Lend Handicare a hand at March 31 benefit concert

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Ginny Ryan turned to Handicare to help care for all four of her children. All of the staff remember all of her kids’ names, and identified each of their unique needs.

“We were so grateful to have the loving support and experienced care of Handicare providers,” Ryan said. “We utilized everything from the infant room to preschool, and felt confident that the kids were in great hands. Handicare has a wonderfully dedicated staff that has fun with every kid.”

Handicare now needs the public’s support to pay for some much-needed equipment, and it’s holding a benefit March 31st to raise funds. A new van, a playground update, and repairs on its 40-year-old building are some of the needs Handicare seeks to meet soon.

Handicare is also asking concert-goers to bring bubbles, unscented baby wipes, glue sticks and other key supplies to the benefit. All of the donations will go toward helping Handicare continue its unique standard of care, built since its founding 30 years ago. 

Julie Heidger, a parent and board member, also has four children who attend Handicare. She said Handicare ”sees my children as kids first and not as children with disabilities who require additional resources and time. The staff truly love and encourage my children to be the best versions of themselves.”

Many of Handicare’s staff members are multicultural and multilingual, from places like Sudan and other countries in Africa. Several speak various languages like Arabic, French, Spanish and more.

The staff retention rate is an average of seven years, which is unusual in the childcare industry. Handicare has just become part of a cohort that will have program wide “Positive Behavior Intervention Supports” and is also a United Way partner.

“I called Handicare the moment I found out I was pregnant,” said Aimee Underwood, also a parent and board member.  “My oldest daughter attended Handicare and had such a great experience that I knew I would enroll my youngest daughter too.”

Underwood is also the lead singer of a band that will perform at the Handicare benefit. Two-Bit Maniac will perform along with the band Homebrewed.  “We also have some truly awesome items to raffle off! A big thanks to all of the local businesses who donated for the raffle and supporting this awesome cause.”

Raffle items include gift cards from Casa Azul and Riverside Casino and Golf Resort. The Handicare Benefit is Sun., March 31,, at The Mill 120 E Burlington St, Iowa City,  and is open to the public.

A $5 donation is requested. Doors open at 1 p.m, and music begins at 2 p.m.

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