Independent Place working to raise awareness and funds
By Anna McFall
During the holiday season and beginning of each year, many organizations see this time of year as a big fundraising time, especially for nonprofit organizations. With a big year-end tax exempt donation drive as usually a good fundraising route, organizations also have to find other ways to financially support their missions.
Trussville’s Independence Place, one of several nonprofits in the local community, will receive proceeds from the Chili Bowl Cook-Off being held in February.
Independence Place is a faith based nonprofit organization that was developed to help adult individuals with exceptional needs in ways that allow them to experience a life full of purpose and celebration.
“We serve individuals in the Trussville and surrounding areas by providing programs to increase their quality of life,” Program Director Carrie Jones said.
According to organization members, there has long been a need for a program in the eastern area of Birmingham to service the social and recreational needs for adults with special needs.
Jones said that when these young adults were in high school, they were surrounded by friends and interacted socially on a daily basis. However, when they leave the school system, they find themselves home and alone.
“Many have a difficult time connecting with friends, activities are often unstructured and unplanned; therefore it is difficult for them to remain socially active or to be involved in their community in a meaningful way,” she said.
The nonprofit office is housed inside Trussville First Baptist Church, where its mission is to help build a better life for adults with exceptional needs. Through the use of sports, games, music and dance activities, arts and crafts, educational and community outings, the nonprofit aims to help participants achieve a higher level of confidence through their involvement and success in community life.
The mission of Independence Place is being achieved every day the organization helps someone.
According to the nonprofit’s website, “Daily activities are fun, but the ultimate goal of any sport, craft, activity, or community outing is to increase the client’s social and cognitive skills, enabling them to attain their greatest level of independence within their families, assisted living setting, employment setting, and community and civic involvement.”
The organization’s main goals are to provide daily programs for exceptional needs participants and to provide hands-on training for teachers, social workers and others who are involved with exceptional citizens. The organization’s Board of Directors includes Program Director Carrie Jones, Parent Advocate Pam Elmore, President Lance Pate, Vice President Janis Braue and Treasurer Danny Garrett.