Recently, Au Pair in America participants had the opportunity to show up in support of a very special cause in Fairfield, Connecticut: the 5th Annual Only You Foundation 5k. The Only You Foundation was started by a former Au Pair in America host family in memory of their son, Mikey, to help special needs families. Au pairs were on hand for the race and to share their heritage at cultural tables set up in the kids tent.
Here are some great photos of Au Pair in America participants having fun and making a positive impact at this very special community fundraiser:
From the Only You Foundation website:
Only You is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization started by Mike and Kelly Fedak to honor the memory of their son Mikey. Mikey had special needs and passed away unexpectedly in April 2013 at the age of 10. He was a truly special child, who in his brief time here, worked very hard to overcome his many challenges, but also really enjoyed life. He was always very happy and had a positive effect on everyone he met. He brought love and joy to his family, his friends and classmates and his many therapists every day.
Inspired by their strong desire to have the positive effect that Mikey had on people’s lives continue, and very much aware of the challenges (including financial ones) faced by a family raising a child with special needs, Mike and Kelly decided to start Only You to provide assistance to these children and their families. They had often talked about trying to start a program like this to help those families meet those challenges and provide other support and now hope to take all of the energy that they gave to Mikey and focus it on fulfilling this vision.
The Foundation’s initiatives include:
- Providing specialized equipment (e.g. wheelchairs, adaptive bicycles, or other items used in sensory integration therapy) and funding for services (e.g. camps or other therapeutic programs) not covered by insurance.
- Organizing activities for children with special needs by working with existing recreational facilities designed for typical children and providing the additional support needed for these children to participate.
- Working with schools to facilitate inclusion and acceptance of children with special needs.
- Hosting “Family Fun Nights” and other events and outings for children with special needs and their families.
Learn more about Au Pair in America and how to enrich your family with intercultural child care from our great au pairs.