Charity Spotlight: Increasing Independence

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Posted By on October 29, 2020
Courtney’s Place helps adults with special needs develop abilities, confidence and social skills

Organization:

Cortney’s Place

Leadership:

Founders: Jim and Cindy Carpenter

Executive director: Chasidy Gray

Annual Budget:

$1.2 million

Origin:

In 1985, Jim and Cindy Carpenter welcomed their first child, Cortney. Despite being born with congenital nervous system malformations that left her unable to walk, talk or care for herself, Cortney faced each challenge with strength and determination. When she turned 22, Cortney “aged out” of the school-based program she had attended, so the Carpenters started searching for a safe, nurturing day program for her. Unfortunately, they discovered that most day programs were underfunded, uninviting and offered only limited activities. As a result, in 2007, the Carpenters founded Cortney’s Foundation, which became Cortney’s Place in 2018. Today, Cortney’s Place offers a meaningful community-based day program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Known for:

Providing an inclusive and stimulating environment that truly looks and feels unique. With curriculum offerings such as music therapy, healthy cooking, hydrotherapy, pet therapy, art and technology classes, Cortney’s Place helps to ensure that students are stimulated cognitively, physically and socially while assisting them in meeting personal goals and becoming more self-sufficient.

Challenges during COVID-19:

The friendships Cortney’s Place students build with each other are special, and it’s been a challenge to enforce social distancing to keep students and staff safe. Fortunately, Cortney’s Place has been able to create online classes to keep everyone connected.

To learn more, go to cortneysplace.org.

About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.