My Uncle Tommy is 56 years old.
A few years ago, my grandparents, who are in their 80s, had to make the toughest decision of their lives. They had to move Tommy out of their home. However, they soon found out that their tough move was actually a tremendous blessing when Tommy moved south of St. Louis to Pony Bird – a residential care facility that provides 24-hour care for developmentally disabled, non-ambulatory children and adults. These individuals are unable to meet their daily living needs without assistance.
Pony Bird is a beautiful place. I encourage you to visit the website and read the history. It’s there you’ll find the inspiration behind the development of the facility (parents of a disabled child who wanted to create a place where other children could receive quality care in a loving environment) and why it’s called Pony Bird.
I cannot tell you how much of a blessing Pony Bird has been to Tommy, my grandparents and our family. Tommy is one of the less-severe residents of Pony Bird. He is able to talk, feed himself, and do other tasks that many of the residents are unable to do. Rin and I have visited Pony Bird several times with my grandparents and we’ve found it to be a beautiful, loving, and caring community.
Each resident receives a wonderful amount of individual attention. Each resident has his/her own bedroom or shares with a roommate. Each room is decorated for each individual. It’s so cool to see what each person likes.
They have birthday parties for each resident; they travel often to parades, Cardinals ballgames, restaurants, community events, Special Olympic days, bowling. If they’re not out and about, they’re inviting people in — singing groups, Elvis impersonators, Bikers for Christ, church groups. And if they’re not inviting people in, they’re having some sort of party — Halloween parties, fashion shows, Easter parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas….and on and on. It’s a very happy and special place.
Sadly, not all of the children were raised in a loving home like Tommy. Several were abandoned by their parents because of their disabilities. For several, the only family they know is the caring staff at Pony Bird.
I hope I’ve made the case that Pony Bird is worthy of your gift this Christmas.
Last Christmas, our Sunday School class passed the hat and came up with $400 dollars for Pony Bird. With that money, we were able to buy the residents a Wii gaming system (they use the sports games to help with mobility — and they have a little fun too!) and we bought some materials to redecorate some of the bedrooms – bed spreads, sheets, wall hangings, etc.
The year before that, our family purchased several baskets full of Pony Bird’s wish list items. It was a great way to celebrate Christmas.
There are many ways to give to Pony Bird. I have highlighted a few ways below.
Have your family, work group, or Sunday School class collect these items and travel to Pony Bird to deliver the items!
Your monetary gift helps Pony Bird put together special activities and outings, purchase an important piece of care equipment, and provide the many little things that add to our residents’ quality of life. Donate today!
Donate your time
A donation of your time is always appreciated and is a great way to personally become part of the “Pony Bird difference.” For information on volunteer opportunities at Pony Bird, please call (636) 931-5818.
Turn your Christmas party into a Pony Bird fundraiser or “wish list collection” party. Pony Bird provides a list of other event opportunities.
- Simply visit www.igive.com and sign up., select Pony Bird as your charity, and start to shop.
- Whenever you visit a participating online retailer, the iGive window will pop up telling you that your purchases will raise money for Pony Bird.
- Complete your purchase and that’s it!
There are more than 700 participating retailers, including big names such as: Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Cheap Tickets, Ebay, American Eagle, Barnes & Noble, Borders, airlines, hotels, car rental companies, Home Depot, FTD, Kmart, Office Depot, Office Max, Orbitz, Travelocity, Sears, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dell, Toys R Us, and many others.
There are many opportunities to give this Christmas. I chose to highlight Pony Bird because of its importance to our family and because I have a lot of friends and family in the St. Louis/Jefferson County area who might be looking for a giving opportunity.
Please help support Pony Bird and other organizations devoted to caring for others.
Take a moment to “like” Pony Bird on Facebook.