On November 19th Clap Your Hands will be celebrating 2 years as a pediatric 501 c (3) non-profit. When we began our journey we really had no idea what to expect. Could we really do this? Did we need to hire professionals? Could we meet the demand of our ever growing “business”? Could we really fill out grant applications by ourselves?

This second year brought us into a new dimension of fundraising as well as working on grant applications in places we hadn’t thought to look before. We connected with other non-profits and opened our doors to the local schools in our area.

In the beginning our mission was to be able to provide our community, (Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester 2) with therapeutic products for families, regardless of whether or not they had insurance – our products would be free. There would be no income requirements, forms for the families to fill out, or long waits. We would work directly with the child’s therapist, counselor or pediatrician…to insure our products were of the highest standard.

We finished the year 2015 (our first official year) with donating 1,232 therapeutic products. Clap Your Hands held Sewing Bee’s in different locations around the Low Country. We went from a zero budget to receiving in grant money and donations – $23,000.00.

 For 2016 we wanted to raise the bar a little higher. We made our goal for donating therapeutic products at 1,500. We also wanted to actively work within the school districts. Another goal we wanted to pursue was providing each exceptional classroom with samples of our products; so that we could give aid to our amazing teachers…in a timely manner.

 Overview of 2016 – as of October 31st. we have donated 1,805 therapeutic products.

We have partnered with 31 schools and we continue to hear from new schools every month.

We have partnered with therapists and teachers in holding fundraisers for Clap Your Hands.

We are finishing the year with over 150 therapists, counselors, and pediatricians

We are still a 100% volunteer-based organization

We have no overhead, so 100% of the donations receive goes directly back to Clap Your Hands. There is no “middle-man”.

We set our goal budget at $20,000 – as of the end of October we have received $27,000.00.

We purchased 3,000 pounds of plastic pellets in 2016

Standard wait time is one to two weeks, with 80% being picked up within the week

Clap Your Hands offered quarterly free classes on how to make our weighted blankets/lap pads.

We were approached by the Low Country Special Needs Network to provide samples of our products for places of worship. Letting the entire family feel welcomed where they attend. We also worked together with the Coastal Disability Ministry Summit Conference in September.

We partnered with the Surfer’s Healing network over the summer

We were asked to set up a table at the Summerville Miracle League to let parents know about us and how they could receive one or more of our products, free of charge.

Without our therapists, counselors, pediatricians and teachers we would never be able to accomplish all we have this year without each one of you. We truly are a team.

And speaking of team….my Clap Your Hands team is nothing short of angels on Earth. They are proactive! They are encouraging! They are gifted! They are excited and I thank God every day for them. They never say no to me, only how can we help?

I look forward to 2017 with humbleness and gratitude. We will continue to set the bar even higher. Together we can make a difference in the Low Country.

With much appreciation,

Sue Desautels

Executive Director