While Kars4Kids mainly funds the programs of Oorah, our small grant program gives us a way to lend support to many other worthy endeavors that focus on helping children. We recently wrote about the organizations we’ve partnered with to help foster children and their families. Today we’d like to tell you about three more remarkable organizations to which we’ve awarded small grants, organizations that are giving a leg up to children struggling with disabilities or illness.
Brad Cohen’s eponymous nonprofit, the Brad Cohen Tourette Syndrome Foundation, advocates for the professional and personal success of those with Tourette Syndrome (TS), which causes motor and verbal tics. Brad wanted to be a teacher. Everyone thought he was crazy, because his tics were both visible and audible in a big way. But Brad didn’t listen. Not only did he succeed, he became Teacher of the Year, and a movie was made about him, Front of the Class.
Today, Cohen holds a yearly conference for children with TS and their parents where there are all sorts of empowering workshops. Our small grant of $2000 helped underwrite one such conference, in 2015. We were also proud to interview one of Brad Cohen’s protégés, Tommy Molter, who was at the time, Tourette Syndrome Association Youth Ambassador for the State of Georgia. Tommy and his mother Kerri told our readers all about the challenges of TS. We think it’s important for people to know about Tourette Syndrome and we were also thrilled to help Brad and his foundation help children struggling with this disorder.
It’s easy to live in a bubble until it happens to you. We think our schools are doing a decent job. Until we find out about children who are definitely not getting what they need within the public school system. Then we are happy to learn about organizations such as LDA St. Louis, which help parents understand the rights of their children with learning difficulties. Because if you don’t know your rights in the first place, how can you advocate for your child?
LDA St. Louis exists for the 3-5 children in every St. Louis classroom struggling with a learning disability. In one year alone (2013), the organization served more than 27,500 children, awarding them low and no-cost services to the tune of over $300,000. Kars4Kids gave LDA St. Louis a small grant because they deserve it for evening out the playing field for kids who need help, but whose parents haven’t got the wherewithal or knowledge to make that happen.
You never know what can make a difference in a person’s life. For teenage athlete Leanne Joyce, it was a $10 iTunes gift card. Leanne was a competitive athlete whose congenital heart condition forced her to drop out of the sports arena. Looking for a way to move forward in a positive direction, the resourceful teen founded Positive Impact for Kids, which donates gifts to teens in hospital, an underserved community.
Leanne could have let depression take her over when she discovered there were to be no more competitive sports. Instead, she took a negative and turned it into a positive, helping others in a similar position, giving instead of giving in. Lots of people donate Barbie dolls and toys for young children in hospitals, but no one is helping sick teens. That is, no one was helping teens until Ms. Joyce came along. Leanne raised a lot of money for her project and Kars4Kids was happy to give her a bit more. We like her attitude!