Civitan Child Welfare Auxiliary Gives Thousands For Children With Disabilities

Friday, July 11, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Considered one of the community's best-kept secrets, the Civitan Child Welfare Auxiliary has already given $18,678 in grant money to children with disabilities in the year 2014 alone.  

Last year, the organization created by the Chattanooga Civitan Club gave over $70,000. 

Tom Henley of Henley Medical said, "The very best carpenter cannot build a beautiful home without tools. What we do is provide tools for children with disabilities.


He said the Auxiliary provides families with money to get things most people would never think about needing. 

The Auxiliary paid for one child to get a prosthetic leg that could go in the water, so he could swim again like any other child. Other children have received money to get things like motorized wheel chairs or van lifts, equipment that can make their lives much easier.

Mr. Henley said, "We take our ability to clean ourselves and hygiene for granted. With so many of our children, it's very challenging." He showed the Civitan Club special chairs and equipment to help with this process, all funded by the Auxiliary. 

He said, "The way that it improves their lives is immeasurable."

On Friday afternoon, the Auxiliary presented a specially made tricycle to a young girl with Down Syndrome. Already faced with heart and lung problems from an early age, the girl had even more hurdles to overcome when her medications started causing weight gain. 

Her mother knew that this could be detrimental to her heart and lungs, so she reached out to the Auxiliary for help finding a way for her daughter to exercise.

Civitan Club member and member of the Auxiliary board Bill Dietzen said the organization wants to help even more children. 

At the end of each year, any money in the fund not used on specific children is donated to various children's organizations. However, he said, everyone would rather the money be given directly to families of special needs children.

Because of this, Mr. Dietzen and the rest of the board encouraged anyone with a child with disabilities needing help to contact the organization. 

He said, "We get a whole lot more pleasure out of doing it for kids."


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