We have utilized Chiara Home since 2004. At the time we had no respite. Sister Gretchen, Brenda and the staff have been such a blessing to our family. Chiara Home is also a connection for other Disability resources. This past Saturday we took our daughter to a Fall O Ween Party that was e-mailed to us as an upcoming event for Special Needs Children.
My story starter about 13 years ago when i had the luck to find Chiara Home for my daughter who is now 39. SHe is profoundly brain damage and needs total care which Chiara provides for a respite for my husband and I I can go away knowing that Tracie is getting the same if not better one on one care. Sister Gretchen and her staff truly love and make sure that Tracie is cared for just like at home. In fact Tracie can crawl and when we get there she heads right to her room that she sleeps in. We travel 90 miles one way to Chiara because Illinois has nothing like Chiara. When we have had personal emerencies, Chiara is the place I call because Sister Gretchen will be there for us. We will always need them in our lives. Thank you for letting me tell you about an amazing place
I'd need to tell you about a very special woman who has helped so many families and has even given up her own bed for her "special" guests. Her name is Sister Gretchen Clark and she runs Chiara Home. It's a wonderful place that gives respite to families that have a member with disabilities. Sister refuses no one who needs help, regardless of their finances. She's supported strictly by donations. She has been in operation since 1992 and has tried so hard to be there for her "families." There are so many stories, but I can only tell you mine. My mother died November 3, 2004 and I became guardian to my brother Davey who has Downs Syndrome. I promised my Mother I would always take care of Davey and protect him. No matter what happened, I would always keep him safe. My life changed so much after my mother died. There was no place to take Davey to that I felt was safe and affordable. I needed to go to work to support us. I had already lost one of the jobs I had. By the time I found Chiara Home and Sister Gretchen I was feeling lost and very scared. With tears in my eyes, I talked to Sister and explained everything---my worries and my fears. She put her arm around me and told me everything was going to be OK. No one is ever turned away from Chiara Home. I explained about our limited finances and she said we'd work it out--that Chiara Home would be there for us. Sister Gretchen works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I believe she has even worked without salary/benefits to keep Chiara Home open for the families who desperately need her. I don't know what my brother and I would have done without her and Chiara Home. She's our own unsung heroine. Chiara Home has made a difference in so many lives... I know the difference it's made in ours. Sincerely, Deborah Marchesi & David Guido