"It opened up a whole new world of realization and awareness. We discovered through our own journey that there's a real need for a specialized environment for kids with special needs," Deweerdt said.
inspired Deweerdt to partner with mega-pastor Joel Osteen's
Those with autism, Down Syndrome, or any other disabilities would have a state-of-the-art environment to learn and grow while their parents worship in the sanctuary.
"We as a society I think really need to prioritize these families and be able to not only come and lift their arms and help them but also to place value in a way that maybe hasn't been done," Deweerdt said.
Champions Club is split into four distinct rooms; A sensory room that focuses on activities that use sight, touch, and sound. An educational room with touch screen computers and other sensory stimulation for more sensitive needs. The physical therapy room engages children physically with gadgets, fun. And one-on-one time is spent with them in the spiritual room with storytelling, singing, and arts and crafts. Rooms are staffed by professionals and volunteers who work with special needs children,
The venture costs $100,000 to launch but Rockford First is already well on their way.
If you would like to donate, volunteer, or need more information visit: www.RockfordFirst.com