The Learning Tree, Inc.
The Learning Tree, Inc. exists to provide a warm and loving environment with individualized, empirically validated services and supports to persons with significant educational, medical, and behavioral challenges; helping them develop and maintain a quality of life expected by non-disabled members of their family and community. The Learning Tree provides three residential schools that includes thirty homes for children in Mobile, Jacksonville, and Tallassee – for children, ages 6-21, with developmental disabilities, including autism. Preschool services are also available through The Little Tree Preschools in Mobile, Anniston, and Auburn.
The Executive Budget Office partnered with other offices within the Department of Finance to provide Christmas gifts to children that live at The Learning Tree’s residential school in Tallassee. We were able to fill 25 personalized baskets with gifts and raise a total of $500 to donate to The Learning Tree for their ongoing needs.
If you are interesting in learning more about The Learning Tree or making a donation, you can visit their website at https://learning-tree.org/.
Children’s Harbor dedicated itself as a nonprofit organization in 1990 and began the journey of its mission of serving children with serious illnesses and their families through unique, no-cost services at both the Family Center located at the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children in Birmingham, Alabama, and at the Lake Martin retreat facility in Alexander City, Alabama. The Lake Martin campus provides camp at no cost for families who are navigating the turbulent sea of change that accompanies the diagnosis of a serious illness or disability. Their picturesque lake front and multiple handicap accessible facilities create an inviting, peaceful sanctuary for the children and families facing life-altering and sometimes life-threatening illnesses.
The retreat facility at Lake Martin boasts 66 acres with extensive water frontage, zero-entry swimming pools, handicap accessible tree house, miniature golf, basketball and volleyball courts, canoeing, activity rooms and more for families and children to reconnect and meet other families with similar diagnoses. These illness populations include children with cancer, organ transplants, autism, serious burns, the visually impaired, spinal cord injuries, among others. The facilities are donated at no cost to organizations who apply annually through a grant process with Children’s Harbor.
The Executive Budget Office collected and donated items required for their daily necessities as well as gift items for the variety of activities and camps they host.
If you are interested in learning more about Children’s Harbor or making a donation, you can visit the Children’s Harbor’s website at https://www.childrensharbor.com
Adullam House began as a calling on the lives of Pete and Angie Spackman. They answered that calling and it brought them all the way from Great Britain to help the forgotten children of society. They started working with incarcerated persons and soon found themselves fully consumed with giving their children a new start.
Adullam House operates on 25 acres of land (original 18 acres donated) and provides a place where the children are made to feel like they belong, with beautifully decorated nurseries and children’s bedrooms. They are also able to meet the educational needs of the children through Adullam House Christian Academy, further allowing for the normal joys of childhood. At Adullam House, their future is forever changed. Here they can simply be kids. They find a safe, loving environment and learn a new way of life.
If you are interested in learning more about volunteering or making a donation, you can visit the Adullam House website at www.adullamhouse.org, or call 334-478-3881.
For the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2020, the Executive Budget Office chose to support Friendship Mission Inc., a local shelter that provides a faith-centered place of refuge for the River Region’s homeless and poor while exemplifying compassion, promoting self-sufficiency and offering the tools to be successful. The residents at Friendship Mission are involved in a variety of activities including basic life skills classes, Bible studies, substance abuse counseling, GED classes, as well as employment and college courses. Friendship Mission houses approximately 100 men, women and children in two locations.
The Executive Budget Office divided up into two teams and gathered an assortment of donations to include toiletries, towels, sheets, and assorted cleaning supplies. The donations were then arranged into baskets and delivered to the shelter staff. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering or making a donation, you can visit the Friendship Mission’s website at www.friendshipmission.org, or call 334-356-6412.
Coats for Comfort
In December of 2019, the Executive Budget Office participated in the area's annual Coats for Comfort Campaign, a local cold weather clothing drive put on by WSFA 12 News, Jim Massey Cleaners, and Henig furs to benefit the Salvation Army. The Budget Office collected and delivered over a dozen coats that Jim Massey Cleaners then cleaned and delivered to the Salvation Army.
