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Your generosity as an event sponsor and/or volunteer helps to shape the stories of so many local families and children with special needs! Your participation in all forms brings us together as a community. As a result of your support, Matrix continues to serve more families through expanded outreach and informational sessions. When a family finds us, they often find a missing part to their story. Together, we will find hope, and make the special needs journey a little less daunting.

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Sensitive Santa 2022 kicks off the holiday season!

Wow, we are still reeling over here about our Santa Event this weekend. What a fun way for our community to connect and kick off the holiday season. We could not do any of this without our community partners, sponsors, and volunteers. Thank you!!

We were able to raise over $9,000 for Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center!

Sensitive Santa 2022 sponsors

Marin Center for Independent LivingHennessy FundsSouthern Marin Mothers’ ClubSpectrum Surf CampProject Awareness and Special SportsCaulbridge SchoolThe Connected Parent

Colleen Julie and Ana at event with Sponsor sign
Colleen, Julie, and Ana at Sensitive Santa event.

We are so grateful to our Board President, Colleen Arnold, for her leadership, enthusiasm, creativity, and perseverance. Her tireless efforts made this event a huge success and put the FUN in FUNdraiser. Our Program Director, Julie Feliz, along with Parent Advisors, Hill Pashalides and Dulce Santos, and Ana Acosta, Manager of Bilingual Parent Services, all volunteered their time and energy. Office and Resource Manager, Gloria Ochoa, volunteered with two of her granddaughters! Thank you to all who helped out. Most importantly, we want to thank all who attended and made Sensitive Santa 2022 a success.

Matrix volunteers at table
Our fantastic Matrix team: Hill, Dulce, Gloria, Julie, Ana

We showed real resilience and flexibility this year with a change in location, last minute Santa change, as well as the RAIN. However, the smiles on our kids’ faces when they met Santa, the amazing gifts we were able to hand out, and the organizational and individual connections that were made, made all the difference.

Santa talking with little girl
Santa talking with a little girl at Sensitive Santa Event
kids playing on swing at Sensitive Santa event
Our youngest Matrix volunteers playing on a swing
kids pointing to sightings of Sensitive Santa
Children charting Santa’s journey
children looking at toys at Sensitive Santa event
Children checking out the bountiful gifts
Hill Julie and Ana at event
Hill, Julie and Ana at Sensitive Santa sign up table
Marin Center of Independent Living volunteers
Our partners, Marin Center for Independent Living
Yount teen talking with Santa's elf
A young teen chatting with Santa’s elf
child with dog
Even service dogs showed up to say hello to the kiddos
donate to Matrix

Para participar en la rifa, marque la casilla Sensitive Santa en la página Matrix Donate. Una donación de $20 incluye la entrada a la rifa. Gane esta batería de respaldo YETI, donated by Marin Center for Independent Living (MCIL).

Estamos muy agradecidos con todos nuestros maravillosos patrocinadores de eventos:

MANY THANKS FARM FRESH TO YOU. We appreciate all of your support and our partnership with you!

Farm Fresh To you

Farm Fresh To You, a family farm growing organically since 1976, is proud to partner with Matrix Parent Network & Resource Center to offer our members a healthy way to fundraise.

You can still support Matrix Mighty Milers. Visit our gofundme page!

The 2022 Santa Rosa 5K Marathon was a SUCCESS!! We are grateful to Santa Rosa Marathon for supporting Matrix Mighty Milers in 2022!

We are very grateful to Ventures Endurance for sponsoring Matrix for the 6th year. A percentage of the beer proceeds will go towards funding our Matrix programs. Check out our GoFundMe page.

” ‘Be Nice’ and help change someone’s life” Jonathan Feliz (proud stepdad!!)

The Santa Rosa 5K Marathon was a lot of fun! The children were shy at first, but after running with Coach Jonathan and their Mighty Milers team, they came back with so much energy. They were happy and excited, high fiving one another and saying “WE DID IT!” And the parents couldn’t believe that they had run a 5K alongside their children!

The Mighty Milers team celebrating (top) along with our wonderful racers and their families.

All of the expressive photos used in these event images were taken by Melissa Ochoa. Thank you Melissa!

Thank you Coach Jonathan!

We are all so grateful for all of the enthusiasm and unity you brought to our team. You rallied the team and encouraged everyone who raced!

Coach Jonathan D. Feliz

Jonathan Feliz currently serves as the Senior Enlisted Advisor and has been serving on Active Duty in the United States Marine Corps since 2003. Coach Jonathan’s marathon experience includes (4) Full Marathon’s, (8) Half Marathon’s, (4) Spartan Races/Mud Runs, and (1) Duathlon. He enjoys the outdoors, cooking, gardening and a good challenge.

Thank You to Our Wonderful Volunteers!!!

The best volunteers in the land (and yes…there were more) and the team (bottom).

We are so very grateful for your support and help in preparation of Race Day, during race day, and in closing.

