Dances, social skills classes, Café Night, and social groups, to name a few. These are some of the ways that people with developmental disabilities come together, along with their families, to have fun, learn, and grow in friendship.
Your gift will support the ongoing provision of classes, groups, and social events that create opportunities for connection and community for people with disabilities and their families.
Pathlight was the first organization in Hampden County to support people with developmental disabilities and their families. We founded the first nursery school, then the first developmental day school in western Massachusetts. Pathlight later established the first community residences in Massachusetts and the first Family Based Living options for individuals and families.
We didn’t stop there. Pathlight expanded services to include programs that strengthen the whole family. Autism Connections was founded as a parent-run program for children with autism, the first autism resource center funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Family Empowerment, a family program that supports individuals and their families joined Pathlight. In 2010 Whole Children, also founded by parents, joined Pathlight and offers a wide range of innovative after-school, weekend, enrichment programs (including Whole Selves, a groundbreaking sexuality curriculum started in 2018). Milestones, an individualized program for adults opened a few years later.
Recognizing that technology may enable people with disabilities to live more independently, we have partnered with Valley Venture Mentors to support entrepreneurs developing technology solutions for people with disabilities.
We have no intention of stopping. We promise your gift will contribute to the ongoing innovation of programs and services for people and their families.
Shared Living, Adult Family Care, and Residential and Employment Supports are Pathlight programs and services that support people with developmental and intellectual disabilities to build family and community lives that allow each to experience the fullness of their uniqueness.
Your gift will support the continued extension of these services to people with disabilities so they may grow across their lifespan and experience the inclusion, participation, love, meaningful work, respect, and dignity that we all deserve.
It was Darren’s never-ending smile and happiness that filled the hearts of Anne Marie and John with joy when they welcomed him into their family. That joy led them to establish the Darren FUNd in 2007 at Pathlight.
The FUNd’s purpose is to afford others served by Pathlight’s Shared Living program opportunities that are fun and bring them joy. As Darren was fond of saying, “How ’bout be happy!”
Over the years, the FUNd has fulfilled this intention in a variety of ways, including vacations trips to Disney World, Arizona, and New Hampshire, therapeutic horseback riding lessons, classes at the Jewish Community Center, membership at the local YMCA, a week at Camp Horizon, music lessons, and the purchase of iPads.
Since Darren’s death in 2014 from Early Onset Alzheimer’s, the FUNd has taken on a new meaning. Sadly, it is now a tribute to his life, and a way to honor his spirit.
Please join us in remembering and honoring Darren’s memory and ensuring that others will receive the gift of happiness and fun.