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Nov 7 - Dec 31, 2019

Special Kids Connect


Special Kids Connect develops resources, raises awareness, and provides support to children with disabilities (ages 0 - 22) and their families in Monterey County.

The Big Idea

Special Kids Connect’s REACH programs makes it possible for children and young adults with a wide range of abilities to participate in activities that nurture their interests and talents—in new and exciting ways. With annual offerings in a variety of sports (such as basketball, golf, and bowling) and the arts (theater, dance and culinary), REACH gives young people the opportunity to participate at their own level and pace, developing motor skills, enhancing cognitive abilities and socializing with peers and adults in nurturing, supportive environments. Besides the skills themselves, participants get to discover that extracurricular activities are fun, and for them, too.

Young people with many different disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism, limited mobility, cerebral palsy and developmental delays have the opportunity to participate at the level they are able, and each one of their contributions is honored and valued. These are all incredible things, but the biggest gift of Special Kids Connect’s REACH programs are in the collaboration and cooperation between those with special needs and the volunteers. Peer relationships built on trust, camaraderie and shared experiences develop over the course of the programs. We parents get tears in our eyes as we see our children joking, laughing and playing around with typical peers.

- Michelle Jelinch

We’re In This Together.

Nonprofits are more important that ever in this trying time. Monterey County Gives! was created to support the local nonprofit community's Big Ideas (and programs). And thanks to your participation and generosity, Monterey County Gives! raised over $5.3 million for 163 local nonprofits in 2019.

MCGives! has now raised and contributed over $27 million dollars since its inception ten years ago. That’s astounding. And wonderful.

Look for the 2020 Monterey County Gives! RFP (for applying nonprofits) in the Monterey County Weekly this June/July. Monterey County Gives! 2020 campaign kicks off in early November.

Thank you to all our Partners, Sponsors, nonprofit Board Directors, staff and volunteers — and each of our 4,902 donors. We did it, together.