And the impact is not lost on the VanSkiver family. “CJ already had her cape, but Hope Network helps her fly,” said Jen Vanskiver, CJ’s mother. The impact goes beyond just one individual, family or even community to be a part of the greater good. “Hope Network is a workforce powerhouse, solving business problems by filling holes in the employment model, turning individuals into taxpaying members of society, and bringing them out of potential isolation. Hope Network levels the playing field, galvanizing society into a positive, inclusive direction – there is no other organization in the community that does this.”
Success stories like these don’t just happen overnight. It takes a village of passionate supporters, ambassadors and volunteers to raise awareness and funds for Hope Network services that mean so much to thousands of families across Michigan. “The services offered by Hope Network are so seamless and interwoven into the community that it can be easy to overlook. We had heard a little bit about Hope Network from other families in the special needs community, but didn’t fully connect the dots until CJ entered Project Search,” said Jen. “It has been a blessing to be in a community where an organization like Hope Network exists.
The entire trajectory of our family has been changed by Hope Network. My husband, Tim and I, used to say that we were planning “retirement for three,” fearing our daughter may not achieve independence. But now look at her. She’s soaring. And we want to do everything we can to put a face on the value proposition of Hope Network, so that more people understand its impact, leverage what it offers, and give to support it.”