Anita’s Story

Anita is a strong young woman who has come to fully embrace life. Growing up, Anita experienced many challenges Safehavenin her life, including the death of her mother. When her mother passed, Anita moved in with her Aunt who took on her daily care needs associated with cerebral palsy. When her family first began using the respite services at Safehaven, Anita was very introverted, felt anxious when having to speak to others and rarely advocated for her own needs. She was also carrying feelings of guilt, continually worrying that she was a burden to her Aunt.

But the longer Anita spent at Safehaven, the more changes the staff saw in her. That passion for life everyone knew was inside her started to come out. Like most young girls her age, Anita thrived when given the opportunity to experience new things.

One of Anita’s most memorable experiences at Safehaven was the night of her prom. It’s safe to say that prom night for any teenager is an incredible milestone. The team at Safehaven wanted to make this a night to remember, so they all got together to help do her hair and make-up before her big send-off. Anita was bubbling with excitement and was so happy to share this experience with her Safehaven family. The pure bliss on Anita’s face was not something that staff were accustomed to seeing when she first joined Safehaven. Anita, her family and the staff will always cherish the memory of her prom. What she will remember most is how happy and special she felt before heading out for the big night – just like any teenager should!

This Exceptional First allowed Anita to embrace a rite of passage like any other teenager. She could have the same experience as her classmates without feeling self-conscious. This milestone event truly demonstrates just how far Anita has come. Not only that, but Safehaven’s respite program has brought her and her Aunt even closer together – both of them grateful for the love and support provided to them by the staff at Safehaven. Anita’s confidence has grown, and she is becoming more independent every day – even ordering her own coffee at Starbucks!

Safehaven is a leader in providing respite and residential care to vulnerable populations with complex care needs and multiple disabilities. They have impacted more than 2,000 children, youth and their families over the last 25 years. Safehaven is creating Exceptional Firsts every single day!

You have the ability to create more Exceptional Firsts for kids like Anita. Donate $500 and you will provide accessible transportation for a game night for four (4) kids – helping them to create bonds that will last a lifetime.