Project Proud Families, Inc.

Name: Holly Rickman

Favorite Charity: Project Proud Families, Inc.


I founded this charity in 2008. My daughter was born typical like many of our children and then after a few months she developed a horrific form of epilepsy called "Infantile Spasms." It took 6 months for me to diagnose her myself. Even her pediatric neurologist initially missed it. But during that time she went from typical to globally delayed for life. What do you do with that kind of frustration, grief and anger when you are a Christian? So I channeled all of my emotion into a Christian nonprofit that serves all families that have a child/children with different abilities.

I serve the Project Proud Families by partnering with our local school system countywide and providing support groups and educational workshops. Some of these include IEP (Interagency Ecological Program) workshops, "ask the therapist", etc. We have had our "First Annual Wheelchair Relay for All Abilities" in which the Town Manager even participated. We have educated in over 20 forums, provided support and referrals by phone, offered family support activities and have free Christmas photos and treats at Christmas, as well as provide FREE medical advocacy via our website and family advocacy. We also have partnered with another local agency to bring ALL agencies together that serve families that have a child with different abilities to help them to be served more effectually. We recently built a wheelchair ramp and try to assist families where we are able. It has been a blessing to be able to give to others when I felt taken from. There is no healing in self focus and here is where I have found my cure. I see the beauty in all people and don't try to put square pegs in round holes but accept and enjoy all our differences knowing we are far more similar than dissimilar.

This is my favorite charity because it represents my daughter, my vocation and I hope it inspires others to move past adversity.

We are launching in 2012 an Awareness bracelet on our website along with our awareness shirts. We hope to draw increased revenue to our programs. I should note, we are a passion organization and we have NEVER received salary. We do such wonderful things because the volunteers are committed, tireless and don't accept a nickel for their work, as well as their fearless leader. Because of this we have been able to help many more persons in a short span of time.
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