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“Brighter Journeys - Going the Extra Mile”

By Nick Godfrey

Support and love are just a few tangibles that describe a non-profit organization like Brighter Journeys. Being able to help disabled children and their families is a simple act that Brighter Journeys takes tremendous pride in. The world we all take on every day already brings on hardships. To Brighter Journeys, this world is not made for families that have a child with special needs.

Lisa Platko Urbanski and Bernice Simonds Sando, founders of the organization, have faced the challenges of raising their children and fully understand the battle facing other families in our area. They are not specific to certain disabilities and are always willing to support any disability that a child is dealing with. For both Urbanski and Sando, they became inspired to give back to the community and combat this obstacle.

Ever since Brighter Journeys began, the non-profit organization has raised over $100,000 that has provided a ton of compassion and support to a wide variety of organizations. Fundraising has been the key source to this funding, as members of the community of Wilkes-Barre have been fantastic in supporting this cause.

Urbanski reflects on her journey in her life on her website at by simply stating how difficult it was in her life when her son became diagnosed with partial trisomy16 and autism.

“I was lost and overwhelmed, I didn’t know the next step,” said Urbanski.

Resources in the local area seem to be endless, as there are organizations who are heavily involved in Brighter Journeys. These organizations provide their services in the special needs community. Many of them participate in the Brighter Journeys’ Special Needs Expo that is held at the Mohegan Sun Arena in the fall. This particular exposition is a wonderful day to come and visit with these organizations one-on-one.​ Some organizations that volunteer their generous time are New Story and the Epilepsy Foundation. Brighter Journeys’ biggest support comes from their sponsor, Salisbury Behavioral Health, Inc.

For more information or to donate to Brighter Journeys, visit, or call (570) 814-6606. Stop by for a visit located at 150 Mundy Street Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.

Like them on Facebook to stay updated on future announcements and events!

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