Specially Gifted Foundation Q4 2023 Recap
Welcome to the final quarterly recap blog for 2023. As you will soon read, this last quarter could be summed up in one word – WOW! This blog series started at the beginning of 2023 as a way to provide our community with a closer look into the impact they are making when they choose to support our mission. One of the greatest parts about that is it has also been another meaningful way for Specially Gifted Foundation to reflect on what you are helping us build.
With each family welcomed, we receive emails expressing gratitude and joy for the work we do. Although these emails are addressed to SGF, they are directed towards each and every one of you who brings our mission to life and makes it all possible.
So, before we get too far into 2024, please join us as we highlight the events and initiatives in Q4 2023 that made a significant difference in the lives of families caring for children with disabilities.
Specially Gifted Foundation Events in Q4
In the last quarter of 2023, SGF hosted its second annual golf tournament at Indian Hills Country Club, sponsored by Amwins. It was a beautiful day for golf and friendly competitions as we welcomed 29 teams to tee off in support of our mission. The event featured various activities such as a putting contest, long drive and closest to pin competitions, 50/50 raffle, Wellers Bourbon raffle, awards ceremony, and a delicious buffet.
Thanks to the generous support of sponsors, donors, and participants, we raised an impressive $25,570.14! We are so excited for 2024’s golf tournament. If you are a golfer, or know a golfer, don’t miss out in 2024’s tournament! To learn more about this successful event, click here.
Specially Gifted Foundation was honored to be a part of The Sweet Cocoon’s Halloween Trick or Treat for special needs friends. As a recurring event, this inclusive and accessible event aims to create a fun-filled celebration for all individuals with disabilities and special needs, while still enjoying all the fun Halloween festivities.
While there was candy available, there were also sensory items to choose from to ensure everyone could fill their Halloween buckets with goodies. There were also several booths featuring adaptable games, a hayride, face painting, marshmallow roasting, and a Halloween costume prize!
We were delighted to connect with families from different communities, including some of our Gifted Families. Macey, SGF Co-Founder, also had the pleasure of meeting some of our newest SGF kiddos! To discover more about The Sweet Cocoon and our involvement with this annual event, check out our blog post here.
After a couple years of anticipation, we finally hosted our second Specially Gifted Gala in 2023 presented by HRlogics. Themed “A Night at the Casino,” the event brought the excitement of a casino to our guests. Showcasing captivating entertainment, including showgirls, casino games, and a Click 360 photo booth, the night was a memorable experience. Guests indulged in delectable hors d’oeuvres and enjoyed an open bar.
Although we had several guests “win big” (with funny money, of course), the real wins that night were the funds raised. Thanks to our generous sponsors, donors, and the support of our guests, we raised an astounding $45,850.22! Discover more details about this magical night and its impact on our mission here.
We are pleased to announce that our Specially Gifted Gala will become an annual event. The planning has already begun and we cannot wait to share more details with you over the next several months. For now, go ahead and mark your calendars for November 9, 2024, to be a part of 2024’s gala! You will also be able to see all event information as it is updated on our event page.
Giving Tuesday 2023
Following the gala, we jumped straight into Giving Tuesday. Building on the success of our 2022 campaign, Give Julian Wheels, we set a goal to gift TWO families for Giving Tuesday 2023. Despite having fewer donors than in 2022, we managed to raise more funds in 2023 and make Easton and Ashton’s giftings possible. With a goal of $3,892, we raised $2,467.76 to go towards their giftings with SGF covering the balance.
These gifting experiences provided necessary equipment to aid with mobility that were not covered by insurance. The list of equipment and therapeutic services often denied by insurance is extensive, and we are fortunate to have a community that steps in to help SGF fill in these gaps.
That wraps it up for SGF events this past quarter, but that’s not all we had going on…
Crushing Gifting Goals in Q4
As most of you know, our goal is to gift 10 families each year. We are overjoyed to share with you all that we have met that goal once again for 2023. A majority of these giftings were completed in the last quarter, making Q4 a very busy time for SGF. In our world, being busy means our mission is thriving and we could not be more grateful. Let’s meet the EIGHT new Gifted Families we welcomed in Q4 2023!
Lawson is a twin who faced numerous health challenges from birth, including heart issues, developmental delays, and multiple surgeries. Despite these challenges, Lawson and his family have shown strength, resilience, and love throughout their journey. He and his family were in need of new flooring, subflooring, and a new door due to health concerns with mold growth in the existing floor.
Behind his big blue eyes, Micah was carrying immense pain as a child. Early on, he and his family had to navigate a new life of respiratory distress and difficulty feedings. He experienced projectile vomiting after every meal and developmental delays. After many challenges, surgeries, and treatments, his projectile vomiting was cured, but he was diagnosed with autism, PANS, and OCD. Micah’s family received financial support towards mold remediation in their home, providing long-term benefits for the whole family.
