Single mom Yadira Galvén couldn’t find the help her three children with disabilities needed – so she started a program to assist other families like hers in Kennewick, Washington.
Galvén, 34, has two sons – Damian, 11, and Joshua, 9 – who have autism and a daughter – Diayanesis, 13 – who has a developmental disorder that places her on the autism spectrum.
“I think God gave me my kids for a reason,” Galvén told Washington’s Tri–City Herald. “I feel like I was blessed with them to be able to help more families overcome obstacles.”
After struggling to find services for her own children, Galvén founded the Family Resource Center in 2009. The center offers an array of programs – from support groups to respite care – to help low-income families of children with special needs.
“[These families] have fallen through the cracks, and we help them get aid or financial training,” she said.
Her work as executive director of the organization was sidelined by a car crash in 2011 that left Galvén with persistent back pain and her children with depression and anxiety.
“People say, ‘Just let it go,’ but when your son’s head is cracked open and you can see all the way down to his skull, it takes time to recover,” she said.
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After the crash, it took six months for Galvén to get the center back up and running. The opportunity to assist the 30 to 40 families that seek help from the center each week has given the Galvén family the strength to heal together.
“It’s been a challenge, but it’s rewarding,” Galvén said. “My daughter wants to help teach loom classes.”
The busy mom said she hopes her children’s involvement with the center will challenge the public perception of what people with disabilities can do.
“I think a lot of people judge without knowing,” she told the paper. “They just need a chance to be able to see what [people with disabilities] can truly do.”