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A Year at Your Sunshine! (2017 Overview)

2017 was a successful and positive year here at Your Sunshine. Through all of our events and activities this year, our goal has stayed the same – to enrich the lives of children and youth with special needs.

Your Sunshine, based in Oakton, Virginia, is a nonprofit organization offering programs aimed at instructing special needs individuals in order to empower them and unlock their unique skills and potential.

This summer, Your Sunshine hosted multiple events and activities.

To kick off the summer season, we hosted a strawberry picking day with a pot luck meal. We came together and car pooled to Hollins Farm where we picked strawberries and had a picnic.

In June of 2017, we held our big talent show event. Hidden Talents Shine up was a talent show put on by individuals with special needs. There were 18 performers and over 200 people that came to support the show. All of the participants impressed the audience with their amazing performances and proved that everyone has a talent inside. There were piano players, singers, and dancers who all worked hard
while also having fun and feeling comfortable in their skin.

Our next adventure this summer was a trip to the Shenandoah Waterfall. We came together and hiked to the waterfall at Shenandoah National Park. At the top of the mountain, we learned breathing techniques to find our inner peace. It was a great day to take memorable pictures, make new friends, and relax/meditate.

In July, Your Sunshine hosted a “zoofari adventure.” A group of us headed to Roer’s Zoofari on July 1 st where we got to pet the animals, make new friends, and celebrate all June birthdays with pizza. It was amazing to see the smiles and joy on the children’s faces that joined.

Throughout the summer, Your Sunshine offered multiple classes and activities – hula hoop anddancing, soap making, necklace making, planting, drumming, lavender picking, and more!

This fall, Your Sunshine gained a new program called “Adapted Sunshine Yoga andMindfulness.” The sessions were adapted for students with special needs and were taught by Your Sunshine’s president and co-founder, Anastasia Martynova. As a certified yoga instructor, Martynova is committed to guiding students through experiencing the deep meaning behind yoga practices. The adapted yoga and mindfulness sessions includes a sequence of yoga poses (all of which modifications are offered for), breathing techniques, color therapy, self-massage, positive self-talk therapy, and mindful relaxation techniques. The aim of these techniques is for all students to achieve the benefits, such as mind-body alignment and improved stamina and balance, that these practices cultivate.

2017 was a busy but successful year for Your Sunshine. As we are growing and evolving, we look forward to the new year to show the community all of the other activities and gifts we have to offer. Thanks to everyone who joined us to make this year as special as it was!


Jewelry-making Workshop

Last Saturday, Your Sunshine held a jewelry making workshop for individuals of all ages. Everyone who joined us had the chance to relax, eat pizza, make new friends, work on their hand eye coordination, and create some beautiful pieces of jewelry.

At the workshop, there were crystals and natural stone beads provided to create unique pieces of jewelry. It was amazing to see everyone having fun while focusing on the pieces they were making. We hope everyone had a great time at our workshop!


It’s Universal Children’s Day!

Today (November 20) is Universal Children’s Day, a day on which children’s rights, welfare, and empowerment are highlighted as internationally important issues.

All children deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and love.  This is why Your Sunshine makes it our mission to empower all children and help them realize their immense worth and potential.  Kids should all get a chance to be shown that they have gifts and abilities to be unlocked, regardless of any disability or special needs they may have.

Our social, emotional, physical, and recreational programs and activities all help contribute positively to the well-being and development of youth and adolescents. 

We seek to not only make the world a better, more positive place for the children we serve, we hope to provide them with the means to grow and in turn bring their own positivity to the world.

Remember today to think of all children and our responsibility to nurture and guide them.


Hidden Talent Shine Up 2018

Hidden Talent Shine Up 2018 – is a talent show put on by individuals with special needs. Last year, there were 18 performers and over 200 people that came to support the show. All of the participants impressed the audience with their amazing performances and proved that everyone has a talent inside. Your Sunshine’s goal of the talent show is to encourage kids, teens and adults with special needs to make meaningful friendships while networking and developing social skills. We want the talent show to be a positive and memorable experience by making individuals with special needs feel comfortable to be a part of the community and believe in themselves. Our main goal is to make everyone participating in the talent show feel worthy, loved, supported and empowered.
Date & Time: May 12, 2018   3-8pm
Location: American Legion #177 Banquet Hall
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Anastasia Martynova On Working With Kids Through Your Sunshine

“When I look at the kids, I see kids: their smile, innocence, and pure heart. I don’t focus on a disability or label; instead I see the precious and wonderful blessing of their lives. I admire their beauty, their joy, and their happiness for every moment.

When I was growing up as a child with special needs, I learned to cry tears of joy for all of life’s lessons and to smile with serenity during the tough times in my life. I realized that challenges make me stronger and guide me on my path and life purpose. I am grateful for the different journey life prepared for me. No diagnosis or label can define the depth of pure heart or gifts and talents.

Life is like a storm full of experiences, emotions, and feelings. My hope and belief is so strong; everything is possible with the power of determination and unconditional love. Everything starts with love. Love is infinite. It is a nurturing and healing miracle by itself. My deepest gratitude goes to all kids and teens who teach us what life is about. Your Sunshine honors and supports everyone for who they are.”