An estimated crowd of 450-supporters showed up for the Special Kids “FriendRaiser” banquet on Thursday night. The dinner (provided by Demos’) marked the 15-year anniversary for the non-profit. Executive Director Chris Truelove gave some exciting news during the event…
The Christy Houston foundation’s grant will provide funding for the building project on 2 acres of property located on the corner of East Main Street and Arnette Street in Murfreesboro. The organization plans to build a 6,000 square foot building that will house its rehabilitation services and allow the nonprofit to refit its existing building to expand its pediatric prescribed skilled nursing program. Special Kids plans to break ground this fall and have the project completed in the spring of 2014.
"We recognize that there are many worthwhile organizations in our community for the Christy Houston Foundation to support," said Chris Truelove, executive director of Special Kids. "It is humbling that they would choose to fund us once again, but it is also a tremendous blessing that we have the opportunity to serve even more children in middle Tennessee."
The Christy Houston Foundation was a key player in helping Special Kids to open its doors debt free in September of 1998 through a $110,000 grant. Co-founders of Special Kids, Dick Kleinau and his daughter Carrie Goodwin, both had a vision to serve Jesus Christ by meeting the needs of children with special needs. Through their servant hearts, the organization has served over 2,500 children since that time, with an average of 400 children per year.
"This expansion will allow our rehab and skilled nursing services to double the amount of children we currently serve," said Truelove. "This is a tremendous leap in meeting the goal of our vision that we will glorify Jesus Christ and meet the needs of everyone we touch-one child, one family, one community at a time. In our growing community, it has been a constant concern that with our limited space, we were not truly able to meet the needs of our community. Now with the help of the Christy Houston Foundation, we have hope that we will meet the growing need in a much more impactful way."
More on the Thursday Night Event:
The guest speaker was Lisa Whelchel who played Blair on the TV Show the Facts of Life. Whelchel said that when she was 19, she told her mother and business manager that she wanted to donate all of her money to organizations that help children in need. They later talked her out of donating all of her money that she earned while starring in the Facts of Life. Whelchel said that several years later she lost nearly all of the money and has since regretted her decision.
She suggested that it makes sense to follow what God inspires you to do, even if it does not make complete sense at the time. When the actress finished speaking to the audience, it was learned that after she toured Special Kids earlier in the day, she returned the money they had previously paid her to speak on Thursday evening.
To learn more about Special Kids, visit SpecialKidsTN.com.
Photo below: Lisa Whelchel from Facts of Life