Nonprofit to assist with local special needs community

Published 9:51 am Thursday, August 31, 2017

No one should have any disadvantages in life.

Looking at moving forward with that motto, organizers with Kids Like Us were excited to learn this week that they’re nonprofit organization status had been accepted by the state.

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With the wheels in motion, Kids Like Us is in the process of establishing a free community center in Elizabethton, offering a variety of services to all individuals with disabilities.

Lisa Lyons, founder of the organization, told the Elizabethton Star this week that the location of the community center would be announced in the coming days pending final approval of lease agreements. The tentatively location is expected to be near Elizabethton High School.

“We are going to try to have the center open and have an open house in November,” Lyons said. Kids Like Us is hoping to have the center ready November 11.

But with any new endeavor, work is needed. As pieces fall into place, Kids Like Us is currently hosting a bevy of fundraising initiatives to help with the center renovations.

From August 31 to September 30, 3 Minute Car Wash of Elizabethton will be donating 30 percent of proceeds from car washes back to the center if customers use the 3410 promotional code. Lyons added that another project, October 1 to November 30, would include a “Dime Drive” where a small bottle would be available for pickup or delivery. The bottle would then be filled with dimes and the goal of the project would be to utilize 100 bottle.

Individuals can also visit to make a monetary contribution to the facility. Kids Like Us is currently trying to raise $5,000 to address new flooring, paint supplies and other minor repairs in the facility. Updates on the project can be followed by visiting the Kids Like Us Community Center Facebook page online.

Lyons added excitement has grown since the group’s inception.

The Board of Kids Like Us includes Tina Street, Forest Holt, Jessica Holt, Tammy Buchanan and Ray Lyons.

“We’re excited about getting the word out,” Lyons said. “It was exciting to learn we received our nonprofit status this week. Now we can get to work.”

A Kids Like Us Community Center is expected to offer a treasure trove of activities, including a sensory room, a library, a teaching kitchen, a parent resource room, art room, music room and learning programs for after school and the summer.

Lyons added that the goal is to serve individuals in Elizabethton, Carter County and the surrounding communities.