As April’s Autism month comes to an end, I thought I would share the remarkable story of our friends, the Gott family. Jim and Cathy Gott’s son, Danny, was diagnosed with autism as young child. The Gotts lived the battle of therapies, the challenges of adolescence and then the reality of what happens to their son as an adult? What happens to adults with autism?
The Gott’s faith, love and tenacity knows no bounds and they were determined to create a place that not only helped their son live a fulfilling life as an adult with autism but helped others as well. That very special place is Danny’s Farm.
Danny’s Farm’s is much more than a petting zoo. It is a place that brings joy and purpose to adults with autism as well as to young children. As Cathy said, “My hope as a parent is to inspire others to harness their children’s passion.” Danny’s passion was animals and when Danny was 15 they began planning a legacy for him and other adults with autism.
The mission is to provide meaningful employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities and to serve children, ages 5-17 years old, by providing experiences through the farm’s Specialty Autism Program.
Cathy said, ” Everybody needs a job and a purpose. I challenge the corporate community to open their hearts to hire just one person with a developmental disability. I think they would be surprised what value it can bring to an organization.”
Jim and Cathy’s mission began as a journey with their child but has grown into a beautiful place that brings joy to so many. Today they are employing adults with disabilities, taking their mobile petting farm on the road and empowering adults with disabilities with purpose and passion.
When I asked Cathy what inspired her, the response was,” The community that supports us and our employees, it’s just so beautiful to watch them do their job.” Its a complete circle of caring.
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