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Dear Friends of Abilis,

As we approach this season of gratitude, we are thankful for your support and generosity. Without friends of Abilis like you, we would not be able to support our community’s most vulnerable. This year Abilis has reason to celebrate. For seventy years we have continued to fulfill our mission of delivering life-changing supports for the special needs community. Over the past 12 months, during times of uncertainty, we forged ahead and launched new initiatives despite the pandemic. We have helped children thrive, guided families through challenging transitions, provided strength and fostered self-esteem to our community members.

A new baby is a cause for celebration, and Khepri’s family could not wait for his arrival. In 2018, Khepri’s mom, Krystal, was unprepared when he was born at 26 weeks. Khepri entered the world weighing 1 lb., 7 oz., with a heart defect and underdeveloped lungs. Khepri spent four months in the NICU and underwent heart surgery at just two months old. Khepri was referred to Abilis in January 2019. Home visits began with weekly physical therapy, and eventually occupational, speech, and language therapy were added. Abilis provided supports until Khepri’s third birthday when he transitioned to preschool in Darien. “I appreciate Abilis so much and do not know what I would have done without them,” says Krystal. “Early intervention is key; your team becomes an extension of your family. They are always available to you, and they made me feel as though I was not only his mom, but an integral part of his care team. Abilis gently guided me through the educational maze and provided me with the necessary tools to positively navigate through future challenges.”

Melanie graduated from Stamford High School at age 21 and transitioned to Abilis’ LEAP program (Life Skills, Employment, Advocacy, Partnership), where she immediately thrived. Melanie has participated in volunteer and social opportunities to develop skills, forge friendships, and build her self-confidence. In 2019, Melanie was accepted into the first class of interns at Greenwich Hospital through Abilis' Project SEARCH program. Once again, Melanie excelled, and the Competitive Employment team guided her to secure her first job post-graduation. Today, Melanie works at ACME and the Greenwich Library Café. "If Abilis were not here, Melanie would not have all these jobs. She enjoys meeting new people, and making friends has been so important to Melanie," says Ann L., Melanie’s mother. Melanie has a beautiful singing voice and showcases her talents each year at the Abilis Talent Show. Abilis ensures each person has a full and meaningful life, another reason to celebrate!

Greg just celebrated his 60th birthday with friends and family in a new accessible home developed by Abilis for seniors. “My husband and I realized that we were getting older, and we should give Greg a place to call his home,” says Greg’s mother, Theresa. Through the past 29 years, Abilis has helped Greg secure jobs at various community businesses and increased his network of friends by offering weekly recreational activities. In recent years, Greg’s needs changed, and he required a home where he could age in place. Greg enjoys spending time with his family and friends and regularly participates in the many social activities provided by Abilis. “I love my new home. It’s beautiful, safe, and easy for me to get around in to cook and take care of myself,” says Greg. “Abilis built a home for me and my friends who can’t do stairs anymore, and the staff members are there if I need anything.” For Greg’s mother, Theresa, it’s comforting to know that Greg has Abilis and that he will be taken care of. “He has lots of friends, and he’s certainly become more independent,” she says. Abilis remains committed to each person, ensuring their needs are met from birth through the senior years.

These stories of celebration serve as a reminder of the significant impact that Abilis has on individuals, families, and our community. With your support, we can continue to meet the needs of our community, open doors for growth and advancement, and celebrate individual accomplishments, big and small. We are thankful for your support and hope you will help us to continue to change lives and keep families and community members supported, engaged, healthy, and INCLUDED.

We wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!


Amy Montimurro

Mitchell Cohen
Board Chair

Abilis is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered with the IRS under Tax ID #06-6009327