What is the FFRA?

If you ask the average person what the FFRA is, there’s a good chance they won’t know.

However, after its explained to them, not only do they know what it stands for but also there’s a compassion and a softness in their heart to want to see this wonderful program be successful for “The Kid’s Sake” and their caregivers as well.

The FFRA is a non-profit organization and stands for “Friends & Families Reaching for the Abilities.” These mentally challenged adults (often referred to as “kids”), are generally cared for by their parents and/or guardians whose ages range from the mid 50’s to mid 80’s. The main concern and reason for the program, is to provide a meaningful life for these wonderful kids now and to make plans for their well being long after their parents/guardians are able to look after them. FFRA accomplishes its mission with two active programs such as a monthly educational program for the parents, guardians and/or caregivers and the monthly ARTS WORKSHOPS for the ‘kids.’ Both programs are designed to enhance the care-giving tasks and to expand the socialization activities for all its members.

As life goes on, the parents/guardians develop health problems, succumb to old age, or become incapacitated.

This is the greatest fear among the members…What happens to my child when I can no longer care for him/her? These devoted caregivers have elected (through love and devotion) to self-maintain their child’s care rather than have the child institutionalized. With many years of hard work, sacrifice, loyalty, and dedication, most parents would say, it was never a hard decision to make for the inception.”

Soon to be faced with a possible tragic alternative life style and adjustments, how will this situation be best handled for the benefit and well-being of the ‘kids?’ The kids themselves (ranging from five to l0 years old mentally) have no way of ever comprehending the real situation. They live day-to-day with the innocence and love of any five to ten year old. The only difference is, they will never get any older or mature (mentally.) Is it sad? Yes! Are the caregivers looking for sympathy? NO! That is why you probably have not ever heard of the FFRA as these proud people try to deal with their life’s problems themselves.

What the program is all about is public awareness of a situation that faces every community of this earth. Just like any problem or difficulty, we as concerned citizens should be sensitive and brave enough to stand up and be an advocate for our less fortunate citizens. We should care enough to help those who have never committed a crime, have never spoken a bad word about anyone, and who have always demonstrated a love and admiration for others.

How can we make a difference?

  • #1 is by making other people aware of the FFRA and its intentions.
  • Be a volunteer to assist in teaching a simple ‘Arts and Crafts’ class. It will not only entertain the client but will give a ‘much needed’ rest to the caregiver.
  • Organize a Fundraiser for the benefit of FFRA.
  • Consider joining the FFRA as a member and/or a volunteer.
  • And of course a donation to their Building Fund will go a long way for their future goals to have a place of their own to call ‘home.’

Love is a wonderful thing and what better way to show love than to help those around us that deserve it the most.

Mailing Address: 6036 E. Tudor Street
Inverness, FL 34452
 E -mail: ddeso@tampabay.rr.com – www.ffracitrus.org

Please call (352) 634-2528 Dave Deso, President of the FFRA for more information regarding this very needy cause.

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