Here is another in our continuing series of articles about what’s happening around Rochester. Enjoy!
Earlier this week, it was reported that community volunteers in Livington and Wyoming counties, just outside of Rochester, N.Y., had raised nearly $800,000 to help build a new home as part of a problem designed to benefit children with disabilities. The new construction project will house KidStart, an organization that provides a healthy and nurturing environment for the children, as Rochester’s WHAM reports.
That’s great news for children of all abilities. But what’s even better is how the KidStart organization was close to closing its doors — or more appropriately, be left entirely without doors — just three years ago. According to a recent feature in The Daily News, KidStart was once housed on the campus of SUNY Geneseo, but planned construction was going to prompt the college to effectively give KidStart the boot, leaving the program, which serves children who come from widespread geographic area, in the dark.
A capital campaign, the same one that raised $800,000, saved KidStart. But it was more than just a corporate initiative that kept the organization in business. KidStart is, after all, a nonprofit, so it called upon the donations of local individuals, small businesses, corporations, foundations and community groups to raise the money. Last week, the capital campaign was officially drawn to a close with a special ceremony at the Big Tree Inn in Geneseo.
So, what’s all that money going toward, exactly? A new home.
That home was constructed on land close to Route 63 in Groveland, which is only about four miles from the Geneseo campus. The land was acquired through various purchases and donations, and building began all the way back in June 2010. The center officially opened in January 2011, but that’s when the real hard work began. KidStart’s capital campaign, “Opening Doors to Children’s Bright Futures,” set in place with a goal of $800,000 in mind. Thanks to the generosity of two counties, the goal was reached.
KidStart is just one local example of all the organizations nationwide that work toward promoting the health and equality of those with disabilities. The National Federation of the Blind, for example, runs education platforms for the public and works toward efforts that help all blind people achieve their full potential. KidStart is a subsection of the larger Arc of Livingston-Wyoming organization and has been around since 1976.
As The Daily News reports, “KidStart is able to help children and their families with services for children with disabilities such as autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, speech and physical disabilities.”