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Happy Thanksgiving from the bottom of my heart.


Sunshine Projects celebrates its 3rd year of the Thanksgiving Holiday with so much and so many of you to thank. Personally, I am very grateful to have each and every one of you in my life. I am grateful for your love and support and for keeping me warm, especially during these difficult times. I am keeping strong and filled with vigor to continue moving forward with many of you by my side. Your unwavering support and love have kept me on my feet once again. I am grateful to Jon for helping me build Sunshine Projects. He was my partner in everything I could possibly wish for. I am forever grateful for the memories we built together and with all of you. I'm grateful for your sons and daughters, who keep me going daily. They are resilient and courageous no matter how tough the situation is. They learn to cope well during challenging times by being open and articulate with their emotions and ready to give hugs to comfort one another. The past many weeks have been challenging, but having each other to lean on has helped us tremendously. We cry, and we hold each other to stay strong and brave.


Our Sunshines continue to grow and learn daily the value of gratefulness, friendship, and community. I am so impressed with their enthusiasm in welcoming new friends and helping them feel at home here, learning new tasks such as washing cars and folding laundry, learning a new language, counting money, and enjoying the daily fun classes, whether online or in-person. Our SP Theatre program continues to educate our talented actors. Simon's "Disney vs Dreamworks" camp is ongoing; Max's 3rd edition of "Let's Make A Musical" will soon be performed on December 3rd at 6 pm. Sean's camp just finished a successful "Let's Write Your Own Role" performance where all seven cast members wrote and performed their own monologue. What a fun group of talented actors! Our new ukelele teacher, Wyatt Copeland, Sam's brother, has won the hearts of our Sunshines, and the class is now happy again. Last Friday, November 17, ten of our Sunshines finished their ten-week Conversation Skills Class at Montgomery College. These ten enthusiastic students not only woke up very early at 6 am every Friday morning to ensure they arrived on time in class but also had the chance to eat lunch in the campus cafeteria and took public transportation to get back to SP House. What a progressive group of young adults! Additionally, many of our Sunshines who participated in the Montgomery County Parks Holiday Barket did such a great job and were able to sell all 65 bags of dog biscuits! We will surely find more ways to get involved in our community. With our new community relations employee, Emily Halm, who will be heading fundraising, grant writing, and job development, we are confident that our Sunshines can spread their wings wider and reach higher grounds.


I am grateful to all Sunshine Projects outstanding online and Skills Builders Day Program staff members and volunteers who always go up and beyond their duties with so much enthusiasm and energy to serve our Sunshines daily. There is so much more to learn and so many more experiences to be had. Let’s keep moving forward as one happy and strong family!


To the Sunshine Projects family and friends and all our fabulous staff members and volunteers, thank you. I am beyond grateful. Have a healthy and Happy Thanksgiving! 💙


Below, please see the gratitude quotes from our Sunshines!


Love, Elma



Jack – I’m thankful for my little pony and monster high ! Stuffed animals, video games, and dvds and books – the whole world of these– I have good memories with all my animated characters I love – Dora, Goofy etc. Clare – I’m thankful for my family, All of my SP Family. I’m thankful for my childhood memories of being a little girl – it was fun because my mom took me and my brother to the park and zoo a lot. I’m thankful for Jon being in our lives and the time we got to spend with him! Delany – I am grateful for Michael and SP friends and family Memories with my grandad and Memories with Jon – I’m very blessed to have had them both in my life. I love to spend time with grandad – going on vacations with him – During the holidays it's hard to be without them. I'm also grateful for my mom and dad and grandma that supports me! Juliana, Isabella and all my SP people !!!!! Emelio – I’m thankful for having a good life and living in a good house! Memory – I went on a cruise with my family this summer. I'm grateful for the food, being together and the amazing views!! Pia – for my day program – CSS – Ariana, Matthew, - Me and Ariana’s friendship - we made friendship at CSS and Sp! Memory – I met Geoffrey in middle school – Roberto Clemente Middle School! – We had fun times Childhood memories – I used to be a flower girl for a big wedding! Nadia- I’m thankful for safety, family, health and fitness the old fashion way! (Nadia starts lifting imaginary weights) Memory – I had good times with old time music like “Nobodies Perfect" and Highschool Musical 2 Abby- My brother’s name is Roman, he went to college, he got into music school in Vermont – I miss him a lot but he is home for the holiday now and I'm happy! Memory - Middle School – I miss my old school and kindergarten - I don’t always recognize myself yet – I don’t like being at Wood Achors as much because I don’t get along with everyone as much and I miss my old friends. (We talk about how new places can be hard but usually get easier with time) Missy – I’m thankful for Elma because maybe one day I will live with Elma and Sp! Elma says: ”We will drink egg nogg all day” and Missy says: "We will!" Memory: Memories with my cat! Rock of Improv (Ariana): For my new baby nephew – Liam is my sisters kid – He was born yesterday (we all clap for the new member of the SP fam) Memory – My friends at high school which includes Pia and Michelle <3 Susannah – I'm grateful for all my friends, and that I graduated from elementary school and high school Memory – all the times I spent with Jon – the morning reading together, cohort program, all the skills I learned from him Jerry – I'm thankful for my Mom and Dad, my brother! Spending time with my friends at the SP house! Michelle – I’m thankful for Susannah and Gabi Memory – Cheerleading with my friends Geoffrey – I am thankful for Delaney because she's funny, friendly, kind, sweet and she is such an amazing friend, she has a good sense of humor and she laughs a lot! I’m thankful for all my friends at SP house Gabby– I’m really thankful to my friends, my family, and my SP family Memory – I remember when I was a little girl and I was a cheerleader, I first met with my friends and I was so excited, I was really really happy to be in Maryland after coming from Hawaii! I was dancing with my happy friends since I met them at age 12! Michael – I am thankful for my life, and I’m thankful for my girlfriend Nicole Memory – How I got into SP, it’s been amazing, I have down syndrome and when I joined SP it was amazing for me ever since! Sophia – I am grateful with Sunshine Projects and my family. I lost someone who passed, a father figure to me and it's hard. I am thankful for Isabella and Gabby! Tati – I am grateful for my mom and my dad and my sisters! Spending quality time with them! My dog Hyper too! Max Max – I am so grateful to be a teacher and a friend to all of you guys! You brighten my days and really treat me like a part of your community and family. I’m so happy to get to work with you each week and feel the joy and understanding of this group! Thanks always to Isabella, Juliana and Elma for making this possible, helping me run my classes, and supporting me as a teacher!

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