Friday I was moved to tears as I learned of a couple, Kathie and Jeff Moore, who are actively working to create a retreat for families living with Autism! [In honor of Autism Awareness month--I am passing this along to everyone I've ever met--quite possibly everyone I've ever shared cyber-space with; please bear with me!]
The Moore’s have an 8 year old grandson who suffers from Autism, named Elijah, whom they adore. Elijah’s Retreat is being established in his honor, as a tranquil destination for families living with Autism. Located in East Texas, Elijah’s Retreat will have private, two-bedroom cabins, each with a small kitchen. There will be a playground, a lake for fishing and access to gentle ponies, horses and therapy dogs. The Moore’s vision is to offer nightly stays to Autism families for as little as $25! Yes, that was not a typo–a private, two-bedroom cabin with a kitchen for only $25 a night!!! (Since most of us spend ton$ of money on our children’s therapies and services–this would be an almost unfathomable gift; an ultra-affordable vacation or weekend getaway where our children will be 100% accepted no matter how they behave! Cue the tears!)
Through several generous donations, the process to build and furnish the first cabin and create the retreat on the Divine Acres Ranch, has already begun. However, with 6 total cabins planned, the Board of Directors is still looking for donations of many items, including: appliances, beds, linens and towels, kitchen supplies, sleeper sofas kitchen/dinette sets, other cabin furnishings and of course–prayers.
If you, your family, your church or your company might be willing to support the development of this amazing retreat, please visit the Needs and Praises page on their site to see how you can help. A mission team from Mississippi has offered to help build the first cabin. Imagine if all of the following 5 cabins were built by other mission groups . . . now that would be tremendous.
Hearing about this project filled me with such hope and inspiration. I’ve offered to donate some of my time to help with PR down the road for Elijah’s Retreat. If you are moved by the genosity of this family and vision of for Elijah’s Retreat, I’m sure the Moore’s would love to hear about it. Even if you are not able to give items or money–the power of positive energy, thoughts and prayer are absolutely invaluable. Feel free to post a comment to this entry (I’ll pass the word along) or contact the Moore’s yourself via the website!
Finally, if you have heard of other similar projects/retreats being established for families of autism around the country, I’d love to hear about them. Drop me a note through the comments form.
Special thanks and prayers go out to the Jeff and Kathie for taking on this generous mission.