We're on a mission.
We want to improve the quality of life, mental health, and development of special needs children and their families.
The very demanding life of raising a special needs child takes its toll on parents and caregivers, and the special needs child’s own day-to-day routines can be very taxing on them. Special needs families often face what we call “burnout” where parents and caregivers just can’t give anymore (either through personal effort or financially), and special needs children sometimes just can’t continue learning and developing and need a break.
We all want a vacation to recharge to be able to tackle life’s challenges. Unfortunately, vacationing can be a guilt-ridden undertaking for a special needs family: there is only so much time and money and diverting either away from a child’s significant needs is a decision that can burden a family beyond what a typical family may face. It’s valuable time that the child could be spending in therapy, for instance. And it’s money that could be spent on treatments or therapies that aren’t covered by insurance (if the family has insurance). Special needs families should be able to take a break without all of the associated guilt that can diminish the benefits of a vacation.
Mission Statement: Enriching Escapes’ mission is to improve the quality of life, mental health, and development of special needs children and their families by making guilt-free opportunities to relax and recharge possible.
Enriching Escapes is all about embracing the truth that Kids are Kids!, regardless of the many things that make us all unique. Often times, we focus on what makes us different rather than what brings us together. Special needs kids still want to “just be a kid” sometimes; special needs families still want to spend time together; and those of us with little still want to provide our children with a lot.
It is our hope to make vacationing easier for families with children with disabilities by assisting with travel expenses, as well as by organizing trips that include therapists of various disciplines so that the special needs child isn’t missing out on important therapy time. These therapists and other support staff will also provide general familial support so that the entire family can enjoy a much needed “escape”. Enriching Escapes will provide financial assistance, up to the entire cost of a family’s “escape”, based on each family’s level of need. Enriching Escapes will not base any child’s or family’s selection for an “escape” on any factor that differentiates us (e.g., a family’s financial resources, race, religion, social status, citizenship, etc.). These “escapes” will be done in a group format, giving families the additional benefit of creating friendships and memories with families that encounter similar challenges in daily life.
Our “escapes” will be the vacation that we all deserve. Even if just for a short period of time, we can all “escape” and enjoy life with one another. You can join us on our mission by making a donation, nominating a family, or contributing your abilities, to help kids with different abilities just be kids!
Founder and Executive Director
Wendi Hoffer’s desire to help make vacations more of a reality for special needs families came about as the result of being a special needs mom herself. As the mother of two fantastic sons, one of whom happens to have cerebral palsy, Wendi knows firsthand the challenges that special needs families face when contemplating a vacation, and she also knows the day-to-day stresses that build up making those vacations that seem so out of reach so crucially necessary.
Prior to becoming a mom, Wendi’s career was centered in analytics and offering solutions to clients based upon the findings of complex analyses. Identifying a problem and coming up with a solution comes naturally to Wendi and Enriching Escapes is where she has chosen to take that trait next. Additionally, Wendi’s love for travel makes her eager to make those experiences possible for others.
Amazing people doing amazing things.
Board of Directors