For many parents, deciding where to enroll their child in after-school care is a stressful experience. The pressure to choose the best environment from a variety of options may be common, but some parents find themselves facing an entirely different dilemma: no options at all.
When Tabitha and Jeremy Fry tried to enroll their son Brady into a program, they found there were no programs or day care facilities that would enroll him. That’s because Brady was born with a rare brain condition called hydrocephalus, which caused complications that required many surgeries and left him needing special care most facilities simply can’t provide.
As a result, Tabitha left a job she enjoyed so she could care for her son. “He came first,” she said simply. “And we’re not alone; there are so many families where a parent has to quit their job because there are just no options in their community.”
That’s why the Fry family decided to start Brady’s Bridge, a nonprofit afterschool care center focused on providing for children with special needs. That means having a higher ratio of caregivers to children, as well as facilities that can accommodate a variety of conditions. “I have a heart for special needs kids,” Tabitha explained. “There is such a need for this, so we thought, why not help other families too?”
Brady’s Bridge is working toward opening in Leander this year, and thanks to generous PEC members who elect to round up their bills to the nearest dollar each month through PEC’s Power of Change Program, they’ll do so with the help of a $2,500 PEC community grant. “The building we have was built in the early ‘80s, so we’re replacing everything to make sure that when kids come to us they’ll be breathing clean air,” Tabitha said. “The PEC grant gives us what we need to complete replacing the HVAC and all the duct work.”
Despite the center’s focus on special needs, they will welcome children of all abilities. Tabitha says inclusive care saves parents precious time and energy. “We want siblings to be able to come to the same place,” she said. “And it’s good for kids to be around those with special needs, so they can see that they’re typical kids with a lot to give and teach us.”
Having the support of PEC members means a lot to the Fry family. “I can’t even put into words what it means to know that what we’re doing matters to someone else,” Tabitha explained. “Power of Change is such an amazing program. It’s just change, right? But it makes a huge difference to the community you’re supporting.”
To help fund future community grants like the one helping the Frys bring this special care to their community, join PEC’s Power of Change Program today. Log in to SmartHub at pec.smarthub.coop and choose ‘PEC Power of Change’ from the Billing & Payments menu, or call 888-554-4732 today to enroll.