Community Impact: Wishes 4 Me Organization
As a single mom of two children suffering with a devastating form of muscular dystrophy, Lynn Robinette had a tough question on her mind: “If something happened to me, what would happen to my kids?”
Robinette soon discovered that while there are a number of resources available to care for children with disabilities, when those children become adults, the options are limited. For Robinette, it wasn’t just about managing her children’s medical symptoms, but also ensuring they lived a happy life.
After doing extensive research, she started Wishes 4 Me — a nonprofit organization that assists adults who are disabled to live an active and involved lifestyle.
The signature program of Wishes 4 Me is a housing community where adults with disabilities are supervised in daily individualized events, employment opportunities and inclusion in the community. The organization has six houses on a neighborhood street in Lawrenceville with 24 residents in its “village” community.
“We’re trying to give these individuals as much as possible with their very low incomes,” Robinette said. “Most of the residents have incomes of less than $800 a month.”
Besides providing housing, Wishes 4 Me also connects residents with medical caregivers and arranges regular outings, such as visits to stores, churches and other social interactions. Within its village of dedicated homes, Wishes 4 Me residents also cook together, play games, work in gardens and host social events.
“We have a lot of developmentally disabled individuals, along with those with brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and strokes,” Robinette said.
For one resident named Chris, a brain injury in adulthood left him unable to speak and with memory loss. Chris had been living in a nursing home until his family learned about Wishes 4 Me. After living in one of the Wishes 4 Me homes for a few months, Chris began talking, socializing and enjoying attending baseball games and karaoke events. Sadly, Chris recently passed away, but his transformation was inspiring, Robinette said.
The homes for Wishes 4 Me are unique in Georgia because they help residents live more independent lives, she said. Residents must engage in activities that may include a job, shopping outings and church activities.
The Jackson EMC Foundation recently awarded a $15,000 grant to Wishes 4 Me to fund a septic tank replacement at one of its homes. The organization previously received a $15,000 grant from the Jackson EMC Foundation to enclose a carport and replace a driveway. Thanks to the latest grant, Wishes 4 Me can move forward with expanding the house that will allow six additional residents to move to the community, Robinette said.
For more information, visit wishes4me.org.