NOEL DEAL, LEAD INVESTOR RELATIONS SPECIALIST, SPECIAL KIDS

Q. You are the Lead Investor Relations Specialist at Special Kids; please tell us about your role.
A. The main purpose of my role is to develop relationships with investors who want to be involved with Special Kids. I really enjoy getting to know our investors and always get excited when I am able to connect them with the part of our mission that means the most to them.

Q. When and why was the Double Challenge started?
A. The Double Challenge, previously called the “November Campaign,” was started in 2014 as a way to bring our investors together to further the mission of Special Kids.

Q. The Challenge raised $143,000 last year! You feel the Lord has told you that number can be doubled this year to $286,000. Please share with us about this and how the money will be raised and then used.
A. Every year, we have been in awe as we have watched God work through our investors to exceed the goal for the Challenge. After reaching $143,000 last year, our original goal for this year was $200,000, but, I felt like God was saying, “Why put a limit on what I can do?” We are serving more children than ever before, so, since it’s the Double Challenge, we want to try to double what we met last year! In light of this, we wanted to create a fun, new way for investors to be involved with the Challenge. This year, we will automatically match the first $31,000 through December 1 that comes through. This money has already been committed by anonymous investors. However, we want investors to also create their own challenge. Visit our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts and post what you’re going to give to the Double Challenge. Then tag friends, family, anyone – and encourage them to match it and let’s see what God can do!

The money will be used to help support the general funds for Special Kids so that we can continue to serve every child that walks through our doors. We bill insurance and TennCare, but many of the families we serve do not have benefits or are limited in the number of visits their insurance will grant them. When this happens, we work on a sliding scale based on income and different variables in order to lower the cost of the services we offer. For example, it may cost an average of $100 for us to provide a therapy session – we may serve a family that can only afford to pay $20 – and that’s where our investors come in. They help to meet that $80 gap so that we can continue to serve every family, regardless of their income. When investors support the Double Challenge, they are helping to fill in that gap so we can continue to serve every family that needs services.

Q. What does Special Kids mean to you?
A. Wow…Special Kids means so much to me, where do I start? Special Kids means hope. It means grace. It means healing. I always go back to the mission: To serve Jesus Christ by caring for His children. We are all God’s children, which means we are here to serve not only the patients that walk through our doors, but their families that are waiting in the lobby; we are here to serve our staff, our investors, our volunteers, and that makes all the difference. My family and I have been directly impacted by the mission and I have seen it change countless lives. There is a saying around here, you cannot be involved in Special Kids and stay the same. It will impact you in one way or another.