Source: Inclusion Clubhouse
It amazes me how love motivates one to do things that have such positive rippling effects. These ripples start at a center and form beautiful consequences that encircle all that was originally on the outside. It’s always a mission of the highest order when the cause, the center, was for the benefit of others. The rock of a mother’s love makes the deepest circle of ripples. Linda Baptista Hall is proof of this.
Founder of the non-profit organization, Inclusion Clubhouse and Djanai’s Angels, Linda Hall took the wheel while on a very emotional and bumpy road after her daughter Djanai’s medical diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy that was the result of Hypoplasia of the Corpus Callosum (the thinning of the line that lies between the hemispheres of the brain). After many years of vocalizing concerns about signs of Djanai having developmental delays since she was an infant, it wasn’t until age three that her daughter’s condition was finally diagnosed and she finally began receiving appropriate medical assistance.
Linda’s tenacity kept and still keeps the mission always to seek out what is best for her family. Seeing an opportunity in 2014 to provide her daughter the enjoyment of an event more easily accessible for the mainstream than those with limited abilities, she organized a celebration of Djanai’s birthday as a “Sweet 16” prom. After this event where families of all abilities raved about the joy-filled celebration, Linda founded Inclusion Clubhouse and began the annual special needs prom to raise funds for the formation of a clubhouse where the special needs and mainstream community can connect on a year-round basis. Along with this amazing feat, she also formed Djanai’s Angels to provide resources for the special needs community. Through her adaptable clothing boutiques, special needs fitness events and summer camps, she maintains a daily environment where anyone of any ability is welcome.
The village within her own home which includes her husband Pooch Hall (actor of Showtime’s “Ray Donovan”), her children Djanai, Djaeda, Djordan, and Djulian, expands outside of her Southern California doors into the hearts of so many other families that struggle to feel connected. Djanai’s siblings take a challenging adjustment and turn it into an insightful outlook to share with others as they navigate the struggles that come with caring for their oldest sister.
As 12-year-old Djaeda and eleven-year-old Djordan sweetly stated, one must see that everyone is different and to not judge a book by its cover when it comes to the treatment of others; underneath appearances there lies a very loving attribute.
The focus of Inclusion Clubhouse not only taught her children but also many other families to celebrate our differences across all boundaries. When the sixth annual “A Trip Around The World” special needs family prom takes place on Sept 22nd in Winnetka, California, deeply rooted connections will form for many families from all walks of life.
As Linda Hall aims to expand her mission to bring the special needs family prom to the East Bay, love will continue to reach the multitude of individuals around her and the world.
May the ripples be felt for generations to come.
For more information and to purchase tickets for the “A Trip Around The World” Special Needs Family Prom located in Southern California, please visit: http://inclusionclubhouse.org/
Stefanie Boggs-Johnson is the author of “I See You, Little Naomi” and “I See You, Little Andrew.” Her educational children’s books promote special needs awareness and compassion. She is also a licensed cosmetologist and owner of For Every Season, a mobile beauty service for the special needs community. For more information visit ForEverySeasonServices.com