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Review for Solace for the Children, Mooresville, NC, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

We are a current host family that has been hosting a child for 5 months. Typically children only stay a few weeks in the summer, but a few children, like our host daughter, come for extended care. Our family has 4 children, and one of my daughters uses a wheelchair. My daughter plays wheelchair basketball, which is how we met our host daughter the first time she came to America through Solace. When we found out she was coming back, we applied to be her new host family. Over the past 5 months we have learned so much from each other! My children's world has been broadened. Besides just learning about and connecting with another culture, they have developed a genuine sibling relationship with our host daughter. Instead of having an awkward "visitor" experience, the kids integrated her right in- which was probably a good thing, since sometimes children with disabilities get treated differently, whether it is in a good or bad way, by other people. Our host daughter has been encouraged by having a "sibling" with a disability, and they have been able to do lots of things together. My other kids are used to living with someone in a wheelchair, so they automatically adapt what they are doing to modify activities. Our house is completely accessible, so she has been able to work on daily life skills, and problem solve for how to adapt to her environment when she gets home. My kids have learned a little Farsi, and you can often hear them singing to a CD of songs in Farsi that we found for our host daughter. I homeschool, so despite the fact that the children on medical visas aren't able to attend school, we have all been able to work together on schoolwork anyway. I truly believe that people have to know how much you care before they care how much you know. If we are trying to help children and their families learn how to care for and manage their health conditions, they have to understand that we care about *them* more than we care about the strict imparting of knowledge. You can see this in the families that host, and also in the volunteer staff at Solace. To accomplish as much as they do, it is amazing what percentage of the work is done on a solely volunteer basis. If you donate to Solace, you know your money is not padding the pockets of a big CEO, it is really being used to help children.

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Role:  Volunteer