As Austin approached adulthood and was "aging out" of school I began to look at his uncertain future. I knew I was no able to take care of Austin by myself. Soon, the same questions I asked myself earlier in his life resurfaced again. Where will he go? Who will care for him after I am gone? My search led me once again to a Camphill Community: Heartbeet Lifesharing in Hardwick, Vermont.
On my first visit three years ago, I had a deep intuition as I walked the grounds that this was the place Austin would one day call home. I am so very pleased to say that Austin has been accepted to like at Heartbeet Lifesharing.
Heartbeet is a place where everyone, regardless of ability, can find meaning, dignity and reverence for life. Adults with developmental disabilities, long and short term co-workers live together in loving, well ordered, extended family households.
Austin will be able to live and work doing the things he loves. There is a woodshop for him to make tables and cutting boards, farm animals to visit and feed. Austin also gets to spend time in the community kitchen preparing lunch for Heartbeet and in town each Thursday at a community church. He is in a place that will support who he is and who he has the right to become as a human being.
I have committed to raising $50,000 in honor of Austin's admission. A fundraising campaign is underway to expand the therapeutic spaces at Hearetbeet. In particular, I would like to the focus to be on the expansion of the woodshop. This new area will provide much needed room for working with longer pieces of lumber, additional equipment, a separate area for painting and staining, in addition to wood/tool storage.
Updating this space will allow Austin's much-loved interest to expand and will directly impact his quality of life, along with that of the rest of the community.
Please join me in a celebration of Austin's new home by donating to this very exciting project. Thank you so much for your support. Austin's move to Heartbeet is life changing for us both.
- Suzanne Felson
- Gina Davis
- Roger Thomas
- Arthur Libera
- Hannah Schwartz
Fundraising team: Austin's Family (2)
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