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16 Jul 2019

Moving On Up

On August 1, 2019, we moved our headquarters to downtown Richmond, Virginia. Located in the Sun Trust Tower, we are eager to begin building relationships with those in and around the communities that make up the greater Richmond area. Together we can do amazing things toward helping all children have the best opportunity to reach their full potential in life. 


11 Jun 2019

Leia's Light; An Initiative for Siblings of Special Needs Children 

(From a sibling's perspective) 

What does it mean to be the sister or brother of someone who, like me, gets a lot of attention because of a uniqueness of some sort? Is it easy? Is it difficult? How does it affect how they see themselves? How will it affect the person they grow up to be? These are questions I ask as I wake up this morning to my little sister's 5th birthday. 

Just as I didn't have a choice in the unique body that God gave me, and the attention and circumstances (both good and bad) that it would bring to me throughout every day of my life... my sweet little sister didn't have a choice in who her siblings would be. I am so glad God made her my sister, and I know she loves me with all of her heart, just as I do her! 
From the moment I first held Leia in my arms as a tiny infant, to watching her grow past me in height less than a year later, each moment of my life with her in it has been a blessing! I have watched her grow and become such an awesome person! 
It's not always easy for her, though. She has grown up as a first hand witness to the daily attention and fanfare that comes our way due to a combination of either my unique size or my being recognized by people familiar with me. I am so glad that the two of us have become such an awesome duo, because Leia soaks all of this attention up like a sponge and has really developed quite the personality from it all! 
Sometimes though (on rare occasion thankfully), the sweetest people get so wrapped up in making over me, because of my size, that Leia ends up being completely ignored, as if she was not there. Whenever this happens she always says, "Why didn't they say I was cute too?". Or "Why didn't they ask me my name?".
What happens to Leia on these rare occasions is heartbreaking, is unintentionally done by well meaning people, and is potentially damaging to her self-esteem. However, it doesn't happen only to her. It (unintentionally) happens to the siblings of many children throughout the world with various degrees of circumstances or special needs that bring attention to them.
It's so easy for kids like my sister, eager to show off their own unique qualities, talents and personalities, to struggle getting from beneath the shadow of circumstance that comes from having such a unique sibling. 
On this day 5 years ago thousands of you from around the world welcomed my little sister, Leia Sky Walker, into this world. I am so thankful that each of you are interested in my life and that so many of you have shown such sincere interest in both myself and my little sister.  
Today, being her 5th birthday, she is more than ready to step out and shine her own light of happiness onto this world. She has her very own Facebook page called Leia Sky
I hope you will be as eager to follow her page for a glimpse into our little world (from her perspective) as you are to follow mine.  
Her brand new Facebook page, Leia Sky, is sure to be loaded with cuteness, charm, and personality that only my little sister can deliver! 
Help me spred Leia's light around the world by liking her page and sharing her posts from time to time. 
Thank you... Your pal, Jacob!

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24 May 2019

Jacob's AIM Night at the Diamond - Sponsored by Horsey Orthodontics

Tuesday, May 21, the Richmond Flying Squirrels welcomed us to the stadium for Jacob's AIM Night -sponsored by Horsey Orthodontics. 1500 tuxedo styled  t-shirts (celebrating the music of Frank Sinatra) and featuring our Jacob's AIM name and logo on the back, along with our sponsor, Horsey Orthodontics, were passed out to those in attendance.

Much fun was enjoyed before the game with Dr Horsey and hid family and staff before heading our onto the field for the ceremonial first pitches. Leia Walker, who represents one of the programs of our organization, Leia's Light, threw out her very first First Pitch. She was followed onto the mound by her older brother, Jacob and Dr Horsey who both joined her to also throw First Pitches.

Both Jacob and Leia sampled the featured concession of the evening for the crowd to see on the stadium's massive video board. During the 5th inning, our founder, Rodney Walker, sat with Sports Radio 910 The Fan, for a play-by-play interview about the mission and purpose of our Jacob's AIM. 

Throughout the evening we had much success raising awareness. Our dedicated volunteers passed out information cards to the many people who approached our marketing area to play our popular putting challenge game. We were blessed with a variety of great prizes to offer from local businesses. These great giveaways kept people coming to test their golf skills. As a result, we received many newsletter sign-ups! 

We are so thankful to the Flying Squirrels for being such accommodating hosts and to Horsey Orthodontics for the generosity of sponsoring the entire ballgame to help us bring awareness of our services to the communities of Richmond. We are also very thankful to the many local businesses who contributed the items we gave away. We are looking forward to many more events that will help raise awareness to the services and programs we offer for children in our area!



 

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14 May 2019
Jacob Walker and father, Rodney, at their fundraising table at Sweet Frog in Short Pump,  Virginia.
Jacob Walker and father, Rodney, at their fundraising table at Sweet Frog in Short Pump, Virginia.

Sweet Fundraiser at Sweet Frog!


On Saturday, May 11, the folks at Sweet Frog, Short Pump, invited us to come out and set up our (fun)draising table. We had a great time passing out the $5 gift certificates that the location had generously created for our benefit! Quite a few children and families had fun trying to putt a hole-in one on our putting green! Thanks to the kindness of Sweet Frog, we were able to  raise some money and awareness in the 2 hours we had before storms set in. 

14 May 2019
People gathering around the Jacob's AIM information table during the May 7th Richmond Flying Squirrels game.
People gathering around the Jacob's AIM information table during the May 7th Richmond Flying Squirrels game.

Fun Night at the Diamond!

On May 7th, our friends at the Richmond Flying Squirrels invited us out to spread the word and increase awareness of our mission and services for those in the local area. Our spokesperson, Jacob Walker was greeted onto the field by San Francisco Giants outfielder, (and currently on the Flying Squirrels roster), Chris Shaw prior to being joined on the mound by his sister as he threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the ballgame. 

During the game we enjoyed meeting people from the area and sharing our mission and vision with them. Many generous companies in and around Richmond were gracious in supplying gift certificates and gift cards for us to use a prizes to those who tested their golf skills at our putting green. 

We had a wonderful time making new friends with those we met and are looking forward to our big event coming up at the Diamond - Jacob's AIM Night, Presented by Horsey Orthodontics, on Tuesday May 21! We hope to see you there!

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23 Apr 2019

Why We Formed

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.  

Would you like to see our organization or a similar one in your community? 

Do you feel there would be a significant impact? 



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