My name is Frank Fleming and I am a caregiver with the Wishes 4 Me Foundation in Lawerenceville, GA. I have been working with these great and fun loving guys since the summer of 2011. Not only do I enjoy working with them, they have truly become family to me.
My mom taught kids with special needs, and I always admired her for that. Helping her after school made me realize I wanted to give in this way, so I decided to educate myself in ways to help others.
A week after I completed my certification I met Lynn through Care.com and right away knew I wanted to work for her and Wishes4me. I felt blessed that she chose me for the position and to be a part of her team. Lynn has done and continues to do great things with this foundation, and I will always look up to her for that.
I am a caregiver working with the Wishes4Me Foundation. I have been working here for a year and 4 months.
I was born in Massachusetts and grew up in a hospital/healthcare lifestyle. Both of my parents worked in a hospital and I attended high school on the grounds of the hospital. I started working there myself in my sophomore year in the lab and continued after graduation until going to college. I attended Atlantic Union College for 2 years and then went back to working in the hospital in the Respiratory Therapy Department. After taking off time to raise my children, I moved to California and then started 20 plus years of working in various doctor’s offices. My husband and I bought a business in 2000. After 10 plus years, we decided to sell it. I got a job working for a company who did supplied caregivers to local disabled adults. I loved it!! I worked with a gentleman who had a stroke when he was 12, an autistic man who was extremely creative and fun, an old woman who had been in a mental institution for most of her life and was rescued when found that she just needed medication, understanding and love.
We then decided to move to Georgia and I started working with the Wishes4Me Foundation. I absolutely love working with these wonderful men. There are daily challenges, but the rewards are fabulous! This Foundation gives these people a reason to live and helps them be as independent as possible. We as caregivers all work together as a team to make sure they get everything they need, but mainly help them do what they can do to be independent, Without this foundation most of these residents would be shut ins, watching TV for multiple hours a day and eating so much food that their weight becomes a physical challenge. I take pride that since I have been working with the Wishes4Me Foundation that the men are now eating healthy, exercising as much as their bodies allow and getting out into society often for dances, movies, and one resident even has a lady friend which has made him so happy! Working with the Wishes4Me Foundation has also impacted my life immensely. I feel so much compassion and love for these men. I see myself working past retired with this Foundation. My only hope would be to expand and buy more homes so we can help more people.
I have been working with the Wishes4Me Foundation for almost a year now. The residents in this foundation are great guys who love to just try and feel normal.
I came here from California in October of 2010. It was a huge change for me. My wife and I had run our own business for over 10 years, so finding work here was challenging. I met Lynn Robinette, the founder of this foundation, while helping renovate a bathroom in one of the homes. I got to know the guys while working there and there was a need for more caregivers, so I got credentialed and starting working at the best job I have ever had.
It is so rewarding to help these wonderful men with their daily needs, challenges and especially having fun with them. We have taken them to several dances and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to see them smiling and having such a good time.
This foundation has changed my life. I love helping the residents be independent and grow with their everyday lives.
It would be amazing if we could raise more money so we can buy more homes and even add on to the ones we have. There are so many more disabled people needing to live independently. I hope to see this Foundation grow.
I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason. God brought Lynn and the Wishes4Me Foundation into my life for a very special reason. I moved to Georgia in 2003 and my mom introduced me to Lynn and her daughter, Robin, at a volunteer event. Lynn, Robin, and I became very close and they encouraged me to get involved with the Wishes4Me Foundation. I’ve gotten to experience the trials and tribulations that come with supporting people with special needs, and again, there was a special reason for all of this! In 2009, I brought a beautiful baby boy, Colin, into the world! Colin developed infancy epilepsy only a few months after he was born. Though his epilepsy was caught and controlled early (Praise God!), the effects were lasting. Now, at three years old, Colin doesn’t walk, doesn’t talk, and is severely developmentally delayed. I never imagined that my family and I would be raising a child with special needs. But, being involved with Wishes4Me and learning the ins and outs of caring for someone with special needs prepared me and strengthened me to be the best mother to a special needs child that I can be! I have every faith that Colin will “catch-up” one day! I have the Wishes4Me Foundation to thank for preparing me and strengthening me to help my son be all he can be! I thank God everyday that these very special people and the Wishes4Me Foundation were brought into my life! I look forward to continuing my journey with Wishes4Me and seeing the foundation continue to grow and support the special needs community!
~ Ammie Knowles
My son Rob was diagnosed with myotonic dystrophy in his early 20’s. We weren’t sure what this would mean for his future and what his capabilities would be. For a number of years we dealt with his condition at home, but that began to be more than we could handle. I looked for help, seeking advice from Peggy Hood with MDA in Atlanta. She referred me to Lynn Robinette and the Wishes4Me Foundation in Lawrenceville. Wishes 4Me was an answer to our prayers! They have provided an environment which encourages Rob’s independence and responsibility for his own care, using programs that enable him to have caregivers where there is a need. He is also sharing resources with other individuals with their own unique needs. Rob enjoys volunteering with children in day-care and with senior citizens at an assisted living facility nearby. As a member of a local church, he enjoys being involved in a variety of activities there.
It has definitely been a positive learning process for us as Rob adjusts to living with others with special needs, and as I realize his potential and allow him to learn and grow as a capable young man. This has been such a blessing for Rob and our entire family. More residences are needed like the one Rob shares with two other young men. We hope that other families will be able to realize the possibilities we’ve found with Wishes4Me.
~ Ann Headstream