This summer, HR Strategies is doing something a little different in their way of giving back to the community. This year, our hearts were taken by the people over at Extra Special People, located in Watkinsville, GA.
ESP a non-profit organization that serves children and young adults with developmental disabilities and their families through their year-round thrive programs, family support, and community involvement. One of ESP’s programs is offering family support by creating opportunities for the whole family through family retreats, counseling, and holiday events. ESP’s largest program is their summer camp that runs over 8 weeks and offers day camp, overnight camp, and field trips. ESP runs weekend and after-school programs, family support programs, and events in addition to summer camp.
Martha Wyllie founded ESP in 1986, offering high-quality affordable programs for “people with different abilities.” Twenty-one children enrolled in that first summer camp. By the time Martha died in 2004, ESP was serving 130 campers with a budget of $150,000 and had acquired a small facility where children could be served on-site. The year following Martha’s death, ESP Summer Camp was in danger of being eliminated because of lack of funding. When a young camp counselor, Laura Whitaker, heard this, she pulled together the families and made a call to the community to save camp by raising $50,000 in just a matter of months. The founder’s family appointed Laura as the new Executive Director
in January of 2006.
Everyday, ESP continues to provide a safe place that individuals with disabilities can call their own. Through the magic that ESP creates kids, young adults, families, volunteers, donors and staff are changed!
We are having a blast raising money to help change the lives of children and their families and are so excited to be part of such an amazing organization. For more information, check out their website: http://extraspecialpeople.com/who-we-are/