By Shreya Shrinivas, FCSN Voices Senior Youth Reporter
Unifying people experiencing similar situations and obstacles fosters a strong community of support and encouragement. Hoping to achieve that purpose, the 2022 Spring Carnival held by FCSN and Youth for Goods brought together special needs families, introducing them to helpful programs, mingle, and enjoy activities and snacks. The event took place at Osgood Center from 12:30 pm-4:30 pm on May 21, 2022.
On the day of the event, resource tables were set up with flyers and brochures detailing different opportunities available at FCSN, the Regional Center of East Bay, and the State Council of Developmental Disabilities. Activities and snacks were also present to ensure that the families have a good time and form bonds.
Not only were there organizations advertising information for families, but the event itself was meant to foster a community. This was mainly accomplished through the different activities and games that families played. Kelly, the Program Director of this event, states, “We wanted the families to also have a good time, so we had a lot of different carnival games — beanbag toss, ball toss, basketball, and more activities like that where kids can play, and we also had activity tables with drawing and coloring, bracelet making, tattoos, etc.”
Along with these recreational activities were other amusements, such as a musical performance held by Dream Achievers, a band of musicians with autism, and a meet and greet with the star of Disney’s Turning Red, Rosalie Chiang. Families danced to and enjoyed music while engaging with the professional voice actor. Both of these events created unity among the families, bringing families together for a lively time.
Forming a community and showing support for each other can help families of those with special needs understand that they are not alone in their struggles and they will always have somewhere to belong. As Ms. Kelly explained, “Families are definitely very happy to be able to get together, be able to bring the kids out a little bit, and just enjoy some fun on a Saturday afternoon.”