Help Us Purchase Land To Create A Healing Retreat Center & Young Adult Transition Program
Our Impact Last Year
During the summer of 2017, we held camping & volunteer weekends at a location provided free-of-charge to Acceptance. The MacNeely family (who owns the land and are leasing to us) is gracious enough to donate their time & energy (and physical space) to make this happen. Over 100 individuals, primarily families, participated in those weekends, and the results that came to the participants were often profound.
We heard kids say things like "When I'm out here, I don't feel like I have Autism".
This year, we're continuing to offer camping activities at our temporary location in Centralia, WA, while we work to raise money to purchase a 20 acre parcel literally next to our current location so we can start building our permanent facilities.
A Different Approach
One of the big things we think that is missing in the current conversation around people that don't fit into the world (such as those on the autistic spectrum) is how the physical environment and space can affect them. I'm sure you've heard how restaurants and other public places are designed to maximize certain objectives (McDonalds uses bright colors to encourage you not to linger, Jazz music in bars increases tips, etc).
We're using those same principles, but optimizing for healing, space & relaxation. For example, according to the book "Welcome To Your World: How The Built Environment Shapes Our Lives", "One recent study of the learning progress of 751 pupils in classrooms in thirty-four different British schools identified six design parameters - color, choice, complexity, flexibility, light and connectivity - that significantly affect learning, and demonstrated that on average, built environmental factors impact a students learning by an astonishing 25%. The difference in learning between a student in the best designed classroom and one in the worst designed classroom was equal to the progress that a typical student makes over an entire academic year."
Building Our Permanent Facilities
We need your help to raise the $250,000 necessary to purchase the land and start to build our permanent facilities. Having permanent facilities will allow us to start conducting programs for children, teenagers & young adults, as well as weekend and week long programs for families. It will also allow for longer term stays, which means that we can start to offer internship programs to young adults & others that are looking to find their place in the world, as well as those that need a bit more time to relax, recharge and reconnect.
We'll also be able to offer employment, housing & a built-in sense of community to the people we serve. They'll work in the various parts of the retreat center, learning valuable skills, making friends, and contributing to the growth, relaxation and healing of our weekly participants.
Young Adult Transition Program
As part of our retreat center, we'll be creating phase one of our village: A small community for recent graduates & young adults with Asperger's, Autism, Anxiety & related conditions to transition from student/home life to independent living and meaningful employment. We believe that without feeling like you are a part of a caring, inspiring, accepting & welcoming community, it's very hard to feel safe, feel accepted & grow as a person.
This program will function as an internship program, where young adults will live & work on the Acceptance campus for a period of 6 months. They'll learn how to become independent, gain new skills in everything from doing laundry to cooking to gardening by helping us in the daily operations of the retreat center. They'll be mentored by our full time staff, and guided in a caring way to find their place in the world.
Before we can offer year round programs to families, or mentorship to young adults, we need a facility in which to do this work. Step one to building such a facility is to acquire land. There's a 20 acre parcel right next to where we are currently hosting camping weekends, and we're asking for your help in raising the money to get the land and start prepping it for construction of our new retreat center.
Answers To Common Questions
Yes we are! We have a full summer of camping activities planned. You can see them all here. We'd love for you to come visit and join us for any of our programs.
Families and individuals from all walks of life will be welcome here. You don't need to have a specific diagnosis or prove anything. We'll also have plenty of scholarships available so that even those who can't afford to come can still experience all that Acceptance has to offer.
That all depends on how quickly we raise money. Assuming we have the financial capital we need, we are expecting about 2 years until we open. This time period includes permitting, architectural design & construction.
Let's be clear here: We're using the word school only in a marketing sense. Our "school" won't resemble much of a traditional, K-12 system. We won't have formal instruction. We won't have a curriculum, or dedicated teachers. What we will have is a homeschooling/unschooling collective, based on the principles and research of people like Dr. Peter Gray, whose research shows that, when given a supportive environment, people of all ages are perfectly capable of learning without being forcibly taught.
Anyway, to answer the question, we'll open the school around the same time we open the village, which will be our next big project after we finish the retreat center. We expect the retreat center to take about 2 years, so you can expect the school & village around 2020/2021.
We're a 501 (c)(3) pending Washington State Non-Profit right now. When we get notified by the IRS that we are approved as a federally tax deductible charity, we'd be happy to provide you with a letter stating that. If you have questions about retroactively deducting a donation, please ask your qualified tax professional.
Eventually we plan to offer a small village for those that would like to live at Acceptance, as well as a school too! Before we can offer that, we need to get the retreat center up & running. If you'd like to read more about our overall vision, you can do so here.
We'd love to! We're committed to the Pacific Northwest for our first location, but we have plans to open both east coast & international locations. If you are interested in funding another location for Acceptance, email Danny Raede at email@example.com and lets talk.
We'd love to talk! Please reach out to Danny Raede at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 447-8020, and we'll be in touch within 24 hrs.
Acceptance: A Transformational Place is a Washington State 501(c)(3) pending non-profit. Please consult with a tax professional if you have any questions about deducting your donation.