Effingham County Navigator Team, Inc. Interview in Savannah, GA
South Shore Roofing, a local roofing contractor from Savannah, Georgia, lately has been working on promoting local non-profit and non-governmental organizations. We’d like to help them to get more public attention because of their contribution to the society which is very significant and needful on a regular basis.
In this interview, we present you the ECNT, Inc., a non-profit organization with the goal to provide a better life quality to individuals with special needs through community awareness, support, resources, training & recreation. Listed activities are very demanding, but nothing can’t replace the feeling you get while looking at the children’s happy faces and making their lives better and warmer.
To begin with, we would like you to briefly tell us about your organization
ECNT, Inc is a non-profit that was founded in 2010. It provides individuals with special needs a better quality of life through community awareness, support, resources, training & recreation.
1. What do you do exactly?
And what was the reason that encouraged you to start this organization?
I, Angela Jackson, Vice President, started in 2010 after meeting President & Founder Pauline Shaw. I shared her passion and understood that most of our kids are left out when it came to sports. We offer adaptive, non competitive recreational sports. With the new “Miracle Field” , which is a state of the art, all special needs access baseball field. Sponsored by the Josh Reddick Foundation. We’re able to provide a safe, structured setting for participants with special needs, and their siblings, to socialize at no cost to them. With sponsorships like this and great community support from the Effingham County Recreational Department, they are able to participate in activities that they otherwise would not feel comfortable, and to ease some financial burden.
When a parent receives a diagnose, they are left on their own. We offer support and resources for parents to help navigate the overwhelming maze of information.
2. What motivates you?
Describe your mission passion
Helping others. If you can make someone’s life easier by sharing knowledge leading a hand, or being that listening ear on a bad day, its makes your day better!
I want to make our children’s lives better. Our children have a wide range of disabilities. The majority of which are on the Autism Spectrum. With the depression rate of adolescents with Autism at 38%, our mission is to offer socialization through recreation and support.
They form new and lasting friendships, strengthen family bonds and learn the importance of sportsmanship. Seeing these children and the parents make friendships outside of the group setting, makes all the hard work worth it!
3. Tell us about your goals
Our big goal is to have our own center where the kids can meet up and have socials on a regular basis. We can hold birthday parties for the kids because birthday parties are often over stimulating in public settings. This causes parents and kids to feel lonely and isolated.
4. What was the hardest/toughest moment you had to deal with?
Obstacles you faced when dealing with bureaucracy, permits, funding, etc. Something you would like to point out to anyone who might be starting their own organization.
Our biggest obstacle is funding. The larger “well known” groups get all the funding because of course, they are well known. It’s easier to give a dollar to a group you’ve “heard” of before. But, there are a lot of grass roots groups out there, like us, that are making a difference in your community and those dollars are staying local and helping, now! Not later!
5. What was the most fulfilling moment that happened to you?
For many children, ECNT provides them with the opportunity for their first and sometimes only opportunity to earn a trophy! To see their faces when they receive those trophies and they get to place them next to their siblings trophies?! That is just heartwarming. We are all out there together too. Their siblings get to participate. Their brothers and sister do not see their diagnoses, they see them, like we see them, a child that loves the game. There’s no better gift than to see these kids get on the field or the court and be able to forget about doctors, therapies, procedure, medicines, and just be free! Free to enjoy a game with their peers.
6. What separates you from the rest? Why you?
We are an inclusive special needs support group and we include siblings. No one is left sitting on the sidelines, unless they CHOOSE to! We have a recreational program that runs all year. We have field trips, family fun days, parent’s night outs, and much more.
7. Do you have any upcoming events in the forthcoming months?
The Groundbreaking will be held Nov 18th at 2 p.m. at the new Effingham County Recreational Department.
We have our annual Christmas Party coming up in December 9th.
8. What is it that you love most about what you do?
Meeting the kids. Watching them grow. They will teach you more about life, understand, patients, and how to slow down and enjoy the world. For that, I am thankful.
9. What is the biggest challenge you’re faced with today?
Our biggest challenges are funding and volunteers. However, we have always been very blessed and being able to rise above any challenges that we face.
10. Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks to South Shore Roofing for helping spread the word of our organization.
It takes a community working together to make a better world.
Contact: How can people reach out to you?
Your organization’s name, phone, address, e-mail and links to your website and social media
Effingham County Navigator Team, Inc.
PO Box 185 Rincon, GA 31326