For parents of children with special needs, everyday tasks can become obstacles. The challenges they face may seem their own to bear, but Snappin' Ministries in Oconomowoc is showing families across the area that they don't have to go at it alone.
Since 2002, Snappin' Ministries has been serving parents raising children with chronic illnesses, special needs and disabilities. The organization was founded by six families, including that of Executive Director Barb Dittrich.
"Current national estimates are that 16 to 20 percent of children in America are dealing with some sort of development disability ranging from ADHD to severe rare disorders," Dittrich says. "While there are groups and services in place for the children, we are uniquely able to impact the parents, caregivers and grandparents who are raising these children in both practical and spiritual ways. This is critical to the well-being of the family."
Snappin' Ministries' unique programming includes Side-By-Side parent mentor small groups that are held in person, via video-conferencing or on Facebook. The groups are a way for parents of children with special needs to share their stories, share ideas and serve as a support network for each other.
Special events are held throughout the year, some just for mothers, others just for fathers, such as the Refresh Retreat at Crosspoint Community Church in Oconomowoc and its TLC baskets.
"(We hold) quarterly family events to offer parents a sense of community and a fun, welcoming environment to enjoy recreation with their family," says Dittrich.
A daily devotional blog serves parents and their families on a regular basis.
"While the outings and in-person events are only in Wisconsin at this time, we do serve parents all over the country with our mentoring, TLC and gift card packages and daily devotional blog," Dittrich explains.
For more information on Snappin' Ministries, visit www.snappin.org or call (262) 391-5458.