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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Ethels Tree Of Life Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Human Services, Youth Development Programs

Mission: The mission of ETL is to provide transitional training in life and work skills for youth of 14 up to young adults of 25 who live with disabilities and/or special needs.

Geographic areas served: Southern York County ME and Seacoast NH

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

since I join etl last year it help out a lot and make friends. I like the different workshops and summer actvites that I do with them. Linda has a lot of patience with the students and I love what she does for the program. thanks linda all the students love you at etl.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined ETL as an intern in marketing from June 2011 – July 2012. This is an absolutely amazing organization that impacts many lives of young adults. I was happy to be a part of this organization and it's events. It was wonderful to see each child explore new ideas & places, grow and learn. Linda is absolutely fabulous in working with each student, parents, and volunteers. The program events keep the students engaged and active while still learning valuable life lessons. I hope this program continues for years, as it is an asset for the York County area.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ethel's Tree of Life has been a prominent part of my son's life for the past 3 years. Originally, I thought it would be a great social outlet for him as he has autism and his social skills are at a much lower level than his peers...I was wrong!!!! ETL is a group of peers who support and learn with and from each other under the guidance of some spectacular volunteers and one incredibly dedicated lady. The 8-week modules are broken down so that these students with disabilities can learn from the very basic to the finished product in genres such as food/nutrition, job search/career paths, as well as finding your way around a city and trying new things. When these students get together, they smile more, communicate better, and become a participatory part of our society.

Samantha15

Board Member

Rating: 4

Ive been on and off with Ethel's Tree of Life since 2009. I started with the summer work program because my daughter is disabled. It has opened my eyes to help me with my daughters disability and to help me be a better person. Ive enjoyed my time with Ethels Tree of Life and will continue to help out as much as I can. ETL is a great cause and Linda(the director) works well with the children bringing them to learn life skills to help them transition into adult life. I just hope that when my daughter comes of age that she too can become an ETL student.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am one of the client that gose to Ethe's Tree of Life Inc. For the last three years, I have learned alot about myself and have done thing that I thought I could not do. The first time I want camping with out any suport person or parent to help me. I love Linda Higgins, Ethels Tree of Life Inc. and all my new freinds.

Donor

Rating: 4

We have hosted a weekly Exeter chapter of ETL for a number of years in our parsonage. I have found Linda Higgins very professional to work with. The kids have been very friendly. Overall, it was a great experience.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been a part of Ethel's tree of life for two years now. He is almost ready to go out in to the big world and get a real job. I really don't know how I could have personally taught him all of the hands on skills that they have so far. I look forward to watching him blossom into a productive member of our society doing what he loves to do. Thank you Linda.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have volunteered for Ethels Tree of Life (ETL) for 4 years. It has been my privledge to watch Linda Higgins (founder) provide need opportunities of life experiences for disABLED adolescents and young adults. As a parent of an adult child with CP I know from experience that after school the programs for people with disabilities dwindles to almost non existence. This is a much needed program that offers wonderful practical life experiences for young people who would otherwise not be given this opportunity.

Donor

Rating: 5

Ethels tree of life is a wonderful and much needed organization for young children and young adults with special needs.Linda and staff have worked so hard setting up programs. Ethels Tree of Life has helped so many young adults,and their familys .ETL life skills trips are a special thrill,going to see new places,and learning new life skills in the process. I have seen first hand ,the dedication that this organization gives,to help shape the lives of so many young people.thats way i am proud to donate to ETL.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended the annual wine tasting & charity auction last year and the polar challenge this past February. All of the students at ETL have such wonderful things to say about their experiences with he organization.

Sarah M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found out about Ethel's Tree of Life from my employer and she recommended I take my consumer for Friday activities. I saw a lot of changes in him as he started to branch out with others and he was always smiling. Before we left for his first activity, he was hesitant (very much so) and I think he had it in his mind that he would not going to enjoy it, after that afternoon, he looked forward to coming back each Friday. Linda is fantastic and I cannot say enough good about her. She is very aware of the specific needs of each youth involved in the program, sets realistic expectations and goals, and is always looking to make the experience as educational and enjoyable as possible. Not only did I see my consumer build friendships, but I found myself doing the same with other support staff and volunteers. I am always looking for ways to spread the word about this wonderful organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ETL has helped us to understand how much our granddaughter is able to fit in wityh her peers and overcome her anger with social skills and lots of understnading. She ahs been on a train ride and couldn't stop talking about her day. She has learned to overcome most valid fears. Linda has done such a great job with all of youth in the years she has given her life and time to.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

ETL has proved to be an excellent resource for youth with special needs. I have found the director, Linda Higgins, to be willing to collaborate on individual cases and to be willing to provide services that support youth who, despite an obvious need for support in developing occupational and independent living skills, are typically unable to access intensive case management and employment support services provided by public entities because their disabilities are deemed too mild to require such services. ETL is a valuable resource forSeacoast youth who are working to develop independent living skills and overcome barriers to employment.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ethel's tree of Life is a great organization that supports youth and young adults living with various disabilities. Students are able to explore different places such as Boston or New York and learn independent living skills at the same time. ETL offer a support group for youth to discuss their issues they are dealing with in a Sanford group. ETL was blessed with the opportunity to have two Americorps members volunteer their time to work with high school students with disabilities. Team Leadership and Career Corps was the program that allowed volunteers to integrate transitional skills for adult life while using the world around them to find their way in life.

