August 28, 2019

Today, we visit Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) and talk with organization's President, Chris Brand.  Later in the show, Bruce Gale brings us an interview with this week's Kid Heroes, Hannah and Hailey Hager.

Children with disabilities are one of the most marginalized groups of children.  They are routinely excluded from most opportunities.  Worldwide, there are an estimated 93 million children with disabilities, but many countries don’t collect reliable disability data.  Depending on the source, this estimate ranges between 93 million up to 150 million.  

To add to the problem, children with disabilities are often rendered invisible in institutions or have their existence denied by their families.

Developmental disabilities occur among all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.  According to the CDC, about one in six children in the U.S. have one or more developmental disabilities or other developmental delays.  That’s roughly 15% of children aged 3 -17. 

Too often, disabled children are judged by what they lack instead of what they have to offer.

For children with physical disabilities, mobility gives them a sense of freedom.  Without mobility, physically disabled children find many activities challenging.  Imagine as a child not being able to play in the park. 

And that brings us to today's highlighted nonprofit, Friends of Disabled Adults and Children...

Friends of Disabled Adults & Children was begun by volunteers who began refurbishing and giving away wheelchairs to needy Atlantans.  Since then, the organization has grown and evolved to include free or low-cost wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment, vehicle and home adaptations, assistive technology and more. They are currently housed in a 64,800 square foot building in Stone Mountain, Georgia.  The organization has helped people ranging in age from 18 months to 105 years of age. @fodac

To date, FODAC has provided over 35,000 wheelchairs, strollers, walkers and other medical equipment to help the disabled.  These items are provided at little or no cost to the recipients and their families.

Bev had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Chris Brand, President.

Sisters Hailey and Hannah Hager are helping their classmates pay for lunch one glass of lemonade at a time.

After Hailey and Hannah Hager learned that some students owe $3,100 in lunch debt at Hannah’s school, Southwood Elementary, they decided to help them pay it off using their lemonade stand. Through donations and a Facebook fundraiser, he girls were able to pay off the $3,100 debt by the end of the school year in May.  They are now on an ambitious mission to help students all over Davidson County School District, North Carolina, to pay off their $41,000 cafeteria lunch debt.

The girls have used their lemonade stand, which they call Hailey and Hannah’s Helping Hands, to raise money before.  Hailey, 14, and Hannah, 11, have raised money for the Hospice organization that helped their PawPaw before he passed. After he passed, they wanted to find other ways to help people in their community.  Their efforts then turned to making "Helping Homeless Kits" for people experiencing homelessness. 

Bruce Gale brings us this week’s interview with Hailey and Hannah Hager.

Hannah and Hailey
Hannah and Hailey