Deciding who is going to care for your child is often one of the biggest decisions parents make. Whether it's someone to babysit while mom runs errands for a few hours or someone to give the parents a much needed break for a weekend, it can be daunting to find the right person to entrust with your most valuable treasure.
For parents of children with special needs, the challenge is even greater. Their children often require specialized care that the average babysitter can't provide. For parents of children with tracheotomy tubes, feeding tubes, children who have severe seizures or are paraplegic or quadriplegic, finding someone to care for their child, is almost impossble.
In 1986, The Reddish Family welcomed son Matthew, who was born with severe and profound disabilities. As Matthew grew, his family saw a need for support and care for families with special needs children. Matthew's mother, Carol Reddish, spoke with Georgia Baptist Children's Homes about ministering to these families. Because Matthew's life inspired so many in 1995, Matthew's Time, a weekend "camp" for children with severe and profound disabilities opened its doors. Matthew passed away in the spring of 1998, and although he was never able to attend a Matthew's Time, hundreds of children with special needs and their families have benefited from this ministry and his legacy.
Matthew's Time weekends are planned throughout the school year in Mt. Airy, Palmetto, and Baxley, Georgia to provide a memorable weekend of fun for the kids, while giving their parents an often much needed chance for rest. For many of our parents, this is the only time they can leave their child with someone besides themselves.
Children arrive at a Matthew's Time weekend on Friday afternoon and stay until Sunday afternoon. A minimum of one counselor per participant is on staff the entire weekend. We accept children who have severe/profound disabilities, medically fragile, behavioral needs (EBD not primary diagnosis), or children who need a "trial run" before attending Camp Hawkins. Ages ranged from 2-25 years old. Meals are planned to accommodate each child's dietary needs. Nursing care is provided on site 24 hours a day as well as medical support established with a doctor and hospital in the area.
Activities include but are not limited to arts and crafts, music, gym time, swimming, field trips, etc. Past field trips have included Monkey Joe's, Jump To It, and Shoney's. We travel in a wheelchair accessible bus to all locations. Activities are adapted to each child's ability level.
If you would like to see if your child is a candidate for Matthew's Time, please email Kendra Sewell ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) the following information:
City where you live
Contact Phone Number
Matthew's Time Director