Valley Haven support a legacy we can keep building

Published 7:20 pm Friday, August 10, 2018

Something that’s really special about the Greater Valley Area is its capacity to give in general and its support of Valley Haven School in particular. This is not a big community or a wealthy one but it is a big-hearted place. Is there a better place to be?

The coming year presents a landmark opportunity. 2019 could make 30 straight years of generating over $100,000 a year in fundraising to support Valley Haven. That’s astonishing and something to be proud of. It’s also very important to do this because it makes Valley Haven eligible for the state and federal grant money that’s so important for Valley Haven to continue with its first-rate programs.

Valley Haven provides education, training and special instruction for mentally challenged preschoolers and adults. It serves individuals who range in age from two months to their seventies. Adult programs include academics, recreation/community living skills, physical activities, leisure, crafts and domestic skills. In the classroom, students have courses in history, geography, science and math as well as improving their skills in writing and vocabulary. The students really enjoy swimming, camping and physical education.

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Valley Haven’s best ambassadors are the students themselves. They have the best social skills. They greet visitors with smiles, handshakes and “How are you today, sir? (or ma’am, as the case may be).

What’s been done in the way of fundraising shouldn’t be taken for granted. We’ve had 29 straight years now of $100,000-plus fundraising. That doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a lot of hard work, mostly on the part of volunteers. For this to continue, younger people need to get involved. Being a big-hearted, welcoming community is something we’d like to be known for in the coming years. There’s no better way to do that than continue our support for Valley Haven School.

Some of Valley Haven’s best supporters are people who have been involved in helping the school for 30 to 40 years. They’d like to know they can pass the torch to younger people who share the same enthusiasm for Valley Haven and willingness to work hard in the fundraising the school needs.

It’s time for younger Valleyans to step up and to keep this valued legacy moving forward.