WisconSibs celebrates 20 years


When local mom Harriet Redman and a small band of Fox Valley school counselors looked for resources to help and celebrate sisters and brothers of people with disabilities back in 1998, they found precious few. So they formed a fledgling nonprofit — the Fox Valley Sibling Support Network — to address the need.

Twenty years later, the organization now known as WisconSibs, Inc. is still a one-of-a-kind resource that helps siblings of people with disabilities or long-term illnesses connect with each other, and with resources for their lifelong journey. Over the years, it has served thousands of siblings, families, and professionals and has helped siblings celebrate both the joys and the challenges of a life affected by disability.

WisconSibs serves:

  • Young siblings (ages 6 through teens) with Sibshops®, a weeklong summer day camp, extended weekend adventure camps in Door County, and leadership training and awards for teens who are eager for a challenge and have a heart for serving others.
  • Adult siblings (20-somethings and beyond) through family social events, a resource library, and a future-planning workshop called Journey Forward that helps create a written action plan offering peace of mind for the whole family.
  • Parents of young children and adult siblings.
  • Professionals (health and social service providers, attorneys, educators, human resources and financial professionals) through consulting, coaching, and conference or workplace presentations.

The impact over its first 20 years?

“Brothers and sisters will be in the lives of family members with special needs longer than anyone,” says Seattle-based Don Meyer, director of the national Sibling Support Project and creator of the Sibshop model. “WisconSibs provides the support and information they need to help their sibs live dignified lives from childhood to their senior years.”

A mom: “I feel so blessed to have found this organization for my daughter. It is just one more sign that the move to Wisconsin was the right choice. Thank you so much for what you do for the siblings and the community.”

(920) 968-1742

[email protected]

To view the entire 2018 Anniversary Celebrations edition, please click here.