When John and Phyllis Groot's niece, Liz Wolf was born with Spina Bifida many years ago, times were very different. There were few organizations serving individuals with disabilities and far fewer organizations that respected the God-given value of these precious individuals. Perhaps that's why John and Phyllis Groot were so passionate about Elim's ministry and why they chose to leave a legacy through a bequest to Elim.
The Groot's granddaughter explains, "Given the time that Liz was born, if she hadn't gone to Elim, she may not have had an opportunity to go to school. She definitely wouldn't have had a job like the one provided to her. Elim provided Liz with a social outlet, education, and spiritual development. Elim provided important support for her parents. Elim was all-encompassing in giving her a better quality of life."
The Groots lived in close proximity to Elim's campus and always stayed informed in what was going on in the ministry. They not only loved Liz and wanted to support her family but they always had a heart for children and adults with disabilities. When the Groots passed away and their family learned of their desire to bless Elim through their will, they enthusiastically supported the decision as it was a true reflect of the Groot's desire to bless others.
Recently, the family was presented with a long list – detailing all of the technology, staffing, and equipment that John and Phyllis's gift would provide for the children at Elim. Included in that list are iPads for Elim's autism program, presentation equipment to train Elim's staff, fitness programming and equipment, furniture for a mock-apartment, acoustical building modifications to allow for better learning, and even the hiring of a speech assistant to provide technology training for Elim's staff. Without the Groot's legacy gift, these items could not have been purchased. But, what a blessing they will be to Elim's children and adults!
Anna Quist, Elim's recreational therapist, is so excited to see how the Groot's gift will impact Elim's ministry! She explains, "In the autism program, there's a huge need for technology like iPads. It's so motivating to our kids and helps them communicate. As the population of kids with autism ages, this gift will allow our students to have more age-appropriate equipment and programming available so that they can mirror the lifestyle of their typical peers. The fitness equipment and the furniture for the apartment will be used to teach Elim's kids valuable life-skills that they can use after they graduate from Elim and transition into the community."
Would you like to legacy like the Groot family? Contact Bob Marsh at (708) 293-6513 for more information on life-changing ways you can bless the children and adults at Elim!