PEATC Kids Helping in the community!

Earlier this year the PEATC Youth Group started the Pop Tab Collection community service project. The project supports the Ronald McDonald House’s efforts in providing a home away from home setting for families of chronically ill children. In three months the group collected almost 80lbs of aluminum pop tabs. A few PEATC Youth representatives were able […]

via PEATC Youth Supporting the Community — The peatc youth Project


Fairfax, VA drop-off location

Jake is pleased to announce that he has secured a toiletries drop-off location in Fairfax, Virginia.

Jake at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax, VA

Earlier today, Jake delivered an empty box to the offices of the Fairfax County Government Center; he has every hope that the box will be FULL before too long!

He had contacted the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors‘ Chairman Sharon Bulova to inquire about the possibility of listing the offices as a drop-off location for the toiletry (or related donations) to Comfort Cases.

Jake with Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova

Jake hopes to add some more drop-off sites before summer kicks into high gear.  But, for now, we hope local folks will bring donations to Chairman Sharon Bulova’s office in the Fairfax County Government Center between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday:

Fairfax County Government Center
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 530
Fairfax, VA 22035-0079

People interested in donating can also contact me via the comments, Facebook, or Twitter.  You can also contact Comfort Cases and tell them Jake sent you!

Many thanks and a special #ShoutOut to Clayton Medford, Chairman Bulova’s Chief of Staff for assisting Jake in this request.

Prom-posal-palooza – UPDATE!!!!

BREAKING NEWS!!!! UPDATE!!!! Sofia & her Dreams for Kids DC #prom date, Nick Sundberg of the Washington Redskins will be onFox 5 DC around 9:40 am (EST) TOMORROW, Thursday, March 24. They will be talking about#DFKDC and the upcoming 2016 DFKDC Prom: Under the Sea / DFKDC Pre-Prom Pep Rally. Tune in to find out more about this fantastic organization and all the great things they do for kids with #SpecialNeeds in the #DMV!


Ah … Spring is in the air, and it’s time for Prom season!

And the Prom we are most excited about is the Dreams for Kids DC Prom: Under The Sea!

Following their recognition as “Participants of the Year at the DFKDC Holiday Celebration, both Jake and Sofia have had an increased dedication to raising awareness about Dreams for Kids DC programs!

Last month, DFKDC’s Executive Director, Glenda Fu, approached me with the idea for Jake and Sofie to “ask” local celebrity volunteers to the prom.

In Sofia’s case, she’s had a long-standing connection with Washington Redskins‘ Long Snapper, Nick Sundberg, so she shot a video invite him to the prom.

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Sofia & Nick Sundberg

In her video, Sofia asked the hard hitting questions: “Do you like dancing? Do you like food? Do you like water?”

Nick said “yes“!!


And Sofia gives a big “Thank You” to Nick … and reminds him they will just be going as friends!

Jake is also going to prom with a long-time DFKDC volunteer and 2015 Miss DC Teen USA, Niara Iman.


He also made his “ask” via video and she also said yes!

Get out your boogie shoes, Nick & Niara!!!!

See you on April 16 at the DFKDC Prom!!

Share your Story – Resource Round Up



We encourage our families to share their story. Check out these great tips and learn more about why it is an important part of advocating for your child.  We hope you enjoy this father’s story about his journey with his son, Chris.  It was just too good not to share with our PEATC families.

If you are interested in sharing your story with us, please let us know in the comments.

Your Voice Counts Printable Fact Sheet

your story fact sheet

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Happy Birthday, Wegmans!

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Jake at the June 14, 2015 Wegmans Alexandria store opening

As an “Autism mom”, I’ve had to deal with my fair share of Jake’s “unusual interests”. Some of these interests, we’ve tried to discourage, such as Jake’s overwhelming desire to touch, sniff, and even put his mouth on other people’s feet … even complete strangers!

Thankfully, feet have taken a back seat to other more productive interests.  One such interest is of all things culinary!

Jake loves to make menus, to write out and illustrate recipes, to cook (chicken taquitos are his specialty), to bake (he can crack a mean egg), and, of course, to grocery shop.

One of Jake’s favorite grocery destinations is Wegmans! We’ve been going since he was a little guy when they opened their 1st location in Fairfax County, Virginia. I loved the store, of course, with it’s great variety of both “staples” as well as unique, specialty items. And being able to get a bite to eat AND do your shopping … well you didn’t have to twist my arm to get me to go.  Plus, as a mom, I always appreciated the “Helping Hands” out to the car, as well as the parking deck … these are the types of things that help to make grocery shopping with the kids manageable, especially in less than ideal weather.

But, back to Jake and HIS love for Wegmans.

It was September 2010 … Jake had just tuned 6 years old.  We were attending a Special Needs family movie night hosted by the Faith and Family Foundation. We knew that pizza and “movie snacks” were going to be provided, and when we arrived, we discovered that the food was being provided by the Leesburg Wegmans.

Wegmans Leesburg provided the yummy pizza & snacks!

Jake saw the balloons as we arrived and immediately said “Wegmans”! Jake played, had some pizza and snacks, and was having a grand time. Shortly before they began the movie, Washington Redskins Pro Football Hall of Fame great Art Monk arrived to say a few words and take some pictures.  I was beyond thrilled.  Jake was “meh” about the whole thing (posing for a photo meant having to stop playing), and miss Sofia was happy … she raised her arms in a toddler’s universal sign for “pick me up”, and Mr. Monk did just that … class act and good sport all the way!


So, following our brush with greatness, I spotted a group of the Leesburg Wegmans employees. I pointed them out to Jake … “Jake, do you want to take a picture with the Wegmans people?”, I asked. “YESSSS!!!” was the response, and so we took a few snaps. To Jake, the Wegmans folks were absolute rock stars!!

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So, he doesn’t look very excited, but he was pumped to meet “The Wegmans people”!

Following his photo op, one of the folks from Wegmans gave him a Wegmans paper hat.  He proceeded to wear that hat for 2 weeks straight until it was a rumpled mess.

All aboard … next stop, Wegmans!

About a week after the movie night, we went out to visit the Leesburg Wegmans and to take printed copies of the photo of the staff members with Jake. They were so tickled by Jake’s enthusiasm for Wegmans that they presented him with a “Helping Hands” polo shirt, an apron, and a name badge!

Jake in his Wegmans regalia

Over the years, I have been fortunate to find a few Wegmans ball caps for Jake at the thrift store, and to have been given one by a friend who works at the Fairfax location.

Jake’s “Wegmania” hit an all time high this summer when he had the opportunity to attend his very FIRST Wegmans store opening at their Alexandria location! We were there bright and early, ready for the doors to open at 7:00 in the morning!

All the excitement outside was no match for what happened a bit later … when Jake met Danny Wegman!!!

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Danny Wegman with future employee, Jake!

To top off the exciting day, we had lunch in Wegmans onsite full-service restaurant, The Pub.

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Opening day at The Pub at Wegmans Alexandria

As it turns 100, we want to wish Wegmans a very Happy Birthday!

“How wonderful life is while you’re in the world!” – Elton John/Bernie Taupin