Rene Aguilar and Clay Pirtle each came to be caretakers of special needs family members through different paths. Clay and his wife were informed that their unborn child was Downs Syndrome-affected, and elected to give birth to and raise their child. Emma is now 3 years old, and Clay is her full-time caregiver. Rene became the daily caregiver of her niece Kandi Redding about 15 years ago, and “Chickie”, as Kandie is known by her friends, is now almost 40 years old and affected by numerous disabilities. Both Rene and Clay are caregivers out of love, and because there are insufficient resources for their special-needs loved ones in Hopkins County and in the immediate. According to both Clay and Rene, their two examples alone demonstrate the wide range of age, diagnosis and level of disability that exist in the special needs/disability communities in rural towns, and the lack of proper resources for the families of these individuals who reside there.
A benefit fundraiser for the proposed C.A.R.E. Center is planned on April 6 at Backstory Brewery from 6-10pm. There will be food, a concert, a Spring Style Show and an Art Auction featuring works by local disabled student and adult artists. Moneys brought in by this fundraiser and future ones will go toward plans for the proposed C.A.R.E. Center, a facility which will be dedicated to providing innovative, inclusive programs and community partnerships, to serve individuals with any level of disability across the spectrum of human needs. To find out more about this vision, please attend the Vision Meeting on Monday March 25 at 5:30pm at Sulphur Springs City Hall, or go to C.A.R.E. Center on facebook. Or you may call Rene at 903-348-1022 or Clay at 903-243-1614, or write to Vision, P.O. Box 2116, Sulphur Springs, Texas 75482.