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Welcome To Sweetpea

And then there was a donkey!

Danny & Sweetpea

Our family here just keeps on expanding. 🙂  Please help us welcome Sweetpea!

Sweetpea is 12 years old, about the size of a big Great Dane, and has just about the sweetest eyes and kindest disposition this side of a Teddy Bear.

She is a rescue donkey – she was saved from chronic neglect about 5 years ago by a wonderful couple who live just a few miles down the road from us.  Over last Spring, Summer, and Fall, we saw her in her little pasture (and with her friends Cow and Horse), and we made up stories about their adventures together.

Near the end of last November, and by purely serendipitous events, we met the folks who owned that little farm, and we found out that they were looking for a new home for the donkey – the horse was very old and soon to pass, and the cow…well, they had other plans for the cow.

But Sweetpea needed a new home, and we were (are) beyond delighted that we could offer one for her.  

We quickly learned that she definitely has a mind of her own – we had taken great pains to build a stall for her in the barn with nice-smelling wood chips on the floor, and little heat lamp to keep it warm, and lots of shelter from the wind.  Well, she took one look at that door, dug in her hooves, and absolutely refused to budge.

Well, no worries, we call this Acceptance for a reason – if she couldn’t use the barn, then we would just have to try something else.  Eventually, we decided to create a little stable for her right next to our carport and very close to the house.  As a result, she is now much closer to us than she would have been down at the barn, and she is quickly becoming a member of the family.  When the weather starts to clear and I am working outside more, I plan on taking her with me as I work on projects around the property.  By late Spring when all our Acceptance friends start coming out, I expect that she will be a big part of our family out here, and I can’t wait for you all to meet her!

About The Author

Seth MacNeely

Seth MacNeely

While never diagnosed with Asperger's (there wasn't a word for it in those days), Seth was one of the first generation of kids to be treated pharmaceutically for "hyperactivity." With two of his own three children labeled as ADD and ADHD, he is keenly aware of the challenges that we all face. Seth has spent the last 20 years working in leadership roles within corporate America and the last 10 doing large-scale project management for a company with revenues in excess of 10 billion annually. While successful, his greatest love has been for Nature and the healing connections it can bring to people. In addition to graduate work in organizational dynamics and human resources, Seth is a classically-trained actor who spent 10 pre-corporate years working professionally in San Diego - feel free to ask for help with Shakespeare homework! Seth enjoys camping with his family, horseback riding, scuba diving, long motorcycle trips - any excuse to be outside, really!

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Help Us Build Permanent Facilities

During the summer of 2017, we held camping & volunteer weekends at a location provided free-of-charge to Acceptance.  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. 

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." 

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.

Land Campaign

$4,680 of $250,000 raised
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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.