Because of this we and our volunteers gain so so SO much more from this experience than we ever dreamed. One of our most loving, most enthusiastic, and most dedicated volunteers is our dear sweet Anna. Recently, she wrote this amazing letter to us as a recomendation for anyone else considering the opportunity to be part of Team Ka'eo Jr...our family:
"Joining Ka'eo Jrs. son-rise team has been absolutely life changing for me. When I first emailed the ASD climber foundation I was interested and wanted to learn more about the program but wasn't expecting too much from it. I thought it would be interesting to learn more about autism and it would also be a great way for me to earn volunteer hours for high school.
It started out as a project but from the first time Ka'eo emailed me I felt a pull to the program that hadn't existed before. I could see, without having to meet them, how much they loved their son and would do anything in their power to help him out of his autism. It became more personal after that, I wanted to help these parents, that were so devoted, to reach their goal. When I first sat down with Jackie to learn more about the program I immediately was at ease and any nervousness I had disappeared. She has such a loving way of talking to and looking at other people that I couldn't help but feel warm and safe, after her explaining for a while Ka'eo came home and started to play with his son. As they were together it was hard for me to focus on what Jackie was saying because I couldn't look away from the pure love I was seeing from Ka'eo to his son. After I left that day I couldn't wait to come back, to play with Ka'eo Jr., to speak with Jackie, to learn from Ka'eo, and hopefully to begin to understand where their happiness and love came from.
Joining the program started out as a project to learn about autism, but quickly turned into a life style that I yearned for. To be happy, to be loving and accepting no matter what, to be given the power of choice. Such simple things that turned my life into something so much better then it was. Since being in this program I find myself waking up with a smile on my face more often, I find that I'm not upset easily, and I feel that I finally have a purpose.
When I talk to people about Ka'eo Jrs. son-rise program they look at me in shock and say 'you're changing that boys life' and all I can do is smile and shake my head as I tell them that he's changing mine. To be able to enter Ka'eo Jrs. world is the greatest blessing I've ever been given. Through the steps to be in his world, I have learned so much about mine. I don't regret my decision, and don't want the day to come where I have to leave the program. I would recommend the program to anyone who is thinking about it."