It Takes a Village: Creating a Space For Kate
A Space for Kate isn't just the organization business we started February 2019. Creating a space has been part of my journey (with Kate). And it takes a village- so thank you for your support.
Kate's life growing up was not easy.
While most of us had an easy time in middle school and high school, Kate dealt with bullying and being made fun of because she was "different".
When most of us were playing outside on Saturday mornings, Kate had speech therapy. Her therapist Jennifer would come to the house three days a week to work with her words and teach her how to slow down, pulling sounds together. Jennifer is a gift and continues to be part of our family.
When most of us focused on the next steps, college, Kate worked hard to get good grades and simply pass high school. She was in special classes designed for special needs and a few "normal" classes like art and PE.
I often get asked: What is Kate's disability?
I don't know.
I know that my Mom had her tested as a child and she did not fit into any particular space. She is Kate and I am trying my best to carry the torch (as my Mom did) and create a space for Kate.
What I have learned as Kate's sister is that there isn't a very loud voice for special needs.
There are limited resources and limited jobs. There are simply limitations.
There are a few amazing spaces like Zabs, that create jobs for Special Talents. Harris Teeter and Walmart too...But Kate doesn't want to work at Harris Teeter her entire life and who can blame her. She has more to give.
Eight months ago, when I proposed the idea of an organization business (with Kate as my partner), I was thrilled to read the positive response from the internet. People were excited to grow her talents and support growth. A Space For Kate was born.
It takes a village.
I also knew I needed to fill in the gaps (when we weren't organizing)...What else would Kate do? I decided to ask my Yoga Studio boss Tanner if he would create a job for her.
Ask and you shall receive.
Tanner Bazemore and Y2 Yoga have lovingly employed Kate. She works two days a week cleaning the studio and making friends with yogis. She feels good at the end of her day. Strangers have become friends.
It takes a village.
After A Space For Kate was born, I had a few women reach out to me asking "how did Kate make friends?" "what resources were available for siblings that would one day be caring for someone with special talents?"
I don't know. I don't know.
Kate doesn't have friends that reach out to go to dinner or the movies. She has a few people that show up for her....
I'm finding that it's up to me, and others in my shoes, to pave the way. It's important to create jobs and opportunities. It's important to break down the walls of limitations, learn each other's gifts and figure out how to employ special talents.
Zabs Place is amazing for just that. Kate works one day a week at Zabs, organizing clothes and donations. Every year Zabs participates in the Pajama Walk, a fundraiser designed to support social opportunities for Children & Teens with special needs at Friendship Circle and the training & employment program for specially talented young adults at ZABS Place.
This year Kate will be participating as a vendor selling art and sharing details about A Space For Kate.
I think it's so important to share Kates' story and ask for support.
Kate is an artist.
She is a gift.
There are many amazing special needs showing up as models and actors, gymnasts and comedians, breaking the barrier of what we think is possible.
It's TOUGH, REAL work.
I could do the very least and just get by.
I could settle for Harris Teeter and limitations-
But that wouldn't be fair to the promise I made to my Mom, myself and Kate. I will take care of you. I will help you become...I will journey with you as we become.
Looking forward to seeing you all November 10th. Kate has plenty of art to sell!
It takes a Village...so thank you tribe for supporting us.
Love and peace-