Services “Rocks the Farm”
Rebecca DeFrang, who serves on the fundraising committee for Sherwood Community Services is from Lake Stevens and speaks of the importance of such a service in the community.
“Having Sherwood in our local community is vital,” DeFrang said. “Sherwood serves not only children but adults with disabilities and when you're the parent of a five-year-old with developmental disabilities you want these services not only now, but here for the long run. There are so many adults with developmental disabilities who want gainful employment and Sherwood is working daily to integrate these hard working adults into the workforce.”
DeFrang’s familiarity with Sherwood goes back five years ago when her daughter was just an infant and needed the ExCel (Exceptional Children's Early Learning) program which provides therapeutic support to children, age birth to three, and to their families.
“After four months at Children's Hospital as a baby Claire utilized services as soon as she came home from the hospital” DeFrang said.
Sherwood also has an outreach program which aims to help families with family members who cannot leave their home, but need special care.
“Because she (Claire) had a tracheostomy and feeding tube she could not leave home and therefore the therapists from Sherwood came into our home for her therapies from the time she was six months until she turned three,” she`said.
Recently a fundraising took place in Snohomish called Rock the Farm which raised money for Sherwood from its proceeds.
The Krause family, who owns Swan’s Trail Farm in Snohomish hosts an annual corn maze on its 125 acre farm, generously hosted the musical event.
The Krause’s, who have a 47-year-old son Matt employed by Sherwood, know the significance of fundraisers for such a service in the community and county.
The event also helped raise awareness of the necessity to better serve the needs and abilities of the disabled as a community.
“This festival was important to me because not only was it a great venue with fantastic music, but all the proceeds from it went directly to Sherwood Community Services,” DeFrang said. “I also want to help people learn about Sherwood and how they serve those with developmental disabilities in Snohomish County.”
Like many people, DeFrang has used music as a means to help calm and sooth while at the same time enjoying the sounds together with her children.
“Claire loves music and so she loved this event,” DeFrang said. “Claire loves to listen to classical, jazz and all kinds of traditional children's music. Her favorite song this week is "You are my Sunshine" and this rendition is sung by a woman folk singer. It's a mellow version and so we played it over and over coming back from the zoo today and it sure kept all my kids at bay in rush hour traffic. Even when Claire was a baby and in Intensive Care at Children's Hospital we would play lullabies, and sing to her and so music is an integral part of her day still, five years later.”
In a thriving community such as Lake Stevens, understanding and support of every citizen is vital.
“I believe raising a special needs child takes a community and the more people who can come and embrace others who walk a slightly different path is critical to awareness and inclusion,” DeFrang said.