special needs a chance to see a movie in the theater – some for the first time! It’s a great example of the types of stories we profile in our #CENTerofitAll series! After you watch it, please read the full letter from JoAnn Frank (posted below), explaining the full importance of this type of event.
Note from JoAnn Frank: Movies or events like this are so important because maybe for one day or just a few hours we get to enjoy ourselves and relax. Without worrying about IEPS, appointments, medications or decisions, messy houses or how we can get everything done in a day. In many ways our worlds are the same as other families. However at the same time are worlds are not. It’s hard to go to something as simple as movies. Worrying if the person beside, behind or in front of us are getting frustrated at the fact our children are running up and down, talking loud or having a meltdown or becoming upset because maybe the lighting isn’t right, or it’s too loud, the texture of their snack is off or too sticky. When we have events like this we are with people who understand. We are a family. We are supported. I have said this many times in the past and I still stand by it when I say we become united. A Unit. We are a whole. We are supported and understood. It brings our families and our children together. Many of these families I have worked with their children at the YMCA or through the Mason City School District/ Clear Lake School District. I may have the opportunity to meet these children but our children would go without knowing each other without this place and events. It’s a place to be ourselves without any type of judgment. Many people I have met are very understanding but there are still people who do not understand and it is hard for our families to get out and enjoy ourselves because some days are more challenging then others. But knowing we can go to something like a movie with people who completely understand, we get a little relief not having to have a plan of what we need to do if it’s a rough day. Where should we sit not to distract other people? We can be free and enjoy or children and ourselves. It’s a break from our everyday life to just be a family.
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