Decades of Helping Adults and Children with Disabilities
Ed and Annie Butchart (who passed away in 2004), started a service in their garage where they would refurbish and repair wheelchairs and give them away to those who couldn’t afford them, such as those who had little or no insurance. Impressed by the work they were doing, Jack Ballard, then senior minister of Mount Carmel Christian Church, offered to provide financial support. In 1986, the Butcharts formally incorporated Friends of Disabled Adults (FODA) as a stand-alone Georgia non-profit entity. FODA was ruled a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on November 10, 1987 by the IRS.
On June 1, 1997, FODA became FODAC (Friends of Disabled Adults and Children). Our new name reflected our desire to reach out to all people with disabilities, regardless of age. Since then, the organization has helped people ranging in age from 18 months to 105 years of age. The leadership also changed in 2001 from the Founders to the current President, Chris Brand, who helped guide FODAC through tremendous growth and expansion of services and scope.
FODAC is currently housed in a 64,800 square foot building in Stone Mountain, Georgia with a full-time staff of 14 and part-time staff of 9, and an annual budget of over $1 million. To date, FODAC has provided over 29,000 wheelchairs and other equipment to help the disabled. The retail value of all medical equipment that has been given away now totals over $70 million.
Such growth would not have been possible without the extraordinary support of members of the corporate and philanthropic community, as well as many faithful individual supporters. Tucker Concrete (now Vulcan Materials) hosted an annual golf tournament which raised over $350,000 before selling their business.. The late John Conant, the Harland Foundation, and the Jewish Federation have been among the many foundations that have provided much needed financial support to FODAC during critical growth periods.
Such support has allowed FODAC to serve people in new and innovative ways including programs that provide home and vehicle modifications, and now disaster relief equipment. These programs enable FODAC to make a major impact on the quality of life for people with disabilities.
I want to thank you for helping us this week. It was a huge blessing to have the perfect chair in time for the child’s arrival. The case manager was able to greet her at the airport with it. She is eight years old and she has never had a wheel chair before. I really appreciate the diligence and kindness of your staff.