Your Giving Tuesday gift will make a life long impact on Sunshine individuals like Zach. Read his story below.
Dear Sunshine Family,
As I laid in my hospital bed anticipating the birth of my second son, Joe, it weighed on my mind whether I would be able to hold a newborn and Zach at the same time. Zach was born with Down syndrome, and at 22 months old, wasn’t walking yet. I’ll never forget the look on Zach’s face as he proudly held my husband’s hand, and walked into my hospital room on that same day.
Zach has grown into a thoughtful, outgoing, helpful, and goofy person. He loves to keep detailed lists and reminisce through family photos. He spent his younger years as a hardworking student, playing sports, creating in the woodshop, and making people laugh. Change is hard for Zach, and as high school came to an end, changes were imminent.
Seven years ago, Zach walked with determination into Georgette’s for a job interview. He soon began at the coffee shop and loved working during the busiest shifts, seeing familiar faces from the community. We were so proud when he advocated for himself, walking up to his manager and asking for more responsibility. He paved his way once again when he embraced a new job at the greenhouse and barn.
This year, more change came. After five months away from Sunshine, and a lot of time with us, he was excited to return to work at the barn. He used to be nervous around the animals, but started to understand their behavior and goofiness. Now, he can take a nudge from a goat and be ear-to-ear with a donkey, while quickly returning goofy faces. He enjoys getting up in the morning, cleaning stalls, and earning money. It gives us peace of mind that he’s safe, happy, and has good people around him.
There is so much uncertainty during this time, but we do know that Sunshine is Zach’s place to be involved, have friendships, and walk proudly into uncertain change – just like he did on that day in the hospital. Our hope is that all individuals could receive Sunshine’s support in the future. I am happy to share this story on behalf of our family, and ask that you make a gift at this time of Thanksgiving so that Sunshine can continue to support people with developmental disabilities for many years to come.
Janet Yingling & Family
Mother of Zach Yingling