San Bruno Community Foundation Grant

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San Bruno Community Foundation Grant

For the 2019-2020 year, PARCA is privileged to have received San Bruno’s Community Foundation Grant for our Family Support Services (FSS) program. We receive no government funding for FSS and the services provided to clients and their families are free, so PARCA relies heavily on grantors to help us fund this program.

FSS was awarded a grant for $10,000 from San Bruno Community Foundation (SBCF). SBCF is a nonprofit organization created by the City of San Bruno to administer restitution funds received from PG&E after the devastating gas pipeline explosion in 2010. This grant makes it possible for Family Support Services to provide professional assistance for families on topics with education, housing, legal rights, health, respite, and inclusion.

Meet K.C., a sixth grader who has autism and is non-verbal, with severe speech and language issues whose life has changed for the better thanks to the Family Support Services program:

His difficulty communicating led to behavioral problems in school where he would spit, bite and engage in self-injury to avoid performing difficult tasks and interacting with others. KC was assigned to a program for children with special needs, but there his problems only worsened and other schools were reluctant to accept him.

As with many of their most “challenging”’ cases, the Golden Gate Regional Center referred KC’s worried parents to Family Support Services director, Sue Digre for advice. Upon meeting KC, Sue observed him to be “a calm and attentive young man” away from school and recommended placement in a unique program, better tailored to the specific needs of children with autism.  KC’s family and case manager joined forces with Sue to lobby the school district and successfully advocate for this change in placement on his behalf.

Upon entering his new program, KC felt immediately at ease, understood and respected. He learned to replace violent behaviors with self-calming techniques and blossomed. His ability to concentrate increased by over 300%, and he now gets along well with his peers and enjoys group activities.

KC, who hadn’t spoken in years, recently astonished his mother when he suddenly exclaimed, “Oreos, Oreos, Oreos!” upon spotting a display at the store, and then, just in time for the holidays, he started calling her “Mama,” which she tells us has been her “best gift.”

Our deep gratitude to SBCF for helping us provide a lifeline to San Mateo County families (and beyond) like K.C.’s who are struggling with the challenges of raising a child or assisting an adult family member who has one or more developmental disabilities.

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In the past, we’re also received the Foundation’s support for our REACH program a San Bruno based, inclusive childcare and after-school program for children with and without developmental disabilities.