The doors will be open soon to special-needs children and families — particularly for autistic children/families needing assistance — because of the efforts of Eric and Donna Bennett of Hudson and local contractors. Hokeness Construction has led the building process of the Bennett home and Surreia’s Place, which will occupy the lower level at 676 Coulee Trail. Rick Waldschmidt, the founder of Success Oriented Networking, a Christian-based business network organization, led the donation and contribution efforts of the home. Together, the Bennetts, Hokeness, Waldschmidt and other contributors delivered a place for families with various needs to come and experience the help they need in a Christian atmosphere. Eric and Donna Bennett are parents of an autistic child, Surreia, and found themselves needing a place like this four years ago. They said that knowing other families need a place to come and receive help in many different ways has imprinted on their hearts a desire to help others in this way. Assistance available at Surreia’s Place includes the setting up of mentor families, review of insurance benefits, cooking classes, help with day programs for special-needs children, analysis of resources, small group studies, movie nights, apple picking, equipment swapping, educational seminars and groups for siblings of autistic children.
Anyone interested in help from Surreia’s Place should call Donna Bennett at (715) 441-3175. Anyone interested in touring the Bennett home and Surreia’s Place can do so during the St. Croix Valley Tour of Homes, this weekend and next from noon-5 p.m. through Sept. 28.
Jon and Julie,
We would like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you. Your contributions of time, talent, product, and financial assistance were of great assistance in helping us to build a beautiful and functional physical location for Surreia's Place and a safe, welcoming place for Surreia and the rest of our family to call home. We are truly blessed by your kindness and generosity and we pray that God will bless you, your businesses, and the ministry of Surreia's Place. And, while this time of transition has been a big challenge for Surreia, and to a lesser degree our entire family, we are enjoying the opportunity to set out on the journey of carrying out the ministry that God has called us to.
Through you, God has blessed us with a wonderful setting in which to minister to families affected by autism. We are regularly receiving calls and conducting appointments with families who have heard about this project and who are in great need of help, direction, and hope in understanding and dealing with a diagnosis of autism. In the past two months, Surreia's Place has:
- Discussed local autism resources with fourteen families who have either recently moved to the St. Croix Valley or who have recently had a child diagnosed with autism
- Provided two cooking classes to mothers and children with autism
-Taken a mother into the Hudson public schools to understand programming options for her son with autism
-Met and encouraged a mother of two boys with autism who is facing a divorce
-Referred two families affected by autism to church homes
-Welcomed multiple families affected by special needs into the Surreia's Place movie theater (with popcorn, candy and soda of course!)
With God's help, we are doing important and impactful ministry!
On behalf of the many children who will be provided an environment of unconditional acceptance, the families who will receive information and gain hope, and the Bennett family, we humbly say 'Thank you.'
Eric, Donna, Surreia and Noah Bennett