LDN- Fall Newsletter 2021
BY JIM HUKILL
At our house, often one can find HGTV or some other DIY show playing on the TV. Watching those shows, it is very apparent how much our culture is consumed with our living environments. And the more we watch, the more we want to adjust our living spaces.
Many are looking for a place we can go, take off the formal parts of our day and fall into the coziness of home. We want acceptance, peacefulness, nourishment, and love. However, many of us live in environments that do not provoke that feeling for us. That is why finding our Forever Home is about building space within our hearts for the one who came “… to give us life, and life to the full.”
Creating environments for people to feel comfortable and accepted is core to who we are at Lift Disability Network. Since our conception, this principle has driven everything we do. For 2021 we made a deliberate choice to focus on the process of inspiring Home throughout our ministry.
We know stronger homes create stronger, healthier families. Healthy families provide the best opportunity for those living with a disability to be fulfilled and successful. That is why we have committed this year to the Home. Here is what it has looked like.
During the Spring and early Summer Lift inspired through the principles of Design elements. In the late summer and early fall the ministry got to work on Building. The end of this year we will embrace the importance of Living in our Home. I know this all seems a bit technical, but we hope you will join us in what will be a meaningful year of inspiring others to find and live in a Home that God has prepared for them.
Finally, Lift is experiencing significant growth and we are looking for opportunities to expand our Home and influence more people for God’s kingdom. So, we need your help. Please consider joining us in this Home project by participating in our fall and year end efforts. Start by making a gift today. And, as always, thank you. We are forever grateful to you, our family.
Your involvement is critical to successfully building a Home. Your investment is the strength of our work, so be sure to visit our website to review the ways you can make an impact. Please share our ministry with your family and friends. And finally, please pray for this work that we would never build a Home that is not on His foundation.
There are many distractions and enticements that draws one away from a sense of Home. It is our hope during this year, you will discover the true Forever Home that resides inside of you and from that place you will see the transformation that will effect every part of your life.
New YouTube Series to Launch in October 2021
Need Encouragement? Longing for Hope? Looking for Inspiration?
Lift Disability Network is launching a new video series designed to Lift the heart and give guidance through life’s challenging times. Great stories will be told, insights will be shared, and life principles will be demonstrated.
So, check out our YouTube channel for a new release every two weeks, beginning in October. https://www.youtube.com/c/LiftdisabilityNet
Medical Equipment Bank – Serving the Community
BY ANDREW VACCA
The Medical Equipment Bank (MEB), sponsored by the Rotary Club of Winter Garden, continues to be a blessing in our community and a highlight among the programs of Lift Disability Network. Every week there is a steady flow of neighbors coming into the Lift office needing medical devices or to drop off donated items. Our team gets to touch people when it matters the most.
The positive impact the MEB is leaving a long-lasting mark on our community. A that woman came in to get a wheelchair for her brother said, “Now he can participate in life and family events again.” Our team is privileged to connect with those going through a death of someone they love, walk with someone through the transition of strength to weakness, and/or sometimes just help someone through a short-term need.
Since January 2021 we’ve been able to serve 72 individuals with 86 pieces of equipment being utilized. Many have expressed a heartfelt gratitude in being able to use equipment at no cost that sometimes would have seen them wait months for insurance to approve needed equipment and have an out-of-pocket cost. We are grateful to you and the Rotary Club of Winter Garden for making the MEB possible.
If you have a need for medical equipment or have some equipment you would like to donate, please give us a call at (407) 457-7561 or visit our website.
Secondly, we saw that we were missing a whole group of folks that we were not reaching. Many individuals and families cannot leave their home, even outside of a pandemic experience. We discovered that we must look at alternative ways to touch people. Going forward we needed to develop opportunities through virtual connections and new technology interfaces with our programs. This discovery will change everything we do from now on.
So, we began to design new programming to keep our families engaged and to expand our outreach. The impact of this newsletter will be the result of many of our new ministry approaches. We are changed by this experience and many of our adaptations are here to stay. Check out our website and all the new weekly and monthly programs.
DANCE & COSTUME CONTEST
Join us for a Monster of a Night!
Have a disability/special need? This is an evening for the whole family to enjoy. There will be dancing, games, food and maybe a few goblins lurking! Come in your best Monster get up (nothing too scary please) and BOOgie the night away! You won’t want to miss the most epic dance party of 2021!! RSVP TODAY! https://www.liftdisability.net/monstermash/
Where: Tanner Hall
29 W Garden Ave | Winter Garden, FL 34787
When: October 29, 2021
Time: 7-9 PM
Being Generous can be an everyday thing, it doesn’t just need to be a Tuesday! However, one Tuesday every year is set aside to be a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world.
