How Buddy Break Makes a Difference for Families With Special Needs

Posted by Jason Lee, Groups Resident, on Feb 02, 2020

How Buddy Break Makes a Difference for Families With Special Needs

When I heard about Buddy Break, I was flooded with so many emotions. Hearing about Buddy Break’s heart and mission for families with special needs children moved me in several ways.

Buddy Break’s mission is to celebrate children with special needs (VIPs) and provide hope and practical assistance to VIP children of all ages and their families.

What Buddy Break tries to accomplish in providing a safe, enjoyable, and enriching environment for children with special needs is deeply personal to me because I have a younger brother on the autism spectrum. Though my parents did their best to give my brother the best resources while we were growing up, I only wished that something like Buddy Break existed nearly 25 years ago.

Maybe it’s a selfish thing, but one thing that I love about Buddy Break is that siblings are welcome, too. When we were growing up, my brother had a specific group that only allowed specific people, so I wasn’t allowed to join. Buddy Break includes all the children in the family, and to me, that is really amazing.

The other goal of Buddy Break is to give parents a break for a few hours so that they can do whatever they want to do with the confidence that they’re leaving their child in capable hands. Having a family member with special needs comes with some really tough challenges, and marriages often come under heavy strain.

As I’m finding out in my personal life, marriage is hard already. I am also finding out marriage with a child adds even more challenges. Watching my own parents buckle and sway in their marriage under the weight of my brother’s unique needs and challenges was really hard to see and experience. I often wonder what kind of impact Buddy Break would have had on our family if it had been available for us back in the day.

It is a difficult statistic, but it’s worth mentioning: More than 80% of couples with a child with special needs end up divorcing. I am so inspired and encouraged to see the strength of single parents, and it is such an honor and a privilege to support them any way I can.

When I heard that Chase Oaks Church Legacy Campus hosted Buddy Break once a month, I was eager to be a part of it. Before I became a Christian and stepped out in obedience to pursue full-time ministry, I was an autism therapist. My whole education centered around autism research and treatment, and I’ve missed that special time in my life.

So personally, it was great to get back into an environment I have missed and loved for so long. While I wished my own family had something like this many years ago, I love giving this opportunity to families now. As much as it has been fulfilling to be a part of it, what gives me life is that parents can take those few hours to recharge, reboot, or get things done knowing fully well that their kids are in good care.

Here’s my hope for Buddy Break this year: Many families are wait-listed because Buddy Break’s model is having one volunteer for one child. My prayer is that God would bring more volunteers to Buddy Break so that more families can come and benefit from this amazing resource.

For more information about volunteering or reserving a spot for your child at Buddy Break, contact our Buddy Break Team at 972.783.8800 or [email protected].


Share This:

Recent Stories

Swipe to Discover more

Behind the Song: "All of My Heart"

Aug 10, 2022

Songwriter Chris Opie shares a glimpse behind the powerful moment that inspired the new Chase Oaks Worship single, "All of My Heart." Read more, here.

Keep Calm and Parent On: Back to School Edition

Aug 07, 2022

How can parents help their kids gear up for a great year ahead? By being intentional, we can be the life coaches our kids need to be successful, at school and in life.

How To Survive a High School Lock-In

Aug 03, 2022

What happens when a grown adult is voluntarily locked inside a space with a group of high schoolers for a whole night? Read more, here.

Surprised by Church: A Social Recluse's Journey

Jul 31, 2022

Like faith itself, our relationship with a faith community is a unique one that can shift over time. Read about one person's story of relating to—and being surprised by—the church.

Respite Nights Make a Difference

Jul 28, 2022

The Local Good Center and Chase Oaks Foster Care/Adoption Team are helping to meet huge and often-hidden needs in our own backyard. Read about how they are making a difference, here.

Two Essential Back-to-School Checklists

Jul 24, 2022

BACK TO SCHOOL. Whether those words prompt panic or joy, we all want to make this year a great one for the kids. Use the following two checklists (one for “checking off” and one for “checking in”) to make sure everyone is ready to go!

A Process for Making Wise Decisions

Jul 21, 2022

Great decision-making is a critical leadership skill. Chase Oaks Executive Pastor Jack Warren shares a simple, proven process for how to make wise decisions.

Discovering a Passion for Mental Health

Jul 17, 2022

Cindy Park's path has led her from personal counseling to pursuing a new career as a professional counselor. Read more about her journey and newfound passion for mental health, here.

5 Reflection Questions To End Each Day

Jul 10, 2022

How can we prioritize mental and emotional health more? One time-tested way: building a regular habit of self-reflection. Start by asking yourself these 5 simple questions at the end of each day.

How To Be an Influencer Who Leads Others

Jul 07, 2022

Being an "influencer" can mean many different things. Executive Pastor Jack Warren shares key steps for leaders to grow in the kind of influence that puts others first.