Giving back: Family brightens holiday season for youth at Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS
The holidays are a time of giving, and for one family – whose son received services through Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health – they are a time of giving back.
Mary and Mark Bainbridge enrolled their son, Robert, in a residential treatment program at Devereux Pennsylvania’s Children’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services (CIDDS) center, located in West Chester, Pa., in December 2015.
At the time, Robert, who had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), was struggling with social, emotional and behavioral challenges and needed 24-hour care.
Soon after he was admitted, the family visited Robert at the Reed House, a residential group home at Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS, and began to see improvements in his behavior.
“We met every week with a wonderful therapist who came up with different coping strategies for Robert,” said Mary Bainbridge. “She gave us insight into how our behaviors were affecting his behaviors. This helped us to understand that we had some influence over how he was acting, which was very enlightening.”
Inspired to give back
Over time, the Bainbridge family formed a connection with staff at the Reed House, and with the other boys who lived there.
The first Christmas Robert was at Devereux, his family decided to purchase stockings for each of the boys, as well as toys, games and a second Christmas tree for the house.
Even after Robert was discharged in April 2017, the Bainbridges continued to show their support for Devereux by regularly visiting the group home and delivering small gifts to the boys during the holidays.
“The staff at the Reed House are – and always will be – like family to us,” explained Mary Bainbridge. “They are the reason our 18-year-old son is home right now, and is as successful as he is. We can never repay Devereux for the kindness and unending support they gave – and are still giving us to this day.”
Spreading holiday cheer
To make the 2018 holiday season extra special for the boys at Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS’ Reed House, the Bainbridge family launched an online fundraising campaign, which generated nearly $1,000 in donations.
The family used the funds to purchase a new flat-screen TV and PlayStation 4 game console for the house. The Bainbridges also bought each of the 19 boys their own gift, such as a remote-controlled car or walkie-talkie, as well as clothes and bicycle helmets.
“While some of the individuals we serve are able to spend the holidays with their families, others are still looking for that permanent place to call home. For them, the holidays can be especially challenging,” said Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS Program Director Aaron Emmons. “Thanks to the generosity of the Bainbridge family, the boys at the Reed House were able to experience – first-hand – the true magic of the season.”
Mary added, “We are grateful for everything we have and for everyone in our lives. The boys at Devereux are great kids who are either going through a rough phase or have been dealt a really bad hand in life. We wanted to share with them as much of our happiness as possible.”
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