Join the movement and help us continue to mission of elevating life in the disability family. Save the date 11-30-2021. Look for more details to come on our Facebook, Web page and emails.
It’s All About Relationships
BY RYAN ROUSE
I remember sitting in the LIFT office about a year ago talking about 2021 being the year we get back to in person programming. While we have moved forward some with in person events, we certainly aren’t quite where we thought we’d be. With Covid looming we continue to push forward and think outside the box while slowly bringing back face to face events. I’m extremely pleased with where are monthly Boost meeting have gone. We were able to utilize our summer intern Alicia David (film student at Southeastern University) to bring some themes to life with videos. I feel like our audience has been more engaged and we’ve had some amazing conversations all while using zoom which is not an easy task. We understand that a lot of people have zoom fatigue but it’s the platform we have, and we love to stay connected with our LIFT family all over.
Where we have been:
One of my favorite things that we have done this year is introducing “Elmer” to the world. Elmer has always been a staple at Breakaway Camp, but he has found his way into many more areas of LIFT. He gave his top 10 reasons to go to camp, he discovered buried treasure, joined the Paralympics, challenged me to a cooking competition, and has even flown a plane. Everyone LOVES seeing what Elmer will get into next!
In addition to all our virtual events, we have been able to strengthen relationships with other organizations. We helped throw a Night to Shine alternative for Building Pathways, were the grand finale at Joy Promenade for Northland, and threw an amazing soap party for CAC (Community Art Connection).
We haven’t just focused on our relationship with organizations. We have hit the road and delivered supplies for Boost and camp to all participants and recently we started throwing “driveway parties”. Andrew and I show up at homes and play games with our friends. It’s all about RELATIONSHIPS!
Where we are going:
I’m looking to use the resources that God has blessed us with to build deeper and new relationships with other organizations and people. We will continue to do what we do but we hope to add more events and connect with even more people. There are so many amazing organizations in Central Florida, and I hope to collaborate with them to broaden our impact. As we grow larger, we also want to grow smaller. What I mean by that is we want spend time with each family, get to know you even more, and serve you better. LIFT exists to serve your family, please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can do that better.
Breakaway 2021 Highlights
Blueprint | I am God’s Design
BY RHONETTE HUKILL
After having such a successful 2020 Virtual Breakaway we decided to branch out in 2021 with a hybrid model and do BOTH an in-person option and a virtual option simultaneously. Call us crazy! Did we know what we were doing? For sure not! However, we were up for the challenge. Hearing from our families that they very much missed being together we forged ahead in our planning in hopes that the week would be well attended and memorable even amidst the uncertainty of the looming Pandemic.
2021 indeed was another record-breaking year! Not only did we have overwhelming response in our attendance, both virtually and in-person, everyone that participated was primed and ready to discover what God had for them! Our theme was Blueprint. Through an amazing speaker, Chris Simning, and creative and dynamic programming we learned what God’s design was for our lives. The chapel services were just what everyone needed to infuse their spirit from a challenging year.
One of the highlights of the week was the introduction of Clean Games, with the use of a giant soap machine! This has since become a day event that we are doing for other local disability groups. A week wouldn’t be complete without tree climbing, pool time, fishing, the spa and craft time. In the evenings we once again had an amazing Dance through the Decades and a Blue themed dinner with Karaoke that was catered by our friends at Tres Amigos. Yum! No Breakaway would be complete without the beloved Talent Show. This year we renamed the Talent Show to the “Eddy’s” in honor of our friend Ed Ebmeyer. During the week a celebration service was held for both Ed and for Penny Harrison AKA Grandma Popcorn, who were a BIG part of the Breakaway family. Benches were dedicated and placed by the Lake in both their honors.
This year was also unique in that we facilitated helping a few folks live out their dreams. Tyler, who wants to be a missionary, got to preach one night. Hannah, who wants to be a director someday, got to make a short movie! This may seem small to some but for these two, and their families, it was huge! As Tyler’s mom put it “Breakaway is a week they don’t hear labels, aren’t told “you can’t do that”, and they are LOVED! I highly recommend!”
We would like to thank all of you for your prayers, financial support and volunteerism to help make this week unforgettable. Lives have been transformed by your efforts! THANK YOU! We can’t wait for 2022. Mark your calendars to join us June 28-July 2nd.