Five Questions with Jeanne Carlson, a Big Wave Parent

Five Questions with Jeanne Carlson, a Big Wave Parent

Jeanne and her husband Bill are parents to Sarah, who will live at Big Wave once it’s complete. Prior to the pandemic, Sarah volunteered at the Half Moon Bay library and worked at a quilting store.

1. How did you first hear about Big Wave?

I first heard about Big Wave through our neighbor Holly Winnen and her family, who we’ve known for many years. Holly’s son Patrick is also a future Big Wave resident.

2. What is Sarah looking forward to about living at Big Wave? What are you looking forward to?

Sarah is very social and enjoys helping other people. She’s been mostly home since the start of the pandemic, doing arts and crafts and taking online classes, but she is really looking forward to being an active part of a community again.  I am looking forward to watching Sarah put down roots at Big Wave and thrive. Bill and I aren’t going to live forever; Big Wave gives our family peace of mind when it comes to Sarah’s future.

3. Do you have an anecdote about the organization, or the people involved, that really moved you?

I’ve always enjoyed seeing the community come together. The future residents care for and support each other, which is particularly noticeable at Special Olympics basketball. During practices, the teammates demonstrate great sportsmanship, and make sure that everyone has a chance to pass and shoot the ball. How they treat each other at basketball is a glimpse into how they will support each other as neighbors at Big Wave.  It’s also comforting for parents to be part of the Big Wave community. Parents and family members can connect with other families that are in similar situations, support each other and brainstorm solutions to shared problems.

4. What do you wish people knew about Big Wave?

I wish people knew how desperately we need many more Big Waves in San Mateo County, in California and in the country. Looking into housing for Sarah felt hopeless in the beginning. There was no feeling of permanence, and therefore a lack of security. A sustainable, supportive living and working environment, which Big Wave will provide, is critical for families seeking housing and community for family members with disabilities.

5. Describe Big Wave in one word.

Amazing. If you look at where we (the Big Wave families) started to where we are now and what we’re trying do – it’s an amazing feat.

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