When Community Comes Together


Mary Beth worked as a nanny for 14 years caring for other kids. When she adopted her own, she thought she could handle it, but she became overwhelmed raising children with special needs. Now Mary Beth is getting resources she needs, thanks to you.

   Mary Beth is a single mother raising three adopted children: Caris, age 12, Isaiah, age 9 and Rowan, age 7. Isaiah and Rowan are brothers who suffer from ADD and fetal alcohol syndrome. They have a lot of aggression and have frequent outbursts and tantrums.

   Last year, Isaiah became too uncontrollable for Mary Beth to handle alone. Mary Beth found help through Highfields’ Wraparound Program. She works with her counselor, Keanna Mendez, to find resources and support for Isaiah.

   Keanna spent time getting to know Mary Beth and her children. She held family counseling sessions, worked with the schools to secure an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for Isaiah, and helped Mary Beth find outside resources.

   Keanna realized that Mary Beth and her children needed more places to play together as a family so she got them a membership to the gymnasium at Hillsdale College.

   “I don’t think anyone will ever know what that membership has done for our family,” said Mary Beth. “It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to us to be honest. We go almost every day and it’s a great activity we get to do together as a family.”

   Keanna says, “We’re dealing with two boys with ADD and fetal alcohol syndrome, so it really is a tremendous asset to find ways to get their energy out.”

darin-repairs-clients-bike-armory-bike-union-in-jackson   Keanna also brought up riding bikes together as a family. However, the bikes that Mary Beth had were broken and needed repairs. Keanna worked with her colleague Priscilla, Mary Beth’s Home-Based counselor, to get her bikes from Hillsdale to the Armory Bike Shop in Jackson. The bike shop fixed her bikes and put new brakes and tires on them.

   “It was fantastic,” said Mary Beth. “I couldn’t believe it. They said if we had any problems at all they would even come out to Hillsdale to work on them.”

   Mary Beth is grateful for the support of Highfields for giving her the tools to take control of her life again.

   “I’m still overwhelmed sometimes, but now that Highfields is in my life, things are really starting to look up,” she said. 

Highfields is grateful for the support of a generous donor for providing the family with a Hillsdale College gym membership, and the support of Armory Bike Shop in Jackson, MI. Pictured to the left is Darin fixing Mary Beth's bikes. 

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