Dulce Santos -Beer Garden
Gloria Ochoa- Beer Garden
Jasmine Ochoa – Beer Garden
Melissa Ochoa – Photography and Beer Garden
Ron Carillo – Beer Garden
Heather Johnson – Beer Garden
Colleen Arnold – Beer Garden (for Sunday)
Ana Acosta – Matrix Booth
Mayra Madriz – Matrix Booth
Heather Johnson – Matrix Booth

¡El Maratón 5K de Santa Rosa 2022 fue un ÉXITO!

¡Agradecemos a Santa Rosa Marathon por apoyar a Matrix Mighty Milers en 2022!

Todavía puedes apoyar a Matrix Mighty Milers. ¡Visita nuestra página de gofundme!

“Conoce a Julianna Ramírez. Se sometió a una cirugía a corazón abierto, se le diagnosticó trisomía 21, pérdida auditiva conductiva bilateral, perforación bilateral de tímpanos, hipotiroidismo y TDAH. Aunque solo tiene 10 años, demuestra lo que puede hacer un corazón bondadoso y cómo esto puede cambiar la forma en que las personas piensan/actúan. Aunque tiene muchas luchas en la vida, puede hacer cualquier cosa que sus compañeros puedan hacer. Durante el verano, hizo ejercicio con su padrastro y el entrenador de Matrix Milers, y ayer (27 de agosto) completó su primera carrera de 3 millas.

Las discapacidades generan otras habilidades. Sus palabras favoritas son “Sé amable”, así que para ustedes, mis amigos, “Sé amable” y ayuda a cambiar la vida de alguien. Orgulloso padrastro!! Jonathan Feliz

¡El Maratón de 5K de Santa Rosa fue muy divertido! Los niños eran tímidos al principio, pero después de correr con el entrenador Jonathan y su equipo Mighty Milers, regresaron con mucha energía. Estaban felices y emocionados, chocando los cinco y diciendo “¡LO HICIMOS!” ¡Y los padres no podían creer que habían corrido 5 km junto a sus hijos!

Estamos muy agradecidos con Ventures Endurance por patrocinar a Matrix por sexto año. Un porcentaje de las ganancias de la cerveza se destinará a financiar nuestros programas Matrix. Consulta nuestra página de GoFundMe.

¡Gracias entrenador Jonathan!

Coach Jonathan D. Feliz

Todos estamos muy agradecidos por todo el entusiasmo y la unidad que trajo a nuestro equipo. ¡Animaste al equipo y animaste a todos los que corrieron!

Actualmente se desempeña como asesor sénior para alistados y ha estado en servicio activo en el Cuerpo de Marines de los Estados Unidos desde 2003. La experiencia en maratones del entrenador Jonathan incluye (4) maratones completos, (8) medios maratones, (4) carreras espartanas/carreras de barro, y (1) Duatlón. Le gusta el aire libre, cocinar, la jardinería y un buen desafío.

¡Gracias a Nuestros Maravillosos Voluntarios!

Dulce Santos -Beer Garden
Gloria Ochoa- Beer Garden
Jasmine Ochoa – Beer Garden
Melissa Ochoa – Photography and Beer Garden
Ron Carillo – Beer Garden
Heather Johnson – Beer Garden
Colleen Arnold – Beer Garden (for Sunday)
Ana Acosta – Matrix Booth
Mayra Madriz – Matrix Booth
Heather Johnson – Matrix Booth

It warmed our hearts when, in appreciation of Matrix, Lucia Estrada and her brother Lucas each created their own fundraisers and made donations to Matrix

Lucia Estrada presenting her donation to Steve Diamond, our Executive Director at Family Day for Matrix Mighty Milers 2021.
Lucia Estrada presenting her donation to Steve Diamond, our Executive Director at Mighty Milers 2021 Family Day

We all know that raising a child takes a village, but raising a child with special needs takes a network. That’s why it’s in our name! Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center provides a network of support to families who have children with special needs. Our resources and services make an IMPACT in 18 Northern California counties. Matrix Helpline, Trainings, and Parent and Caregivers Groups provide vital connections. This year we are beginning Social, Emotional, and Behavioral support programs. These programs are delivered through our new Clinical Services Department. 

A message from one of our families to Ana Acosta, bilingual parent advisor:
“Ana, thank you, now my grandson is working, he has already graduated from High school. Thank you for all these years that you guided and support me in the IEPs, in reviewing papers, in giving us those trainings where I tried to learn but sometimes it was a lot of information for me but you always had time to teach me. All I know is thanks to you, you always gave me that strength and confidence that lifted me up the times when the school called me to tell me that my grandson was suspended or arrested. Matrix was always there when I needed it!” ~ Luz

Like Luz, Matrix has helped thousands of families. We serve the underserved communities, collaborate with leaders and related organizations, host unique community events, and more! In our Matrix community, we all learn from each other and feel supported and connected. Families need Matrix, and Matrix needs your support to do this important work. Remember, because of you, families thrive! 

Your commitment to Matrix makes a real difference. Give what’s in your heart so all families can continue to receive the essential education and support they need to advocate for themselves and their children. Your generosity makes it possible for Matrix to continue this valuable work and expand services to meet the needs of the community.