FODAC BREAKS GROUND ON BUILDING RENOVATION

STONE MOUNTAIN, GA — Friends of Disabled Adults and Children, Too! (FODAC, www.fodac.org), a non-profit which provides mobility equipment for people with disabilities, broke ground Thursday, June 17 on an extensive renovation of its 40-year-old headquarters. Members of FODAC’s Board of Directors, DeKalb County officials, donors, volunteers and other dignitaries attended the ceremony at 3:30 p.m. at FODAC’s office, 4900 Lewis Road, Stone Mountain, Ga., 30083. The DeKalb-based non-profit is in the final stages of a $1.5 million capital campaign to finance the project. Fundraising will continue as FODAC increases its goals to secure an “extra wish” opportunity.

“The expansion will add lobby space and an atrium for unloading and reloading our clients at the front entrance,” said Chris Brand, executive director of FODAC. “When it’s completed, we’ll have enhanced waiting areas, a children’s matching room, more efficient warehouse space and a larger thrift store. DeKalb County kicked-off the fund-raising by helping us receive stimulus money totaling $338,000 in ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds and an additional $200,000 in CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds. Other major donors included The Mary Allen Lindsey Branan Foundation, The Holly Lane Foundation, Price Gilbert Foundation, The Ida Ryan Charitable Foundation, The Stent Family Foundation, the Tull Charitable Foundation, the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and several anonymous donors,” he said.

Along with the new internal space, the project will include several “green” initiatives including retrofitting every overhead light in the building and replacing old windows for greater energy efficiency. The renovated space was designed by Beta Design of Tucker, Ga. and will be built by Merit Construction Company of Doraville, Ga. The construction is scheduled to be completed in spring of 2011.

About Friends of Disabled Adults and Children

The organization was started by volunteers who began refurbishing and giving away wheelchairs to needy Atlantans. With the financial support of Mount Carmel Christian Church, Friends of Disabled Adults was officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 1986. Since then, the organization has grown to include a staff of 24 and an average of 35 volunteers per week, and an annual budget of over $1 million. Chris Brand serves as Executive Director.

The organization’s name was changed to Friends of Disabled Adults and Children in 2002 to reflect the broad scope of people served. FODAC provides home mobility and daily living equipment to people of any age or any disability, temporary or permanent, for medically necessary and medically helpful reasons. These items are provided for a suggested donation. Clients do not have to qualify financially but the organization’s waiting lists prioritizes medically necessary and low income individuals.

Although the organization is based in metro Atlanta, FODAC is the equipment provider for the Southeastern Assistive Technology Access and ReUse Network (STAR) which serves individuals with disabilities throughout the Southeast.

To date, FODAC has provided clients with over $60 million in medical equipment including over 20,000 wheelchairs. The organization is supported through grants and corporate and private donations. Recently FODAC was recognized by the Pass it On Center with the Visionary Award and the Friend of the Earth Award. FODAC is headquartered at 4900 Lewis Road, Stone Mountain, Ga., 30083. For more information, visit www.fodac.org.

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He loves to go to the park and to the mall and with his new walker from FODAC he can walk around every place he goes.

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