How You Help — Stories of Impact
Maddy’s Story: Inclusion Programs Help A Local Family: Guest Post by Sally & Marty Hiudt
We wanted to share Maddy’s story so you know how much your gift matters. Because together, we can do almost anything. —Sally and Marty Hiudt, Community Campaign Co-chairs
“I may cry,” is the first thing Laureen Scott said, sitting on a bench under bright blue sky, when asked how her daughter Maddy went to camp this past summer. In bright blue t-shirt and shorts, Maddy Scott circled her mom, then ran off to chase friends, and be part of the day’s activities at the Mayerson JCC’s Camp at the J. Soon though she veered back for another hug, mumbling, “I love you,” in her mom’s ear.
Maddy attended thanks to the Schloss Special Needs and Services Department, funded in part by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.
They tried soccer—“Total flop.”
“Maddy has a lot of cognitive delays,” Ms. Scott said, “but because she looks so normal, they thought she had bad behavior.” She wanted Maddy to be active. They tried soccer—“total flop”—they tried swimming at three different places. “They always had to stop and take care of Maddy, and I overheard the parents saying ‘Oh my God, I’m paying all this money for this?!’ So after a year of that I really didn’t involve her in anything—she had no friends.”
“It’s the best inclusion program that Maddy’s ever been involved in, and she’s been involved in a lot. I hope it’s here forever.”
Then Ms. Scott found the JCC, which provides an advocate who supports Maddy through the day. “It was the most wonderful experience ever. In one year she has blossomed, speaking so much. It is the best of the inclusion programs. The people here are so welcoming, so thoughtful and kind. And Maddy’s made friends.”
As her mom talked, Maddy swooped in again to sit, shoulders touching, on the bench. Ms. Scott said, “She’s a hundred times happier, her behavior’s better, she has something to look forward to. Over and over again she’ll [ask], and I’ll say “you’re gonna go,” and it makes her happy. And if she’s happy, I’m happy, and that’s all I want [tears up]—I want her to be a happy person.”
Maddy is one of thousands of people who rely on programs funded in part by donations through the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. Thank you for your support—together, we can do almost anything. —Sally and Marty Hiudt, 2016 Community Campaign Co-chairs