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This fundraiser ended on 11/01/12

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The Nashville Special Needs Kids Playgroup had its first big special amazing Christmas party last year. Can you help us do it again in 2012?

Last year 165 guests from the Nashville Special Needs Kids Playgroup had our first big holiday party and it was a HUGE success! So many kind people donated their time and made the monetary donations that made our party possible. Can you help us do it again in 2012?

How you can help -- We are in the process of talking to an extra-wonderful sponsor, and we hope that the majority of our big party will be paid for -- we are asking YOU to help us provide a special Christmas buffet dinner for our families!

Our BIG Holiday Party -- Often families with special needs kids -- especially those with Autism -- don’t get too many holiday invitations, and if they do get invited, sadly they don’t always get asked back.We plan to give these fantastic children and these wonderful parents – approximately 200 guests -- another holiday gala that will knock their socks off, another chance to celebrate in an environment where they can feel comfortable, be themselves, and have fun! And I am asking once again if you could help me to throw another special amazing Christmas party, just for them.

From our members -- Last year I attended quite a few Christmas parties, but there was only one where I felt like every member of my family was truly welcome and loved, the Nashville Special Needs Playgroup Christmas party. There was a moment there where my daughter was spinning in circles, and as I considered stopping her, another little girl came up and just started spinning alongside her. It was the best moment of my holiday season, seeing my very special little girl so completely accepted. At that moment, I was able to stop mourning the loss of a "normal" Christmas, and started to enjoy how truly wonderful a Special Christmas can be!
- Sabrina, Mom of three

The Christmas party was one of our highlights of the year as a family. We NEVER get to celebrate holiday parties as a "family". This gave us as parents an opportunity to let our guard down & truly enjoy our children. Our kids were in true Christmas bliss - Santa, bounce house, cotton candy and FRIENDS! It was a memory we will treasure forever .... Hope for many more!
- Brooke, Mom of four

The special needs Christmas party is something our family looks forward to every year. It is wonderful to have a place our entire family can gather with other special needs families to celebrate and socialize without the fear of over stimulation or isolation. The low lighting made for a calming environment. My special needs daughter enjoyed her time with Santa. Santa was very patient and didn't seem to mind that she tried to pull his glasses off. The party gave my daughter a chance to be with other children in a non-threatening environment. It also gave our family the opportunity to come together at an event geared for my daughter. Lastly, we were able to socialize with other families dealing with similar circumstances. It was an enjoyable evening for us all. We can't wait until the next one!
- Cheri, Mom of three

Words cannot express what our Christmas Party means to my family! Our Christmas party is an opportunity for my autistic son to experience the joy of seeing Santa in a setting specially tailored to his needs. It's a safe place for us to be together with other families who are going through the same things we are, who can celebrate the excitement and wonder of Christmas with us. There is no worry about what will happen if he has a tantrum or is his senses are overwhelmed. We know that whatever happens, we are all going through it, together, with no judgment!
- Stephanie, Mom of one

Last year's Christmas party meant so much to all three of my children. Having a place to go where they could spend time with Santa and be themselves with people that care for us like family was very special. My 5 year old cried to go back to the party every weekend for a month!
- Sarah, Mom of three

Since Magnus' diagnosis when he was 2 1/2 years old we have skipped friends Christmas parties. We didn't skip the parties because of autism but because we weren't invited. When we became part of Nashville Special Needs Kids Playgroup we felt accepted, we weren't judged by Magnus' behavior. Then the Christmas Party came along and we were invited. Magnus had the opportunity to be part of festivities like his typical peers usually go to. We were not only got invited to a Christmas party, but to an acceptance party, an extended family occasion. We felt at home. We enjoyed the party and we were as comfortable as if nobody was looking. To have an opportunity like this Christmas gathering, for some families, this is unique and truly wonderful. This party is not just that, it’s an opportunity to be ourselves, enjoy our friends and family, let go of worries and have fun. Even if it’s for one night, it's one magical night just as Christmas should be for every kid, special needs or not. I’m looking forward to our next event. I’m looking forward to seeing my child eyes light up with joy and flap with happiness when Santa shows up.
- Danielle, Mom of one

We had so much fun at last year's Special Needs Christmas party! It was really an amazing event for special needs families! We had a wonderful time connecting with other families in the special needs community and it was a special place where my boys could celebrate Christmas with old and new friends and both be completely free to be themselves....and they had a blast! We are really looking forward to this year's party!
- Tara, Mom of two

As a member of the Nashville Special Needs Kids Playgroup, my family and I were honored to be part of their Christmas party last year. So many wonderful people helped in making this party a dream come true for us and all of the members of this group. My son Josh and daughter Gabrielle, for the first time sat next to Santa Claus and it was an unforgettable moment for me and my husband to see the happiness in their face. I hope this year we will be able to enjoy this special event again. It really is so meaningful to all our families.
- Carolina, Mom of two

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