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Matrix Parent Network for Children Special Needs

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Community Heroes
By: Janet Carter    |   December 2, 2022


Matrix Parent Network is a nonprofit organization founded and operated solely by parents, the majority of which have children with special needs, giving way to a deeper understanding of what families of children with diverse abilities experience on a daily basis, as they navigate the ongoing challenges of the special needs world. 

At Matrix, one of the fundamental principles of the organization is bringing accessibility to all families needing support, providing free services such as workshops and trainings for parents, scheduling IEP meetings between families and the school districts, as well as offering a bilingual helpline for assistance; all through a consortium of grants, contracts, donations, and fundraising events in the community. This past year alone, Matrix Parent Network was able to provide services to 1,372 families within Marin, Sonoma, Solano, and Napa counties. 

Their overarching mission is to empower families of children with special needs so that they may successfully understand and access the very systems that serve them, providing them with hope for their future as their children flourish into adulthood.

As an annual event, Matrix Parent Network, in conjunction with All Children Academics, is hosting their Sensitive Santa Event, which caters to families in our community with special needs: children who may otherwise not be able to participate in traditional Santa events.

All too often, families of children with special needs have to opt-out of community events given the challenge in participating. It was because of this that the Sensitive Santa event was created: to celebrate all children and bring excitement and inclusion to an otherwise stressful event, creating a fun holiday ritual.   

This year, Sensitive Santa will be held on December, 3rd 2-5pm at Cypress Primary School in Petaluma. Like always, it’ll feature a Santa Parade in his sleigh, a photographer to take family portraits from the event, as well as raffle prizes presented to those who purchase raffle tickets–a $20 donation that goes to Matrix Parent Network. SMMC members are encouraged to attend or volunteer at the event.

Janet Carter serves on the SMMC board as Director of Philanthropy. She is committed to helping members learn more about the wonderful organizations in Marin that support children, youth, mothers, and families.  You can volunteer for events through the calendar or contact Janet at

More from this issue:

A Meaningful Jewish Christmas Read >> 

All Rise for the Mug of Glory! Read >>

Interviewing Santas Read >>

Joinable Brings People Together Read >>

Keeping it Together While Traveling Together Read >>

Matrix Parent Network for Children Special Needs Read >>

RSV vs. Flu vs. COVID-19 Read >>

The Architecture of Healing Read >>

The Journey of Fulfillment Read >>

What is the Meaning of Life? Read >>