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2/23/2013 10:32:00 AM
Parents provided what they lacked
Photo courtesy of Providence Child Center
Jean Baton Swindells
Photo courtesy of Providence Child Center
Jean Baton Swindells

When Jean Baton Swindells was born with Down syndrome in 1957, her parents, Ann and Bill Swindells Jr., had few places to turn for information, resources or support. After Jean died at 33, the Swindells family provided the financial support to build the Jean Baton Swindells Resource Center. Established at Providence Child Center in 1994, it gives families the information the Swindells did not have when Jean was growing up.

For their dedication to helping others, the Heart of Gold Award will be presented to the Swindells family in memory of Jean at Providence Child Center’s 2013 Heart of Gold ceremony and dinner, set for Thursday, Feb. 21, at Pure Space, 1315 N.W. Overton St. in Portland.

“Jean inspired her parents, Ann and Bill, to provide the resources necessary for families all across Oregon to help their special needs children reach their fullest potential,” says Karen Santangelo, Providence Child Center Foundation president. “It’s only through community support that this important program is able to touch 12,000 families annually.”

Contributions from the Swindells family to Providence Child Center over the years have connected thousands of families, educators, providers and caregivers throughout Oregon with resources at little or no cost. The center has helped children regardless of age, language or diagnosis. Proceeds from the 2013 Heart of Gold event will support the ongoing work of Swindells Resource Center and provide support and resources for future generations of children and their families.

The Swindells Center at Providence Child Center provides direct support and links to resources for families of children with disabilities in Oregon, including books, parenting groups and classes, speaker events and other materials. Services are offered at the main Portland location of the Swindells Center, as well as satellite sites in Hood River and Medford.

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