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Taylor's caregiver wrote this about him:

"Taylor is 27 years old. He was born with cerebral palsy then diagnosed a few years later with epilepsy and autism. He lived at home with his mom, dad, and sister until he was 19, then came to live at Hopewell. He has a close loving relationship with his family, enjoying weekend visits, camping trips, and watching hockey games with his dad. He enjoys visiting the local barber shop to socialize and have his hair and mustache trimmed. Taylor has a great sense of humour, is affectionate, and warmly greets staff and visitors with smiles and hugs. He is able to walk with assistance for short distances and independently roams in his wheelchair around the home. He uses some sign language and can communicate his choices with “Yes” or “No.”  Taylor loves animals, especially his family dog and enjoys assisted horse riding sessions and swimming."

Taylor is a special part of a special place. Hopewell.
 

Hopewell began in 1983 as a labour of love.

In 1983, John and Joanna Oosterhuis opened their home in Ariss, Ontario as a residential option for severely disabled children.

A small percentage of children are born with high medical needs that last a lifetime. Their parents are overwhelmed. Yet all parents want their kids to grow up in a caring, home-like setting.

The Oosterhuis family offered that sanctuary.

As the need grew, so did we.

Hopewell has evolved over the years into a not-for-profit registered charity and a model organization of its kind. The original house has been expanded several times. Three houses were purchased in Guelph. Another two were rented. Hopewell now has a staff of 128. Operational funding is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.

There is hope at Hopewell, among a special group of people for whom, from the very moment of birth, hope was in short supply.

We make life better for those who can't help themselves.

Our mission is to make life better: “To enrich the lives of individuals with a range of physical and developmental abilities to experience a full life.”

By “full life” we mean not just the bare minimum. We mean love, joy, fun, connection, and comfort.

It’s not easy. Our residents are often uncomfortable because of their physical disabilities, and they can lack in those extra day-to-day comforts that we all take for granted, because there just isn’t the money.

What is needed?

A bathtub for the disabled was recently acquired for over $20,000. Before the purchase, discomfort and anxiety were normal at bath time. Now, our residents are comfortable and unafraid.

What else is needed? More mechanical hoists for gentle lifting. Better wheelchairs because our residents spend most of their lives in their wheelchairs. Updated entertainment systems for fun and relaxation.

The list goes on. Special vehicles for transporting our residents wear out and have to be replaced. Accessible outdoor play equipment improves life. Ramps are always needed. Donations can also add nursing support and improve meals.

Needs always arise. Budgets don’t usually allow for them.

 

Comfort is where you come in, if you choose.

Government funding at Hopewell is just enough. But it’s not enough for the extras that could make life at Hopewell even better. Better furniture. Better equipment. More outings (which our residents love). And more of the special treats and touches the rest of us take for granted in our everyday lives.

With your help, we can better help the residents of Hopewell.

Your tax-receiptable gift will ensure that these Guelph-and-area people — our residents — who were born destined to struggle throughout their lives, will  be more comfortable in the place where they will spend their lives.

It’s a chance for all of us to offer a small portion of our good fortune to those not as fortunate.

We hope you'll consider donating today.

HOPE LIVES HERE.

This is Taylor.
Born with a severe disability,

he has been a Hopewell

resident since 2011.

MEET A FEW OF OUR RESIDENTS.
BORN LOCALLY. LIVING ANOTHER KIND OF LIFE.

Every day, these lovely people, our residents, touch the hearts of the remarkable caregivers who support them. Every day, we at Hopewell try to make their lives better, fuller, and more comfortable. Please help us with this vital work. All people deserve loving care.

Photography by Laura Amendola