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Gifting special needs with a helping hand

By Dawn Burleigh

Orange Leader

There are seven families with special needs students whose day will become a little brighter with the aid of COVID-19 Heroes, East Texas Hub Disability Employee Network SIL at Dow Sabine River Operations (DEN).

“We have learned that there are seven families from a local school district who have special needs children and are in need of help with purchasing food,” Mark Quinn said in an email. “These families cannot work due the current restrictions and the lack of caretakers for their children. These funds are needed immediately to put food on the table of struggling families. A number of our DEN team members have reached out, worked together to figure out how we can help our DEN community.”

Special Education Coordinator and Orange City Council member Caroline Mazzola-Hennigan, while performing her duties as coordinator discovered some of the special needs families were in need of a helping hand.

“While on campus and talking to the LifeSkills teachers we found out about families who lost jobs or had their hours cut due to COVID-19,” Caroline said. “I just helped facilitate it.”

She was adamant that the true heroes in this are the members of DEN.

In a GoFundMe account page, the organizer, Michael Hennigan wrote:

I recently learned that since our nation has been under restrictions due to COVID-19 there are many school children and their families affected in ways we will never know. One of these needs touched my heart and the hearts of many of my coworkers. Families with special needs children are in need of help to purchase food. These families cannot work due the current restrictions and the lack of caretakers for their children. These funds are needed immediately to put food on the table of struggling families. We are so blessed to be essential workers and still have an income coming in.

To make a donation to assist the families visit:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/food-funds-for-families-of-special-needs-children

DEN is one of the Network Teams at Dow as part of a way for the employees to volunteer more in the community and to give back.

“This is being done by the employees on their own,” Mark Quinn said.