Ashton is a 2 1/2-year-old child who requires speech therapy, feeding therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy due to developmental delays. He is delayed in walking and talking and relies on a feeding tube for nutrition. His family expressed hope of giving Ashton a greater sense of confidence and helping him make progress by gifting him an adaptive bike from Freedom Concepts. Thanks to our Giving Tuesday donors, he and his family were gifted, and he can start working towards strengthening his legs and boost his confidence in walking.
At only 10 months old, Easton was diagnosed with a terminal metabolic disease called MPS II or Hunter Syndrome. He has had multiple surgeries, therapies, and hospitalizations due to his condition. Through the difficulties he has faced, he remains a bright and happy child. Easton enjoys being outside and would benefit from a special needs swing, swing frame, and float. His family also expressed the need for a new feeding chair for him. We were overjoyed to grant these gift requests for him and help his family to help him improve mobility and accommodate his needs more efficiently in day-to-day tasks.
Ansley began experiencing developmental delays at around 4 months old. She was diagnosed with schizencephaly at 14 months, a rare birth defect that caused her to be missing 20% of her brain. With every passing day, Ansley’s determination and independence grows. Her family was in need of a bathroom remodel to accommodate Ansley’s needs, including widening the doorframe and installing a walk-in tub to make it easier and safer for Ansley to shower and help her caregivers lift her. Thanks to our supporters, SGF was able to grant her gift request so her parents could continue with the necessary renovations.
Zach and Kayla have three children, including their son Braylen who was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation and syrinx in 2022. His parents describe some of the challenges Braylen faces, including severe migraines, limb weakness, falling, speech delay, and motor skills delay. They also express the immense joy Braylen brings to their family. Given the unexpected medical bills that accompanied his new diagnosis, the first thing his family thought Braylen would find great pleasure in is helping to make this 2023’s Christmas extra special. It’s safe to say Braylen was at the top of SGF’s nice list for Christmas.
Born with severe health complications and spending 89 days in the NICU, Hayden’s arrival brought on a set of fears that her parents did not see coming. After being diagnosed with severe HIE, spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, as well as visual and hearing deficits. Her family’s gift request consisted of items to make lives more functional both at home and on the go, including a GoTo seat and Rifton New Stander. We are grateful for the chance to provide Hayden with these items that will improve her quality of life.
Leland is one of seven children in his household. Being diagnosed with autism, mixed receptive expressive language disorder, and developmental delays. Leland is nonverbal and struggles with communication. His mother describes him as a sweet, loving child that loves to play and climb on everything. One of his favorites is going to the park, but he is very quick and likes to elope if he sees an opportunity. We are so excited for the welcoming of warmer weather so Leland can enjoy his new playset, while providing some relief to his mom that he will be able to play and climb at home safely.
New Partnership to Further Benefit Specially Gifted Families
We are excited to announce our new partnership with CQA Care, a Georgia Pediatric Program (GAPP) provider that offers in-home healthcare services for children. Led by Carol Cook, CQA Care prioritizes the needs of their clients by providing quality care and a compassionate staff. They offer a range of services, including educational opportunities and assistance for parents and caregivers of children with special needs.
CQA Care handles all the necessary paperwork and works with Medicaid to ensure approval for the services needed. With no out-of-pocket expenses and a thorough screening process for their staff, CQA Care is committed to providing the best care possible for children under the age of 21. We encourage you to reach out to Carol and her team at CQA Care if you or someone you know could benefit from their services. To learn more, visit their website here.
Celebrating a Fabulous Q4, Thanks to YOU!
To sum it all up, the team at Specially Gifted Foundation has spent the first couple of weeks of 2024 celebrating all of the incredible moments, events, and relationships created in Q4. From our successful golf tournament to the inclusive Halloween Trick or Treat and the unforgettable Specially Gifted Gala, we were able to create lasting memories for our community all while fulfilling our mission.
We are immensely grateful to our sponsors, donors, volunteers, and supporters who made all of this possible. Thank you for being a part of the Specially Gifted Foundation community and for your unwavering support!
That’s a Wrap for Q4 2023!
What is Happening in Q1 2024?
- Understanding Congenital Heart Defects: Awareness, Care, and Resources February 13, 2024
- 10 Families Gifted in 2023 January 19, 2024
- Specially Gifted Foundation Q4 2023 Recap January 19, 2024
- Second Annual Specially Gifted Golf Tournament January 19, 2024
- Specially Gifted Gala 2023 Leaves a Lasting Impact December 11, 2023