(Please read through to see where addional moneys raised will go.)
Cruz is a very spirited and super active almost 5 years old who was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He was adopted shortly after he turned one year old by Will, an Oklahoma City police officer, and Anne, a stay at home mom. He has 7 siblings, it takes all of his older siblings and his parents to keep up with him, as he is on the go 24/7. The younest 3 kids in the family are adopted through the fostercare system. We are in the process of getting a service dog to help him be more successful. We will be working with an organization called Agvocates for Exception Individuals, INC. This program is a little different from most, we will receive the dog as a puppy and will have the trainer come to our home to train. This will allow the dog to bond with Cruz and also adjust to the sound of his rages. It also cuts cost as most service dogs run anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000. Services the dog will provide are as follows; help with night terrors (Cruz cannot sleep by himself), help to keep him calm and avoid rages, and tethering, (which is a huge safety concern for us). The dog will be tethered to Cruz using a special leash and will be trained to sit if Cruz tries to run off in public places.
We will also be raising funds for our new friends Staci and her service dog Malee. Staci has autism and is almost fully funded but has a little bit to go. Staci's mom Christy shared the info. about the agency and put us in touch with Josh to start the process for Cruz. We would love to repay her kindness by helping them get to 100% funded. Staci's mom Christy said she is already making huge progress and isn't even a year into training with Malee! (Average training time is two years.)
And lastly and most importantly, Josh and Agvocates for Exceptional Individuals, Inc. Since we fostered for 9 years and have many friends with special needs children and trama kids we feel that Agvocates could provide some much needed services for some of our closest friends and their children. Josh has several different agricultural programs that work with Special Needs kids, PLEASE go to their website to check out all their programs.http://www.agvocates.org
Since Cruz's dad is an Oklahoma City Police Officer and an SRO (school resource officer) in the Oklahoma City public schools the Teacher's Pet Program is something he would really like to see in the speical needs classes in the schools he works in. School budgets are really tight and raising funds is a way to help get the Teacher's Pet Program into more schools.
Agvocates for Exceptional Individuals, Inc is a 501c3 so you can also send funds directly to them for a tax deductable donation.
Agvocates for Exceptional Individuals,Inc.
PO Box 852066
Yukon, OK 73085-2066
If mailing directly to them please write in memo, or in a note, if the donation is for Cruz Smith, Staci & Malee, or to go directly to the Agvocates programs.