For the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2019, the Executive Budget Office chose to support Magic Moments for their quarterly charity drive. Magic Moments is a wish granting organization devoted exclusively to creating magic moments in the lives of children in Alabama with chronically life-threatening medical conditions. A magic moment allows children and their families to forget, even if just for a little while, the fear and pain of their illness.
Budget Analyst Julian Rogers was impacted by Magic Moments several years ago when his son (Seth) was diagnosed with kidney failure. Magic Moments gifted the family an all-expenses-paid trip to Disney World. Since Magic Moments did so much for his family, Julian decided to choose their charity to honor the memory of Seth. Our office decided to sponsor the wish of an 8-year-old little boy from the Montgomery area who is currently fighting kidney cancer by organizing a fund drive and several charity events including two coffee & doughnut breakfast fundraisers, a Silent Auction, and a kickball tournament.
In less than two months, the combined efforts of the Executive Budget Office, the Legislative Services Agency, and the Alabama State Comptroller’s Office raised enough money to fully-fund this family’s trip to the Magic Kingdom! On October 25th, we had the honor of presenting the trip to the young recipient. He will be taking his trip to Orlando in December and we hope to share pictures of his Magic Moment upon his return. Please visit www.magicmoments.org for information about the program.
Disney Trip Pictures
Montgomery Humane Society
For the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2019, the Executive Budget Office chose to support the Montgomery Humane Society for their quarterly charity drive. The Budget Office staff gathered donations all quarter including dog and cat food, treats, toys, cleaning supplies, towels, and blankets. Additional funds raised through the office’s cantina were used to purchase much-needed cleaning supplies for the shelter. The Budget Office staff also spent half of a day volunteering at the shelter, bathing puppies, cleaning, and exercising some of the larger dogs. Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to visit http://www.montgomeryhumane.com/.
A Day at the Shelter
Arc of Shelby County
On April 5th, 2019, the Executive Budget Office delivered supplies and materials to the Arc of Shelby County as part of their quarterly community service projects. The Arc of Shelby County’s Early Intervention program provides resources, support, and services for infants and toddlers, birth to age 3 years with a 25% delay in cognitive, communicative, physical, adaptive, or social/emotional development. The Executive Budget Office requested a wish list from the program, enabling them to donate new arts and crafts supplies used by the providers to work with the children in the program. With the remaining funds raised, the Executive Budget Office was able to provide gift cards to assist parents with attending Arc events.
2018 Christmas Clearinghouse
In December of 2018, the Executive Budget Office challenged other divisions within the Alabama Department of Finance to join them in participating in a local charity drive. Beth Ray, a Senior Budget Analyst with the Executive Budget Office, presented the idea of a Christmas Clearinghouse care basket drive. Each year, HandsOn River Region sponsors a Christmas Clearinghouse that collects care baskets for less-fortunate families in the region. These baskets were filled with items such as bed pillows, toiletries, paper towels, laundry detergent, and other household amenities. All items were placed in small laundry baskets which served as an easy way to transport the items while also providing a practical gift at the same time.
Between the Executive Budget Office, the State Comptroller’s Office, State Purchasing, and State Business Systems Divisions, they were able to prepare and deliver around 35 care baskets to the Christmas Clearinghouse program. The items donated will help parents care for their children and free up much needed resources in the family budget.
Executive Budget Office Community Service Project
On May 4th, 2018, members of the Alabama Executive Budget Office set out to Billingsley, Alabama to help spruce up the local Senior Center and to provide lunch for the Seniors in attendance. The idea was a collaborative effort planned and organized by Assistant State Budget Officer Doryan Carlton and Office Administrator Lucretia Stephenson. The project involved pressure-washing the building, painting doors, planting flowers, and a whole myriad of landscaping jobs. The Seniors were invited to attend a painting class given by one of the Budget Office staff members, or to play cards or dominoes from the newly-provided sets while they waited for lunch to be prepared. The whole experience was a good opportunity for the Budget Office to work together as a team in an environment outside of the normal office setting and to get out and provide for a portion of the community that really needed and appreciated the gesture.