What is Mary’s Circle? 

Mary’s Circle is a WNC community cares project. 

It is custom designed and aligned with national support initiatives for children with special needs.  


The mission of Mary’s Circle is to provide specific essentials that ensure services and conditions most conducive to positive outcomes for children with special needs and their families. 

 

 

You Can Change the Life of a Child

The research and evidence is clear that there are great reasons and an undeniable urgency to support children with special needs.  This effort is a time sensitive matter as the first 5 years of life are the most critical for children - but especially those with special needs.  

The facts show that with early intervention a child’s life can dramatically be changed forever.  

 

Social, health and safety, housing, and developmental issues are concerns that are real for parents of children with special needs.  Financial assistance and community care support, help to overcome these concerns to ensure services and conditions most conducive to positive outcomes for these precious children and their families.  

Colorful Book Spines

THE RESEARCH SAYS IT ALL

 

EARLY INTERVENTION IS KEY AND WHY

Early intervention:

  • applies to children of school age or younger who are discovered to have or be at risk of developing a handicapping condition or other special need that may affect their development.

  • consists in the provision of services such children and their families for the purpose of lessening the effects of the condition.

  • can be remedial or preventive in nature--remediating existing developmental problems or preventing their occurrence.

  • may focus on the child alone or on the child and the family together.

  • programs may be center-based, home-based, hospital-based, or a combination.

  • may begin at any time between birth and school age; however, there are many reasons for it to begin as early as possible.

SCHOOL AND SOCIAL DEVEOLOPMENT BENEFITS

Benefits of the child's development are:

  • needing fewer special education and other rehabilitative services later in life

  • being retained in grade less often

  • in some cases being indistinguishable from non-handicapped classmates years after intervention

WE MUST SUPPORT THE PARENTS TOO

Needed support and assistance for the family:  

  • strengthens the parent's ability to implement the child's program at home

  • reduces stress that facilitates the health of the family,

  • maximizes the child's and family's benefit to society

 

Source: US Department of Education

Dear Friends,

Some years ago, a sweet young family inspired my husband and I to discover and explore the duty and authority we have, as Christians, to care for children and families in need.

 

As Christians, we follow the example of Jesus - we are guided by Biblical wisdom - and we are fortified by the authority of God to boldly pursue life according to His expectations for living among and with each other. 

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests,

but also to the interests of others.” 

Philippians 2:4 

This story begins with Tom and Brittney North. They met in 2012 and fell in love and in 2014 they were married. It was a small yet charming Christmas Time wedding at a historic home located in Charleston, South Carolina where the couple was surrounded by family and friends. My husband, Sean, and I were honored to participate in Tom and Brittney’s wedding as we’ve been close to the family for many years.

 

In fact, I’ve known Brittney since she was a little girl and have watched her grow up to become a strong and determined woman despite the challenges of living with Epilepsy. Brittney is an adult living with disabilities. Tom is a gentle, yet strong man who is entirely dedicated to Brittney and has fully embraced the job of caretaker and protector. He also is an adult living with disabilities as he manages rapid cycling anxiety and bi-polar disorder. 

Despite their challenges, Tom and Brittney have never made excuses, they do not place blame, they do not expect special treatment, and they rarely ask for help beyond what is available and for that which they qualify. They just want to work hard and independently experience a normal, happy and healthy life. They are not unlike every couple in this way but they are very unlike most in the ways they must work hard to overcome the daily challenges of their lives. 

It’s been six years since the Norths were married and they now have two adorable children - Mary Taylor and Thomas who are 5 and 2 years old respectively. Shortly after Mary Taylor was born, Tom and Brittney moved to Bellevue, Kentucky to benefit from medical care that the University of Cincinnati could offer to both Brittney and Mary Taylor. Since birth, Mary Taylor has been living with developmental delays affecting all areas of her growth. Mary Taylor is progressing due to her loving home environment and service that her parent have been able to provide.  She recently began kindergarten and she loves it.  Thomas is an active toddler and despite his 8 week early arrival, he’s doing very well and is a giggly little fellow. The children are cared for and highly considered by their parents in every way. They are truly a beautiful example of love. 

For Brittney, Tom’s dedication to her care is a life saving gift and one that allows her to have a normal life as both a wife and a mother. However, it is not easy to maintain this level of care in all the ways it is needed. A regular day for the Norths is not typical. Tom does not go off to the office in the morning and Brittney is not out and about running errands, volunteering, or going to a job. Rather, Tom gets up with Brittney everyday and they basically work hard caring for each other and their children. There is no time for other work - living life as normal as possible is their work. 

Tom and Brittney were perfectly made for each other. She is a kind, joyful, grace-filled girl who gives her husband rest, comfort, and calm by her simple presence. She eases his anxiety and he bridges her path to a normal life. Tom and Brittney are God’s miracle - a model of a perfect healing way of living that the world does not understand or easily accept. By watching and observing the beautiful and simple

determination of a couple to achieve the most basic and yet most deserved experience in life is what inspired the idea and concept of Mary’s Circle. 

Named after Tom and Brittney’s daughter, Mary Taylor, Mary’s Circle provides a way for Christ followers to acknowledge, understand, and apply how we are made to work as The Body of Christ. As Christians we are designed to make offerings; expressions of love and hope, which, through Mary’s Circle, can ensure the promise of a future for a family. 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, 

plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” 

Jerimiah 29:11 

Tom and Brittney are fulfilling their dream of marriage and parenthood - they do not take it for granted and do all they can to protect it. To be healthy for their children and also provide for their children’s needs, they have responsibly and gratefully utilized services and supports available. They have even moved to new places in that pursuit. In fact, they are currently considering a move to the Greenville area for better health care and high quality school programs for their children. 

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up,

just as you are doing.” 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 

My education background informs me of the critical need surrounding children with disabilities. Though there are services available there are not enough. Children and their parents need financial support - friendship - community. The research and evidence is clear that there are great reasons and an undeniable urgency to support children with special needs. The facts show that with early intervention a child’s life can dramatically be changed forever. Mary’s Circle is aligned with national support initiatives for children with disabilities. 

The mission of Mary’s Circle is to provide specific essentials that ensure services and conditions most conducive to positive outcomes for children with special needs and their families. 

I implore all to open their hearts to this truth and this opportunity. On behalf of the Norths and families like them, Sean and I hope that, if this worthy cause touches you and speaks to your spirit, you might seek more information about Mary’s Circle and how you can make an offering of love and hope to ensure the promise of a future for children and families in need. 

How beautiful and simple they are - in some ways they are the lucky ones. In all ways, we will benefit far more from the example of The Norths than they will ever benefit from what we can offer them. However, in our obedient attempt to do so, we will fulfill our promise as modeled to us - enhance our design as gifted to us - and be more completed in Christ as perfectly intended for us. 

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these

brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”.

Matthew 25:40 

 

Thank you for your time and kind consideration. 

Sincerely, 

 

Sean and Melanie Jager

"Mary Taylor is progressing due to her loving home environment and services that her parents have been able to provide.  She recently began kindergarten and she loves it."  

"She eases his

anxiety and he bridges her path to a normal life.  Tom and Brittney are God's miracle - a model of a perfect healing way of living that the world does not understand or easily accept."  

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"How beautiful and simple they are - in some ways they are the lucky ones.  In all ways, we will benefit far more from the example of

The Norths than they

will ever benefit from what we can

offer them."  

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Meet Tom and Brittney

Meet The Norths - An Inspiring Family

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