This weekend, Lady A and I had the distinguished honor of attending the Pennsylvania Elks Convention in Gettysburg, PA.
Lady A was honored as this year’s “CHILD OF THE YEAR” for the Elk’s Home Services Program. Unless you are a member of your local Elk’s Lodge or have had the opportunity to have an Elk’s Nurse from the Home Service Program visit you, you may not know what I am referring to. I am convinced this program may be one of the best kept secrets in all of Pennsylvania, especially for families with special needs kiddos!
When we moved here a few year’s ago, a few moms on a message board encouraged me to get an ELKS NURSE. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I called the number. A few weeks later an Elk’s nurse showed up for an appointment with us at our new home. Elk’s nurses do not provide direct medical care but instead are there to help a family NAVIGATE almost every aspect of life with a special needs child. The Elk’s nurse, Ginger (now retired), helped connect our family with resources in our community, other parents, support groups and even nearby medical care. After she retired and Margaret became our new ELKS nurse, we were preparing for Lady A to enter kindergarten. Margaret was an invaluable resource as we navigated the ins and outs of 504 plans and the like. She even offered to attend any school meetings regarding these plans that I needed her to! What a huge benefit to have an advocate working WITH you for the wellbeing of your child! This service is offered to families for FREE with the generous support of Elks lodges all across the state, along with state grants. If you are intersted in learning more or requesting the services of an ELKS nurse in your area please call 1-800-986-4550 or visit this website for additional contact info- http://www.paelkshomeservice.org
We had an amazing weekend getting to meet all the wonderful people who support this organization as well as the entire nursing staff and leadership who offer support to families like ours. Lady A and I want to extend a GREAT BIG
THANK YOU to the ELK’s of Pennsylvania!
Thank you for honoring Lady A and letting us take part in your conference. Thank you for showering her with attention, pins and sweet gifts! Thank you for the money you raised to continue this program. And ABOVE ALL, thank you for what you do each and every day to help families with special needs children so that their journey may be a bit easier to travel with an ELK’s Nurse Advocate by their side.