Imagine the first time a sibling hears about a gathering – perhaps a sibling support conference or Sibshop – and decides to attend.

And there, something shifts.

Maybe he realizes that he doesn’t have to go it alone anymore, because there are people who can help. He’s made his first friend who actually understands what it’s like to be an older brother to a young man with special needs. He can’t quite believe it. It’s too good to be true … and too good not to be true.

Maybe she sees that she doesn’t have to have all the answers. She’s been carrying tension around, but finally, her shoulders fall, and her face relaxes into a smile. She’s been tossing and turning, worrying about what the future holds. But tonight? Tonight, she shared her concerns. She felt heard. Reassured. Tonight, she’ll sleep well.

Their mothers and fathers are breathing sighs of relief. Finally, their typically-developing children have a sense of community and solidarity. It’s something that they’ve hardly dared to hope for, and now, it’s real.

Their siblings – individuals with special needs – sense something new in their sister’s hug, their brother’s smile. Now, they have brothers and sisters better equipped to love and advocate for them.

And to think that all this arises from something simple: siblings gathering, learning from one another. It all starts with the choice to come together.


At S.I.B.S., we champion siblings of people with disabilities in Illinois, offering compassionate solidarity and relevant resources in order to enhance the quality of life for siblings and families alike. We’re the Illinois chapter of the national Sibling Leadership Network (SLN), and as such, we’re focused on supporting siblings and families in our state.

To put that in perspective, here’s a question: what would you do if you were a small non-profit, run solely by volunteers, with a mission to support the brothers and sisters of the 1,331,800+ individuals* in Illinois with a disability?

We ask because that’s our work, our mission. We’re here to serve a community that – despite its growing numbers – has been invisible for far too long.

What do we do?

Everything in our power. Everything we possibly can do.

And we hope you’ll join us.

Since we don’t receive government funding, we depend on gifts like yours to keep doing our work. Your generous gifts contribute to sibling gatherings, events, education, and advocacy.

Make your secure donation via PayPal now!

We are an Illinois-registered non-profit in good standing, and all donations are tax-deductible.

Donations in the form of checks can be sent to:

S.I.B.S., 3800 N Lake Shore Drive #3E, Chicago, IL 60613

Questions about a possible donation or bequest? Contact our treasurer, Nora Fox Handler, at


Support S.I.B.S. when you search the web or shop online with goodsearch. Choose our cause (“Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters – SIBS”) and help us support sibs. It’s easy, it’s free, and turns simple everyday actions into a way to make the world a better place.

Goodsearch: You Search...We Give!

*2011 Disability Status Report – Illinois, Cornell University, accessed via