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Paint the Town with EFMP

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Exceptional Family Members Program held a painting event for its members at Paint the Town Feb. 7, 2015. The EFMP is a mandatory program designed to provide resources and assistance for a family member, regardless of age, who has medical, educational, developmental, intellectual or a mental health condition that requires on-going or specialized services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Exceptional Family Members Program held a painting event for its members at Paint the Town Feb. 7, 2015. The EFMP is a mandatory program designed to provide resources and assistance for a family member, regardless of age, who has medical, educational, developmental, intellectual or a mental health condition that requires on-going or specialized services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Rachel and Preston Egbert paint a canvas during the Exceptional Family Members Program event at Paint the Town Feb. 7, 2015. The EFMP is a mandatory program designed to provide resources and assistance for a family member, regardless of age, who has medical, educational, developmental, intellectual or a mental health condition that requires on-going or specialized services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Rachel and Preston Egbert paint a canvas during the Exceptional Family Members Program event at Paint the Town Feb. 7, 2015. The EFMP is a mandatory program designed to provide resources and assistance for a family member, regardless of age, who has medical, educational, developmental, intellectual or a mental health condition that requires on-going or specialized services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Hailey, daughter of Rachel Egbert, paints a canvas during the Exceptional Family Members Program event at Paint the Town Feb. 7, 2015. The EFMP is a mandatory program designed to provide resources and assistance for a family member, regardless of age, who has medical, educational, developmental, intellectual or a mental health condition that requires on-going or specialized services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Hailey, daughter of Rachel Egbert, paints a canvas during the Exceptional Family Members Program event at Paint the Town Feb. 7, 2015. The EFMP is a mandatory program designed to provide resources and assistance for a family member, regardless of age, who has medical, educational, developmental, intellectual or a mental health condition that requires on-going or specialized services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Members of the Exceptional Family Members Program got to create their own masterpieces Feb. 7 at Paint the Town. Funded by the 21st Space Wing, 19 children got to leave with their own painting.

"The painting experience was very inspiring and allowed the kids to express their artistic side," said Maj. Brain McMenamy, Headquarters Air Force Space Command. "We are grateful to the base for sponsoring this event and the kids had a wonderful time and are very proud of the masterpiece they get to display in our home."

The EFMP is a mandatory program designed to provide resources and assistance for a family member, regardless of age, who has medical, educational, developmental, intellectual or a mental health condition that requires on-going or specialized services.

"Paint The Town is an opportunity for the families to do something fun together," said Jackie Wickham, EFMP Family Support coordinator. "It also gives the kids a sense of confidence and accomplishment while doing something they can enjoy doing."

Being the Family Support coordinator, Wickham provides EFMP families with resources and assistance with relocation services, housing, physicians for their needs and anything else they might need to help with their daily lives. Wickham works with organizations and other resources in the local community and on base to provide to the families.

Through the events, the parents get the opportunity to get together with other parents and share resources and network. Even though they may have different diagnoses, the parents may share the same resources like schools and physicians. The sharing and networking doesn't stop there, not only do they share the resources with each other but sometimes they find great resources for the EFMP office's knowledge as well.

"What I like most about my job is making a difference in families' lives," said Wickham. "It's not anything big that I do, it's just the small things could improve quality of the families' everyday lives."

Depending on funding, there is a quarterly event for the families and also bi-monthly workshops. The topics of the workshops depend on the feedback from the families on what they are interested in learning about.

The next event is a free American Sign Language class from 10 a.m.-noon Mondays from March 30 through May 11.

For more information on the EFMP Family Support Services call 556-6141.
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