Harriet received the Don Meyer Award honoring her deep commitment to supporting siblings of people with disabilities and her innovative sibling programs and solutions. The award itself was created by artists with developmental disabilities and presented at the national Sibling Leadership Network conference this past summer.
This August begins the 25th year for WisconSibs, Inc. As we look forward to celebrating this milestone, it’s only natural to think about how we started, how far we’ve come, and how we are planning for the future.
Our work started when a handful of volunteers across the Fox Valley connected around a critical, yet overlooked need: providing support to children who were siblings of kids with disabilities. One of those volunteers was Harriet Redman. She and others began offering Sibshops® —workshops for children ages 6-12 designed by Don Meyer of the Sibling Support Project.
Under Harriet’s leadership, the Fox Valley Sibling Support Network was chartered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on July 28, 1998. As we know today, it was the first of its kind in the United States. In 2014 we renamed the organization WisconSibs, Inc to reflect our broader statewide impact. We’ve now grown into a nationally recognized model for supporting siblings of people with disabilities throughout their life-long Sib journey.
A leadership change
As the Board of Directors started its strategic planning in 2020 to develop the next stage of WisconSibs, Inc., Harriet announced that it was time to find the next leader for the organization.
She plans to retire as Executive Director in August, but will continue in an emeritus role to help orient a new director and to cheer on WisconSibs as a loyal supporter to help it reach its full potential.
“I really think of this transition as a celebration of all that has been done, and of all that will come next. The organization has never been stronger and is ready for someone to take it to the next level. I’m looking forward to being helpful in whatever way I can,” says Harriet.
COVID-19 got you down? Stuck indoors? Looking for ideas to keep the kids happy while schools are closed?
PEEPS TO THE RESCUE!!
While in-person WisconSibs events are suspended for a few weeks, the Sibs Are My Peeps Photo Challenge is going strong! Kids, adults, grandparents…ANYBODY and EVERY BODY…can join in and have fun.
HOW TO ENTER
1. Using Peeps® and a box (not to exceed 24” deep X 24” tall) create a scene that depicts “Take a Peep Around the World”, the theme of the 2020 WisconSibsSibs Are My Peeps®Photo Challenge. Take your Peeps® on a magical, marshmallowy-sweet adventure to anywhere in the world. Melt ‘em, mold ‘em, dress ‘em up. Be creative. Find ideas at: https://wisconsibs.org/what-we-offer/sibs-are-my-peeps/
NEW OPTION! Don’t have Peeps® or a box in the house and can’t get out to get some? No problem. Make a “flat Peep” display using paper, some crayons, and of course your imagination. Pinterest is a good place to find Peeps coloring pages or download this one. Peeps coloring page
2. Email no more than two photos of your scene to: [email protected] Photos must be .jpg, .jpeg or .png. Your email must also include:
–Names, ages and hometown/state of all who helped create the scene.
–Phone number and e-mail address (not for publication).
–Title of your scene. (Extra points for cleverness of course.)
–2-4 sentences about your creation or its significance.
All submissions will be reviewed and five winners will be announced. Winners will be awarded “Sibs are my Peeps” t-shirts.
“In these confusing times, its even more important to find ways to use our imaginations as an escape or respite. We hope this challenge will provide some fun for siblings and many others. We also hope to raise awareness of the many roles siblings play in our lives as we approach National Siblings Day on April 10. We especially acknowledge the often-overlooked critical roles that siblings play when one may have a disability. ” says Harriet Redman, Executive Director of WisconSibs.
The Sibs are my Peeps®” Contest welcomes friends, families, or co-workers, or any other individual or group, regardless of age or ability. No purchase is necessary to enter the contest.
Do I need to be a sibling? Nope. Anyone can enter. Any age. Any ability. Any person. Any group, business, or school. From anywhere.
Do I need to be artistic? Nope. Just be willing to have fun with it. The theme this year is “Take a Peep Around the World”.
Does it cost anything? Nope. Only cost is purchasing Peeps which are about $1.30 a package.
May I post my creation on social media? You sure can! Just tag it with #sibsaremypeeps and #wisconsibs To officially enter the challenge, please email your 2 photos to [email protected]
Additional tags could include #covid-19nomatchformypeeps #takeapeeparoundtheworld
How do I enter? Go to www.wisconsibs.org/what-we-offer/sibs-are-my-peeps to get details and see examples.
Create your scene.
Take 2 photos
Send photos to [email protected]. Enter anytime between March 1 and April 5, 2020 (deadline extended recently). Finalists will be announced on the WisconSibs Facebook page on National Siblings Day, April 10, 2020.