Our Founder's Perspective
About Jacob's AIM
Our organization is founded on the belief that all children deserve dignity, no matter how different or unusual the physical appearance or ability. Our mission is to provide our local Richmond community with resource, and support through various programs offered at no cost, designed to nurture a child’s self-esteem. Our efforts are for all children to have the best opportunity to reach their full potential. This includes any child within the autism spectrum.
We formed as a nonprofit with nearly a decade of experience gained with our son, (who, at 9 years old is now 30 inches tall - with proportions similar to that of a doll - due to a rare form of dwarfism). We are inspired every single day by his zest for life and amazing confidence in who he is. This has driven us to team up with caring, talented professionals from across the country to lend ideas, resources and efforts in building the foundations of our organization we intend on being able to help many children for years to come. The programs we offer have been carefully considered with guidance from our board combined with what we have learned, from both the mistakes and the triumphs we have had. With this careful planning, we have developed these programs which are available to the many communities and schools in the Richmond area.
Early in 2018, I experienced a night where insomnia had me restlessly tossing and turning. I had grown frustrated to the point of anger because I was unable to fall asleep. I was very tired, yet, no matter how hard I tried, I was unable to drift off. In the middle of this frustration, I lay with my mind racing. It seemed to be completely unwilling to heed my desperate pleas to agree with my body that I needed sleep. I began to realize there was a reason why I was still awake. It was this night that God had called on me to accept this purpose he had carefully chosen me for.
To this point, my life’s journey: the good and the bad, the successes and mistakes, the triumphs and failures, the unconditional love I have been blessed with from my family, and the love I have for them, had all combined to prepare me with what God knew would be sufficient to fulfill the purpose he has placed upon my heart.
What is this purpose and why do I believe it was important enough to God that He would compel me to accept it? As I strive each day to ensure I am doing all I can to prepare and provide programs that will support the success of our mission, I ask myself what it is that God knows will be the fruit of these labors. As I reflect on this, the answer is always the same. God understands the struggles for children that come with having differences in appearance or ability. He has created each of us in a wonderful and unique way. Some are born with conditions and abilities that seem challenging and unfair compared to others. Yet, God wants us to know that He has not intended for us to compare ourselves to each other, rather that we can be able to see the value in ourselves that He sees in us.
God knows that, if we, as an organization, continue to build upon the programs and services that He has placed upon my heart, and if we implement them in ways that will fulfill His purpose, the fruits of our labor will be manifested in each child who was struggling to accept who they are, but has become capable of seeing the value in themselves that God sees in them; and are now each able to strive toward reaching their full potential.
Forecast of Success
It’s well known that most charity organizations begin with limited resources and a scarcity of funds. What begins as an idea for making a difference is met with challenges: turning the idea into something tangible that can be offered as a practical means of helping resolve a problem or meet a need, convincing others of the necessity of the services offered, building a strong organizational foundation, and harvesting the financial support needed to make it all possible. These are just a few of the many challenges that small, well-meaning charity organizations face every day.
What is it that makes us any different from the many other organizations who strive whole-heartedly to see their missions and efforts succeed? Are we more deserving? Is our mission of generally more importance than that of others? My answer to both of these questions in an emphatic NO.
You might be asking yourself why I would be willing to acknowledge that the missions of other charity organizations are just as important as ours, when there is such competition for gaining the financial support of those who are capable of providing the funds necessary for our programs to succeed in fulfilling our mission. To me, the answer is simple. Faith. (Matthew 6:30-33)
Faith that God, when He placed it upon my heart to begin this organization, supplied me with the blessings necessary for it to succeed. Faith that God knew when I answered his call to fulfill this purpose in my life, that my efforts would be inexhaustible, my reasons would be sincere, and my commitment would be unwavering. Faith that, by putting hard work into obtaining meaningful goals, staying focused on the purpose of the mission, being willing to learn and to adapt, and setting realistic expectations that evolve as we become sustainable and as we grow, will be blessed with success. Faith that as long as I remain dedicated to this purpose that He has given to me, and as long as I put the hard work into ensuring its success, He will supply the means necessary for us to provide our services to those whose lives He has planned for us to touch. We are nothing more than a vessel through which God will bless others. He can and will open the eyes, ears, hearts, and minds of those, who, He trusts will answer his call to fund our programs; just as he opened mine when He trusted that I would answer the call to develop the organization. God’s resources are infinite. For those who have been tasked by Him to do so, He will supply what is necessary to answer the call He has given. (2 Corinthians 9:8) - R. Walker
More Than Just Words - The meaning behind our vision…
As the founder of Jacob’s AIM, I believe that striving to fulfill our vision is paramount to the purpose of our existence. It is also my belief that God has created each person with a divine plan. He has given each of us exactly what is needed to discover, pursue, and fulfill the purpose He has for us at any given point in our lives. Just as the world is ever-changing around us, our purpose can and does change in order to meet the need that God currently has for us. Whether it’s outcome is for our personal benefit and growth or is to help benefit another - we each have blessings (abilities, talents, passions, and resources) which will always be sufficient to fulfill that purpose.
Helping children to understand the significance of each person’s blessings toward fulfilling the purposes ordained by God will offset the natural tendency of comparing them to the blessings that have been given to others.
We are each loved, cherished and valued by God. Our individual characteristics and abilities vary to countless degrees, yet we are each created with His divine perfection. God does not compare our value to another’s, nor should we. (Romans 2:11) - R. Walker