Greetings! As the new P/T Admin Assistant for KindTree-Autism Rocks, I would like to introduce myself and tell you a little about me. I am really looking forward to working with Kind Tree, learning more about the many “branches” of this amazingly kind tree, and to meet everyone in person.
About me: Dan and I have a blended family of 5 living children and 15 grandkids. We met when we were 11 years old and have been married for 16 years. We live near Fern Ridge Lake on 2.5 acres, and have a vacation home in LaPine, which we enjoy as often as possible. Besides spending time with our large family we enjoy camping, fishing and the outdoors. I have a small craft business (J-Crafts) and I also work p/t as an admin assistant for the Board of Directors for another non-profit from my home office.
The most important branch of my career tree now is to assist Kind Tree wherever I am needed. It will be exciting to learn about the incredible programs and services that are available which I did not know existed until my path led me here.
I can relate to those that are connected through Kind Tree. Our grandkids range in age from the amazing 21 year old (OSU/Jr/ Honors) to the 6 year old ball of fire (recently diagnosed with ODD). We have several that are on the Autism/DD spectrum too. We have our sweet 18 yr old (high functioning Coffin-Lowery Syndrome) and the handsome 16 year old (multiple diagnoses: schizophrenia/major depression/addictive personality). There are two that are adjusting to life with ADHD and IEDs as well. Our beautiful 13 year old is recovering from a TBI last year after a fall from her horse. I am happy to now be surrounded by understanding, caring volunteers and the supporting agencies I am learning more about.
I feel blessed to be a part of Kind Tree’s journey and to help celebrate the successes of everyone you serve. Thank you for the opportunity to assist you!
I became involved in KindTree Autism Rocks in 2008 as a lifeguard for our annual summer retreat. I quickly fell in love with the incredible community, both volunteers and participants. I continued as a volunteer, mostly for the summer retreat over the coming years. In 2012 a KindTree board member asked me to consider becoming a care provider for her teenage son. I am happy to say I have worked for he and his wonderful family ever since. In 2013 I joined KindTree's advisory board and loved the process of increasing my involvement in the organization. After much encouragement from the board of directors I became a board member in early 2015.
I am outgoing person who is fortunate to do relatively well socially, but I have many of my own struggles with conventional learning and focus. Thus I have long sympathized with those around me who struggle physically and mentally with every day activities and social interactions. Becoming involved in Autism Rocks has given me opportunity to observe again and again that not only are people on the autism spectrum not so different that us "neuro-normal' folks, but that by focusing our attention on these peoples abilities as opposed to their "disabilities' we can create awareness and understanding of this fact in our communities and begin to establish empathetic relationships between all kinds of people.
Hello everyone, my name is Logan Johnson. I'm currently the youngest member on the board of directors. At the end of June, I will be 24 years of age, so, yeah. I joined the board because I wanted to develop myself in a leadership role while at the same time helping to make a difference in our community." Look for Logan's posting on Facebook.
Upon graduating from the University of Oregon with a Teaching License and a Handicapped Learner Endorsement, I taught Life Skills for 3rd - 5th grade until 2009. Throughout those years, I received a MS in Developmental Disabilities Special Education from the University and I became a part of the Positive Behavior Support Pilot Program.
I was also give the Arc of Lane County award for 'Teacher of the Year' and featured as a 'Happening Person' in the Eugene Weekly.
As a Life Skills Teacher, I served on numerous school committees, and became the coordinator for the building-wide Positive Behavior Support programs. In 2010, I started a business called 'Let's Go Learn'. My goal is for individuals with disabilities to have an opportunity to go on high interest community outings with friends while learning and refining skills, and gaining knowledge of what is available to them in their area. People in the community also learn a lot as an added benefit.
I have a Rottweiler, a Mastweiler, I volunteer some at Greenhill, I coach Special Olympics Basketball and Track and Field, I love the outdoors, and teaching. These passions have been helpful for advocacy, social networking, and community work. Eleanor Roosevelt is my inspiration and role model. My favorite quote is from a speech she gave about Universal Human Rights to the United Nations in 1953; ... “Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
In elementary school, a classmate changed my life. Patty stood out our hometown of professional athletes and trend setters. She was the target of daily taunting. It became a daily routine to defend Patty, trying to teach my 'friends' that what they were doing was insensitive and wrong. Then came an all school evening event. When we got home, my mom told me that Patty told her everything that was going on at school and that I was her 'only friend' because I was 'sincere'. Patty's words still live in my heart and help to mold and reinforce every interaction.
It has been my good fortune to have served on the board for the Arc of Lane County and RideAble and through my work I have known about Kindtree as a magnificent place for people on the autism spectrum to find support and services. With each meeting, I have become more impressed and more delighted to be a part of this exciting group. The board members are a group of welcoming, focused, positive, and dedicated go-getters. I find their endeavors to be well planned and well needed.
I love their vision of future improvements and growth. This group of concerted citizens are doing just what Eleanor Roosevelt asked for from the United Nations. KindTree is tuned in, serving the needs of our community, and continually looking toward a better future. I hope to provide skills and energy to help further their goals and I see this as a very exciting appointment. I am thrilled to work as a member of the KindTree Board of Directors! Sincerely, Sheila Thomas
|Leopard by Kwang Lee|
|Hugging Trees by Kimberly Gerry Tucker|
|Duck by Michael Toftum|
Peer Support Group in Cottage Grove|
April 3, 2017
KindTree-Bridgeway Family Swim|
April 9, 2017
Autism Peer Support Group |
April 10, 2017
|More Upcoming Events|
The Spring Newsletter is here|
What is 20th on the 20th?
Mary-Minn on Video|
Interested in learning more about advocacy|
Autism Iterrest Group
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