For Roxanne Sinsapaugh, surviving life with a developmentally disabled son isn’t an option. She is determined to thrive, and has led the way for other families in similar situations to do the same.
The founder of Wendell-based Special Blessings Inc. has long dreamed of a community and home for her friends’ disabled children. Since three acres of property near Rolesville were recently donated to her nonprofit, Sinsapaugh is beginning to witness her dreams take shape.
With 200-300 people annually participating in the organization’s weekend events, Sinsapaugh has connected dozens of families who find a space to relax, focus on their other children, or pay special attention to their special needs child. They are also able to connect with each other and find support.
The special needs children and adults range from age two to age 51. The organization started in 1997 when Sinsapaugh created a Sunday School program in her home for special needs children and their families.
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In 2005, she formally created the nonprofit and branched out into the community. Families outside Wake County and sometimes from out-of-state call her, or come to the “family fun days.” Now, the group takes field trips on the weekends.
Sinsapaugh’s 30-year-old son Shaun inspired the nonprofit. He was born deaf, with cerebral palsy, autism and other conditions. At the age of 17, he suffered from trauma in a state medical facility, and his family feared he wouldn’t recover.
He wasn’t alone. Burt Powell’s family has recently spoken up about his sexual abuse at a group home.
Thankfully, Shaun recovered, but Sinsapaugh strongly believes that a home is needed where developmentally disabled people of all ages can have a community and a voice. Group homes, she said, are very similar to foster care, passing children along to find “the right match.”
The future vision for Special Blessings is to run a long-term residential home. Sinsapaugh also envisions a resource center where disabled adult children can learn job and life skills, and where parents can research their disabilities and care. It would also host their monthly support group.
“This is just the beginning,” she said. “I’m just getting started.”
The organization’s leaders have gathered to brainstorm how to fundraise for construction of a home on the three acres of land.
“We’re trying to build a safe community... and put them in an environment that’s a loving, caring environment,” she said. “I think the other places are too clinical. There’s not enough of a family atmosphere, and there’s a need to nurture them.”
On Thursday, April 30, Special Blessings will be hosting a golf tournament fundraiser at River Ridge Golf Club to gather support for the facility’s construction and the organization’s operational costs.
For more information, call Roxanne Sinsapaugh 919-366-9589, or visit specialblessingsinc.net.
Want to play?
When: April 30, Registration begins at 11 a.m., shotgun start at 1 p.m.
Where: River Ridge Golf Club, 3224 Auburn Knightdale Rd., Raleigh
Cost: Individual Golfers: $65 (Early Registration $45); Golf for 2: $105 (Early Registration $85). Early registration ends April 15th. Includes green fees, golf cart, goodie bags & lunch). Mulligan Package includes: 2 Mulligans & 3 Raffle Tickets for $15 (advance purchase) $20 at registration.
Sponsor: To sponsor, visit https://www.specialblessingsinc.net/2015-golf-tournament.html