Early Childhood Education Provider Awards $50,000 to Support Pediatric DME Program
Early childhood education provider Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies has announced Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) as its 2017 “Charity of Choice” and awarded the non-profit a $50,000 grant in support of its mission to help those with injuries and disabilities of all ages regain their mobility, independence and quality of life. FODAC plans to dedicate the funds to its pediatric equipment program. Pat and Janice Vinson, the founders of Kids ‘R’ Us, announced the award in December.
“FODAC has a long history of connecting those with physical disabilities with their communities, especially when it comes to helping disabled children become more independent,” said Darlene Vinson Barnwell, chief creative officer for Kids ‘R’ Kids. “By providing vital equipment, such as power chairs, walkers or gait trainers, at little or no charge to the parents or caregivers, FODAC helps these kids maximize their potential, making it possible for them to attend school or play outdoors – just connect with the world around them. We are proud to support this wonderful organization and its mission.”
FODAC supplies durable medical equipment (DME) to all ages, but its pediatric patients present a special challenge. Children with mobility impairments need suitably sized wheelchairs, power chairs and walkers, but also specialized equipment such as rollers and gait trainers to aid in the development of motor function and balance. Standers and adaptive tricycles provide much-needed freedom of mobility; patient lifts and bath supports assist caregivers in daily tasks. These pediatric mobility units come in a variety of sizes, and need to be upgraded as the child grows.
“Meeting the needs of a mobility-impaired child can seem overwhelming to the parent or caregiver of that child,” stated Chris Brand, president and CEO of FODAC. “The quantity and cost is compounded by having to constantly upgrade that equipment as the child grows and needs change. We are grateful to Pat and Janice Vinson for not only this grant but all the financial support they have provided over the years that has supported our pediatric DME program and helped these children engage more fully in home, school and community life.”
Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) helps people with injuries and disabilities of all ages regain their mobility, independence and quality of life. The non-profit organization provides more than $10 million annually in refurbished durable medical equipment (DME) and home modifications in Georgia and across the United States, all at little or no cost to the recipients. A pioneer in re-use, FODAC keeps 350 tons of materials out of landfills each year by refurbishing and reissuing over 500 DME items every month, and is recognized nationally for best practices. In 2014, FODAC was named to Charities Under 5% Overhead, an organization of charities that have operating overhead of five percent or less.
In 2013, Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) appointed FODAC to serve as the statewide distributor of DME and assistive technology in the event of a large population-affecting emergency situation. In this role, FODAC will warehouse the DME and other equipment, then, working with GEMA, the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the American Red Cross (ARC) of Georgia, will coordinate the delivery and distribution to emergency shelters around the state.
About Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies
Headquartered in the North Atlanta suburb of Duluth, Georgia, Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies© provide a secure, nurturing and educational environment for children (ages 6 weeks – 12 years) to bloom into responsible, considerate and contributing members of society. With nearly 160 locations in 14 states, Kids ‘R’ Kids International© is a family-owned and operated organization that ranks in the top 10 nationwide for franchised early childhood education centers (www.kidsrkids.com).