House of Possibilities
October 2018

Happenings at The House
An Amazing Experience

Time is flying here at the House. The heat of the summer seems long gone, as the cool, crisp fall weather begins to produce spectacular foliage on our campus here in North Easton. Our days are packed with enriching activities with our clients and so many memorable moments. I've been looking forward to sharing with you this month's Mission Moment about Samantha Cohen (photo middle) and her experience with the Miss Amazing competition. 

Miss Amazing is a pageant for girls and women with disabilities, and their aim is to acknowledge the beauty and value within all people. Here is a bit of Samantha's story, in her own words:

"My name is Samantha Cohen, I am 12 years old, and I am from Canton, MA. I never heard about the Miss Amazing pageant before one of my friend's moms told my mom about it. I was excited because I really love to act and perform in front of a lot of people.

I had an interview with the judges. I had my hair and makeup done by Lisa. She made me a pretty fishtail braid on the side. I got to walk onstage in my beautiful red evening gown with my right-hand man. I introduced myself to the audience. I practiced and performed at the Talent Show. We had a fancy Gala dinner and a dance where a famous country singer from Nashville played guitar and sang. I had a Buddy named Carley from Nebraska who gave me some gifts and helped me at the pageant.

It came time for all the girls (called state queens) to get their trophies, medals, and crowns, and for the winners and runnerups for each division to be called. It was so exciting for my mom when I got picked to be the winner in the Pre-teen division for MA because it was my first time doing Miss Amazing. We could not believe I would go to Chicago in August for National Miss Amazing! I did not win the title at Chicago; Lily from CO won, she has cochlear implants and can't hear without them.

I am really liking Miss Amazing. It empowers girl power for girls and women with disabilities. Some have disabilities you can see and some, like me, you can't see. My mom says I have a hidden disability. If you are a girl or a woman with a disability and want to show off a talent, have fun, and make lots of new friends, you should come to Miss Amazing."

We are so incredibly proud of Samantha, and want to take this opportunity to thank her for reminding us all what Embracing Possibilities really looks like. You can find out more about Miss Amazing at


Interim Executive Director

Our Special Chefs

If anyone is looking to make a visit to the House of Possibilities soon, we would suggest doing it on a Thursday - that is when HOPe's Adult DayHab Program's aspiring chefs have the whole building smelling like a 5-star restaurant!

With the help of HOPe's amazing program staff, the adults gather each Tuesday to brainstorm what their meal for the week will be. Wednesday's task is to head to the grocery store and compile all the ingredients they will need. With practice, many of our clients are now able to pay with exact change, all on their own. Thursday is the day when many of our staff pop their head into the kitchen to see what our incredible clients are preparing this week. The clients take care of every part of the cooking process, from cleaning the food, slicing the vegetables, working the oven, and everything in between. 

One of our moms recently shared that when she came to see the cooking program for herself, she "saw a side of my son I had never seen." Given the opportunity and supports they need, our clients can do so many incredible things. The level of engagement and enthusiasm that our staff bring each day is matched (and sometimes exceeded!) by our clients, and in that kind of environment the possibilities are truly boundless.

A Harvest of Memories

Fall is in full swing at the House of Possibilities! HOPe's Adventure Club visited Sauchuk's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch in Plympton, MA, on what could not have been a more beautiful day. There was so much for the children to do there, they hardly knew what to pick first. Whether it was duck races, tug of war, the corn maze, jumpy pillows, or a trip to the "Barnyard Ball Zone" which included baseball, basketball, and football, there really was something for everyone to enjoy. 

Adventure Club is just one of our many Children's Programs, and we're pleased to announce that, thanks to the generosity of our community, we're now able to offer two new programs for our families: Brunch Bunch and Friend Zone. A schedule of our available children's programs can be found on our website.

Advancing HOPe's Mission

Every day, members of the HOPe community give of their time, talent and treasure in service to the families we support. We are forever grateful for all of these efforts, big and small, and each month look to highlight and celebrate just a few of the blessings we receive.

Another Rodman Ride in the Books
Many thanks to this year's riders, supporters and volunteers for participating in the 2018 Rodman Ride for Kids, the #1 one-day athletic event supporting at-risk kids in the nation. Shout-outs go to Diane Stephens for taking on the 50-mile ride, and to Rob Reilly for being the first 25-mile rider to cross the finish line for Team HOPe.

Building Our Past and Our Future
It's no secret that the Yawkey Foundation has played a large part in realizing the mission of HOPe. In September, members of the Foundation conducted a site visit and met with HOPe's leadership team. We are thrilled to announce that the Yawkey Foundation has awarded House of Possibilities a $100,000 grant to support our Children's Respite Services, as well as an additional $50,000 grant to support capacity building for HOPe. This vote of confidence in what we are doing and where we are headed continues to inspire!

HOPe's 2019 Marathon Team
We recently received word that HOPe has been granted eight bibs in the 2019 Boston Marathon on April 15, 2019. Over the next few months, we will be providing information for interested runners and finalizing our team. If you are interested in running for HOPe or supporting our marathon team as an individual or a corporate partner, please contact Kirsten Fink.
New Quilts Make ONR Sew Happy

Our Overnight Respite (ONR) bedrooms are looking even nicer these days, thanks to the Rhododendron Quilt Needlers Guild based out of Walpole, MA. They recently delivered four hand-made quilts to the House, clearly the work of skilled and talented quilters. Many thanks to The Guild for their colorful additions to our bedrooms!

HOPe's Overnight Respite program is offered on weekends to boys and girls ages 8-21, giving families some much-needed time off and their child all the experiences of a sleepover. Participants cook dinner, play games, watch movies, bake desserts and have a pajama party with their friends. 
Welcome to New Staff

This past month, we wished bookkeeper Lori Celentano well as she moved on from HOPe to a new career opportunity. Lori says she will miss being at The House on a regular basis but promises to visit often and stay in touch with the many friends she has made in her time here.

We're thrilled that Candace Shockley has joined us as our new bookkeeper and welcome her to the HOPe community. Candace comes with many years of nonprofit accounting experience. Most recently, Candace worked at St. Benedict Elementary School in Natick, MA. Candace holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a Master's degree in Museum Administration. In her free time, Candace enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, baking and reading mysteries.  

Welcome aboard Candace!

Missed our September newsletter? Click here to read it.
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