SMILE Mass (Small Miracles in Life Exist) is a Massachusetts Chapter 501-c3 non-profit corporation. The mission of SMILE Mass is to help handicapped children and their families enjoy wonderful vacation experiences — for a day or for a week — that will create memories that will last a lifetime. For many of these families, this could be their very first family vacation.
Think about vacation. Vacations are designed to be an escape. Escape from routines, work, and worry. They offer respite, fun, a change in environment, and an opportunity to enjoy the company of family and friends. Think about a vacation with children. A vacation with children can be an exercise in logistics — transportation, housing, meals and fun experiences. For families with a disabled member, the complexity and difficulties are magnified to such a degree that, for most, a vacation becomes impossible to imagine much less accomplish.
Caregivers of children with disabilities need additional support to alleviate the emotional and physical stresses, as well as the financial burdens that they face. Studies show that parents with special needs children spend 20 or more hours a week performing home health care for their children and have more financial strains that can cause increased stress that can lead to poorer emotional and physical health.
Phase One of our dream will give them a vacation for a day. Phase Two will give them a vacation for a week or more. Both will give them memories that will last a lifetime.