Linda H.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Ethel's Tree of Life students achieve amazing things! One achievement might be going on a trip for the very first time without a family member or support person, another might be being brave enough to take the train into Boston alone for the first time. Other achievements might include becoming aware of opportunities to give of oneself in one's community, understanding life long learning opportunities, and, how to build on one's abilities. Developing an "I Can" attitude may be the biggest achievement of all!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ehtel's Tree of Life has provided an amazing amount of opportunities for our Son. It has allowed him the grow and learn in a way that makes sense to him. He has become an active member of the community and takes pride in his accomplishments. He enjoys spending time at the Youth Barn in South Berwick. He now looks forward to participating in events such as; learning to cook different foods, how to interview for a job, camping, appropriate behavior in different settings, seeing things from another perspective, going to the movies, just to name a few. He looks forward to graduating High School this year and then attending a local College for Mechanics. He just turned 17 and has Autism.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My teeneage son, who has autism, was in dire need of services to help him with social skills, independent living skills, and all the other skills that his typical peers were developing. In this past year, he has been involved in several different programs offered through Ethel's Tree of Life. As a member of "Choose to be Healthy", he learned to make better choices about how to spend his free time, healthier choices about the foods he eats, and to have a new appreciation of his own unique personality. His experience with "Job Club" helped him learn all about what it means to find and hold a job, from identifying his own skills, to communicating these skills to a potential employer, even experiencing what an interview is like through role playing. Throughout all this wonderful support he was also developing friendships, having joined a wonderful group where each person's gifts are nurtured and celebrated. I can't say enough about how fortunate we have been to find ETL!

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first came into contact with ETL when it was first getting off the ground and i thoroughly enjoyed helping to set up the new building(twice) and hanging out with the kids, playing games, and just basicly making them feel comfortable. i would do it over again in a heartbeat if i had the chance.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ETL is a wonderful organization that has helped so many young people in need of assistance and learning how to do for themselves as well as work together to achieve common goals. I have always had wonderful experiences when working with ETL and the clients they serve truly become a part of something that makes them feel good about themselves and what they can achieve. So many people are grateful for the help ETL has been able to provide.

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with Ethel's Tree of Life was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The opportunities within this program are incredible from the trips to the wide variety of classes taught in this organization. It's one of the most kind-hearted organizations I have ever been a part of.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

I am very impressed with the professional level of teaching young men and women with disabilities skills in cooking and communication skills and relationships with others. These skills are learned more willingly in a setting without the usual caregiver always there. Also the time slot of two and a half hrs. gives me time to accomplish something while I know my daughter's best interest and needs are being met. I also do what I am able to help E.T.L. with the funding piece, and this is not so easy, as Exeter group is only one year old in our community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been with ethel's tree of life for about 2 years now and everyday brings new opportunities. This is the best non-profit in maine and it helps anybody with any kind of disability. I've learned so much from this group and I want it to continue to support the people who need some kind of communication skills such as: having a checking account to learning the skills to get and keep a job.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I belong to ETL because it's a good organization to come to, it helps me to learn. I do things with friends.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I like Ethel's Tree of Life. It's fun, we get to have fun with friends, get to do a lot of great activities, and I learn how to be independent. I learned that you can't give an attitude when ever you don't get your own way. I also learn how to create stuff.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was pleased to accompany my client to ETL. The environment helped her to grow in ways I many never have been able to do alone. My client was confident enough to talk to business owners, make suggestions and make decisions which doesn't come easy to her.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a 19 year old girl with Autism. For the first time in my life I want camping with peers and counselors for a weekend. Know parent or one-on one persons to help me and I had a great time. I also learned a lot of things getting a job and being around other peers. I love Ethels Tree of Life.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've accompanied a group of Ethel's Tree of Life students on a day skiing and saw one young lady who was reluctant to ski, relax, gain confidence, and enjoy the experience as she earned high praise from the instructor. By the end of her lesson, she was beaming with pride in her new skill. I also worked in the youth employment program the summer of 2009 and saw students living with significant disabilites gain skills and confidence as the program progressed. Several came out of their shells, as they learned new skills both in independent living and in employment skills. The Job Club, run this spring and summer by volunteers offered similar opportunities to more students. It's great to see these young people build their confidence as they build their skills!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Ethel's Tree of Life was founded due to a need in our geographic area for transition training in life and work skills for a very vulnerable population of youths and young adults. Since 2003 ETL has been serving Seacoast New Hampshire and Southern York County Maine with activities, opportunities, and, adventures that help to build the skills that will be needed in adult life.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Ethel's Tree of Life is a great non profit. I have learned a lot about life skills while I am here, and I have made many friends from there. When I become Independent I know that I will learn the skills I learn and continue to learn from Ethel's Tree of Life to help me.