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.