Executive director Michelle Hill said she received an unexpected text message at the conclusion of the recent fundraiser, Challenge for Champions, where it raised more than $30,000.
“I was driving down the road and glanced at the beep coming from my phone. Scrolling across it were the words, ‘Our family has decided to give $100,000 to Empower Me.’ I about wrecked as happy tears came to my eyes. Once I got to my next stop, I reached out to them,” Hill said.
The family, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “We believe in what you are doing and want to help. Our family is aware of the trials of caring for a special needs family member. This community is blessed to have an organization like Empower Me that is ran by wonderful, caring people to help provide care to special needs individuals. The goals of Empower Me are very worthy of support, and we are glad to help achieve their vision.”
The funds will go toward the first phase of Empower Me’s project. The first phase will allow Empower Me to buy 26 acres of land on South Hartmann Drive, build two cottages to temporarily operate its programs and build a splash pad, adaptive playground and Garden of Dreams.
“To realize that we are touching hearts that we have not even asked to support our efforts is truly amazing. It makes you feel like you are on the right path and helps confirm there are other forces at work here to help these special children,” Hill said.
Empower Me Center has now raised more than $1.7 million to date through in-kind gifts and cash contributions.
Empower Me Center leaders also invited everyone in the community to the Day of Dreams on May 13, at Cumberland University’s Nokes-Lasater Field, featuring various activities from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The day kicks off with a 7 a.m. bicycle ride for Jere’s Ride participants, followed by a motorcycle ride, walk and live music. Free family fun games and inflatables will be offered. There will also be food trucks and a silent auction.
For more information about the Empower Me Center or the Day of Dreams, visit empowermecenter.com.