Category: Community Involvement

The Amazing Adventures of Amy and Jeff

Las Trampas client Jeff and his sister Amy overcame their obstacles to enjoy the summer trip of a lifetime together. Any recounts their trip and reveals how she makes every minute count for both her and her brother.

Just this past summer, my brother Jeff and I went on a couple of great trips. Jeff slept most of the way through our flight, after figuring out how to use the fold down tray for his favorite drink in the world wait for it, COFFEE!

At the beginning of our journey in the Hudson Valley, my brother, Cliff, picked up our tents at REI. From that point on, we began our camping adventure which lasted the entire 3-day, 3-night festival – something Jeff had never experienced before. The nights were dark and it was hard to find the porta potties, but Jeff and I did pretty well. He slipped and fell once though which prompted me to ask myself: would he do better with a wheel chair?

On our way to the Falcon Ridge Festival, my brother Cliff picked up his tent at REI which was at the beginning of the Hudson Valley. Jeff and I camped all through the festival for 3 days and 3 nights, something we had never had before. You can tell from the photos that he really embraced the hot days filled with trekking back and forth to camp. He was a real champ.

Public transport can be a challenge. For instance, you always have to take the stairs to the subway. Moving down the aisle of an airplane can be a challenge as well. It is getting more and more difficult to get a “handicapped” seat on a plane, so I always get a seat at the back, closest to the bathroom. Another challenge, Bathroom accidents. I always carry diaper wipes and extra underwear and pants. New York City in general is tough as it is an older city with uneven sidewalks (I’m always on the look-out for “trip factors”, stairs, doorways that have awkward steps, etc.)

I think Jeff really enjoys the fact that he doesn’t have to be in a wheelchair however, now I always request a wheelchair at the airport. When we go to Disneyland or Universal Studios we always rent a wheelchair. I have noticed that as Jeff gets older, he moves slower, so we always allow a lot of extra time. Lighter shoes help (crocs are great), easier for his paralyzed side.

We played and swam in the Atlantic Ocean on Long Beach Island and on the bay side of Cape Cod, in the Lakes in Vermont and the hotel pool. I see my brother in the water and it hits me, he can glide through the water weightlessly. What a wonderful feeling for my brother who has Cerebral Palsy.

We visited friends, drank beer together, and picked raspberries. We managed to have a family vacation, after which we all loved one other even more than before.

My advice to other families traveling with a loved one with special needs is to plan ahead. Check in often with your loved ones as new environments can be intimidating. Jeff’s social skills are lacking, he often gets very shy, looks down, that sort of thing. So, we practice “greetings, saying his name, etc.” We make sure to rest well.

Jeff was most impressed with the fact we had camped in a cow field. He said now I can check that off my bucket list.” Me too, now that I think about it.

National Charity League

For over 10 years, the National Charity League has volunteered with Las Trampas, and this year was no exception. Mothers and daughters rose to the occasion one week before the annual What’s in Our Hat? fundraising event this year to help assemble the tropical decor that seasoned our day with that Caribbean flavor.

These mother-daughter duos also woke up bright and early on Sunday morning (mind you -there was a Warriors Game that day) to help us set up at the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa. The event ran until 6:30p.m. but NCL members had as much energy as they had heart… They helped with our raffle, silent auction, photo shoots and our sanity (planning a perfect day can be stressful!).

We are so appreciative of this group. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church

Las Trampas is so appreciative of the Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church and the wonderful volunteer work they do for so many Contra Costa nonprofits. This is the third year in a row that they have chosen to help us with volunteer work. A large group worked on campus to help organize the Development Department’s storage areas, while others headed to Maureen House to clean out the garage and start the process of creating a game room! LOPC has been helping Las Trampas in so many ways over the years and we are so grateful for everything they do!

Wells Fargo

A fantastic team of Wells Fargo volunteers swooped into Stinson House, one of our 5 residential homes, on September 17th, to create a whole new look for the interior. Grabbing brushes and rollers, they painted the public rooms a stunning combination of cocoa brown and taupe. Instant facelift!

Our group homes provide round-the-clock services and support to individuals with significant developmental disabilities. Many of these individuals no longer have family nearby who might provide fulltime care, so beautification projects like this help sustain a true sense of home. When the six residents and their staff returned to Stinson after attending our Day Program on the main campus in Lafayette, they were so excited to see the transformation. Next they hope another team will give a fresh coat of paint to the bedrooms!

Community Connection – Planting Seeds

Planting the Seeds of Community Partnerships. Las Trampas is growing…vegetables that is.

Over 20 individuals from Deloitte gathered at Las Trampas for their annual community work day. After a breakfast picnic in the park across the street, they gathered on our lawn to mingle with Day Program folks. They then broke up into teams to do a major landscaping cleanup…grabbing shovels, rakes, weed whackers, and garbage bags to eliminate the weeds flourishing around campus. Another team added a fresh layer of crushed granite to the vegetable garden path so this summer, those in wheelchairs can help with the harvest.