A ray of hope
support network

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A RAY OF HOPE’S MISSION​

To provide support, resources and the Hope of God to Special Needs Families.

Support

Support Groups are one of the ways A Ray of Hope supports, resources and points special need families towards the HOPE of God.

Events

We want to be able to offer opportunities for Mom/Dad/Couples to be refreshed and rested.

We want to incorporate more meetup opportunities for our families to get together.

Leading a Group

We are taking the model of our current support groups out to other churches and communities so they can be supporting to the special needs families in their church and communities.

Hope

We will consult, educate and train churches on the need for special needs ministries.

…A Ray of Hope has definitely been that for me. A Ray of Hope and encouragement on this journey of raising our child with special needs. Knowing it is a safe place to go and share, listen and to learn from others as we all share similar struggles. I’m excited to see what God has in store for A Ray of Hope in touching families around us. Thank You for your hard work and dedication to our families.”

Pauline T., Bradenton, FL.

A Ray of Hope has been such a huge blessing for me! As a single mom, only parent and 24/7 caregiver I am thankful to have found online support as there have been days we couldn’t even leave our home due to my daughter’s uncontrolled seizures. I am blessed to be a part of something so much bigger than just a special needs mom. I have come to know hope again…from the hope that I get from all of the other warrior moms in the group. I know that we all pray, and care about one another and that makes this journey so much easier because I no longer feel so alone and lost. Thank You for allowing me to be a part of something so special! Also, you have given me courage to start a special needs parent support group at my home church. So very thankful!

Karen S.

ABOUT A Ray of Hope

Founded in 2017, A Ray of Hope Support Network’s mission is to provide support, resources and the Hope of Christ to Special Need families. A Ray of Hope was started when Founder Racquel Sommer saw that while there are many great local organizations for special need children (including her son) not many organizations offering support to the special need families raising a child with special needs. Along with the support groups, our vision is to take the models of the current support groups out to other churches and communities so they can be supporting the special need families in their communities. As well as, looking for ways to educate/consult/train churches on the need for special needs ministry. Please contact us today if you are interested in learning more.

UPCOMING EVENTS

A Ray of Hope Support Network is a Non-Profit that is run entirely dependent on a Volunteer Board, Volunteers for events and monetary donations to continue our support network for raising awareness and assistance for Special Needs Parents

Are you interested in Volunteering to assist A Ray of Hope with events? We currently have opportunities available!

Support

Support Groups are one of the ways A Ray of Hope supports, resources and points special need families towards the HOPE of God. Founder, Racquel Sommer, started the first support group over 6 years ago at her local church for moms raising kids with special needs as a safe place moms could come together to share the ups and downs of this journey of raising a child with special needs. These groups are open to any parent with a special needs child with of any age or diagnosis as place to come and be surrounded by other parents who just “get it.” There is something very special that happens in these meetings when you know you are not alone on this journey. You can learn more about the current mom’s support groups we offer on the FIND A GROUP tab on our home page.

We know that the journey of raising a child with special needs impacts the whole family.  We have a vision to expand our support groups to include:

  • Dads
  • Siblings
  • Marriage

To learn more or have any questions, please email us at arayofhopenetwork@gmail.com
“Raising a child with Special Needs does not take a special family. It makes a family special.”

Events

Restoration Respite Program (The R & R Program)

This program was launched in 2019 as a way special need parents could have an opportunity to have a night out attending a special event to bring some refreshment, restoration and rest to continue the journey of raising a child with special needs.

We, at A Ray of Hope, understand how difficulty it can be sometimes to take that time away, but we also understand how important it is to take those moments of rest to be able to filled to continue to care for your child.

We plan to resume this program once events begin to open up again. Our vision for this program is to eventually be able to offer weekend getaway for parents and siblings.

Please email us at arayofhopenetwork@gmail.com to learn more

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” Eleanor Brownn

LEADING A GROUP

As part of our mission, we want to take the current Model of the support groups we offer (currently mom groups, but hoping to expand to sibling, dad and marriage groups) out into the community/other churches so they can be supporting the special need families in their communities and or congregation.

We have created written material including a Leaders guide, attendance sheets, Bible Study that can be used to go along with the groups. As groups expand, we are hoping to create addional curriculum that can be used in the groups. You can find these materials in the Store Tab on our home page.

We not only want to support the families, but at A Ray of Hope, we also want to make sure the group leaders are supported as well. Monthly web chats will be provided to leaders to connect, talk through what has been working, not working, ways to improve, new ideas, etc.

If you are interested in starting/leading A Ray of Hope Group in your community or local church, please check out the START A GROUP tab located on our home page where you can find the criteria for leading.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only that ever has.” Projectmanager.com

HOPE

A very big part of the heart of A Ray of HOPE is to educate, consult and train churches on the need for special need ministry.  Latest statistics state that up to 80% of special need families do not attend church and only about 3% of churches offer any kind of special need ministry.

We want to get the word out there that these families are in desperate need of the HOPE of God on the journey of raising a child with special needs.  It may seem overwhelming, as a church, to think about how you can go about supporting this unreached part of your community, but you CAN do something.

Our organization is in the process of creating some material that will share 10 ideas of how your church CAN be supporting the special need families in your community and congregation.  From modifying events, to creating a special needs ministry and many ways in between, supporting the special need families in your community may be easier than you think.

Once this material has been created, our plan is beginning quarterly Lunch and Learn Sessions to go through the resource “10 Way your church CAN be Supporting Special Need Families” as well as an opportunity for an open round table discussion to discuss the current events or future events your church is planning and how that event could be modified to allow the WHOLE community to attend.

More information to come.  If you are interested in learning more or have any questions, please contact us at Arayofhopenetwork@ gmail.com

“My needs aren’t “special”.  How my needs are met may be different but they are the same needs as anyone else.”