The DeGroot Home is a nursing home facility for special needs children in my area that needs our help.
Let me start over. Because that doesn’t tell the story quite right.
The DeGroot Nursing Home is an ACTUAL HOME owned by Sjany (pronounced Shawne) DeGroot, a registered nurse who has literally opened her home to medically fragile children ages 0-5 for the last 35 years. She has 7 children of her own, and yet…has dedicated her life to caring for these disabled children, in a warm, loving, family setting. Sadly, many of these children only spend a few weeks or months at the Home due to their medical conditions.
But they are loved deeply for whatever amount of time they are there.
Mrs. DeGroot’s husband of 65 years recently passed away, but she has continued her life’s work of Loving. Like a warrior.
And when I say “my area”, I mean across the street from my church. So, this is pretty personal.
Recently, California’s Department of Public Health has sent the Home a report including nearly 100 pages of changes, ranging from small fixes to building entire walls.
If the changes aren’t made, the DeGroot Nursing Home is in very real danger of being shut down.
It sounds like state legislators are getting involved and helping in whatever way they can, and while it is likely that time extensions may be granted, and there might be a reduction in the sheer volume of required modifications, it is highly unlikely that the state will just throw away the entire document and say “Just Kidding! Let’s pretend this never happened.”
Local contractors have also stepped forward and offered to donate their services in order to get the Home into compliance.
As our local paper wrote:
De Groot says she hopes the state will bend on some of the requirements, as she says the open plan is more conducive to the children’s needs. She current has five children at her home with severe physical needs, and she says putting them in “small cubicles” is not good for their quality of life.
When asked where the children will go if De Groot’s Home is shut down, CDPH representatives say if the qualifications are not met, “the Department of Developmental Services Regional Center would coordinate efforts to relocate the clients to a Medi-Cal approved facility.”
As a mother to a child with special needs, my heart ACHES for these children. The very fact that their own mothers have been unable to care for them is a deeply tragic life experience, but to be able to have even a few months of Love and Respect in a home environment…THIS IS WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT.
I urge you to watch this short 2 minute news segment. I wish I could embed the video directly here, but I can’t…please click over. It’s worth just the precious few seconds of Sjany interacting with sweet Mariah, a ten year old little girl who lost most of her sight and motor function after she was suffocated by someone when she was just three months old.
In the news clip, Sjany tells the story of a man who told her “They don’t have an opportunity to grow up anyway, why are we paying for it? The state is paying you for keeping kids alive that have no future.”
But Mrs. DeGroot? She’s a class act. Because she asks him “What is YOUR future?”
Touche. Love me some sass.
While we may not each be called to open our doors to medically fragile orphans, we can help. We can do our part. We can make the phone calls and we can write the checks.
Hit the little blue Facebook button and share. Make a phone call. Donate a few (or lots) of dollars.
Do not feel like you have to give a huge sum of money to make a difference. If 1,000 people gave even ONE DOLLAR that will surely buy some sheets of drywall and a few boxes of nails.
AND SOME DRYWALL AND TWO BOXES OF NAILS IS BETTER THAN ZERO BOXES OF NAILS.
My little plus your little can equal something BIG.
Give as you are able. Call the State. And share this post. The ripple effect of social media is powerful. Let’s use it for Good and help in the very 21st century way that we can.
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