The DeGroot Home Needs Our Help

The DeGroot Home is a nursing home facility for special needs children in my area that needs our help.

Wait.

Let me start over.  Because that doesn’t tell the story quite right.

DeGroot-Home

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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.

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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.”

(emphasis added.)

GAH.

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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.

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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.

You can call Governor Brown and urge him to do whatever they can to help keep the DeGroot Home open at (916) 445-2841 (or fax 916-558-3160).

You can click through to the GiveForward page HERE or by using the widget below:

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jeannett
I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.
jeannett
jeannett

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Comments

  1. 1
    Shawna@nottheformerthings.com says:

    Thank you so much for letting us know.
    This makes me want to cry and hug her all at the same time. I am grateful for the opportunity to help in a small way.

  2. 2
    Beckie geddes says:

    THANK YOU. so much for posting about this and starting the crowd fund site. I felt a deep hopelessness & helplessness over this and you reaching out to your followers mean People will Hear & Share.

    I emailed Sjany to express my support and ask what WE could do. She was grateful, but said they won’t give up. She also said fighting the government is hard. So, we *really* need to be calling our state reps. I know that almost seems worse than making a small donation, but it is our right and duty to hold them accountable.

    anyway, thanks again, you lifted my heart out of the hopeless this morning.

  3. 3
    Emily Beckwith says:

    Wow! What an amazing woman.
    I live just a couple hours from there and have never heard of it until now, but am so glad I did. Thank you for sharing this. Thankful for the opportunity to help someone who is helping so many.
    xoo

  4. 4

    See the little boy in the wheelchair? His name is Xander. He has the greatest giggle you have EVER heard. Ever. Happiest boy you ever met. He once played catch with me for 30 minutes straight and giggled the entire time. Sjany gives these kids the best care imaginable. Her house is so comforting and these kids need a Home not just a hospital. This is breaking my heart.

  5. 5

    I have known of the Degroot home for years as I went to SLO HIgh School with one of her granddaughters, who is now in her thirties with a family of her own. To say that Sjany is amazing, selfless and kind to a point that I cannot fathom…well, all that would be an understatement.
    The story of the girl who was nearly suffocated at the age of three months almost made me physically sick, but that smile on her face and the love and care she now receives is incredible.

  6. 6

    Hi Jeannett,

    Totally fine if you don’t remember, but I went to Grace Church in college (03-08) and was glad to meet you then. . .I enjoy following your blog now, thanks for writing! I’m really glad you wrote this post, just donated (I am praying that the giving way exceeds the goal of $1,000!), and also emailed Tim Challies to see if he would link up this post for one of his “a la cartes” in the near future. Praying daily. Thanks again!

  7. 7
    Kristi Alton says:

    I’ve created a petition at Change.org in support of the De Groot home. Please sign it and share it if you can. https://www.change.org/p/california-department-of-public-health-don-t-close-the-de-groot-home

  8. 8

    Perhaps before giving money, people should look into facts more thoroughly; the home in the past was audited and had to give back over $100,000 in funds.

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