Champion for children with disabilities honored with Jefferson Award
FOX 31 continues to honor our local heroes with the Jefferson Awards.
The Jefferson Award is the nation's longest standing and most prestigious organization dedicated to celebrating public service.
August’s winner is Amy Bacon, a champion for children with disabilities and children who have been burn victims.
“Everything that you face in life is a challenge when you have a special needs child,” Bacon said.
That is something Amy Bacon, a mother of a 19-year-old with disabilities is familiar with. Amy strives to make life a little less challenging for kids with disabilities and one way she does is with scouting.
“I wanted to get the district to recognize that special needs kids needed to be involved. So I did a couple of special different events; we did scout awareness day to let people know kids with disabilities could be in scouting,” Bacon said. “And we did an outdoors adventure day to let the whole community know that we wanted more kids with disabilities involved in scouting. There were things out at the camp for kids with disabilities to do. We had people bring exotic birds out, there was archery… everything at the camp was available for special needs kids,” she added.
Amy Bacon said she wants parents to get their children with special needs to live life to the fullest just like her son does.
“I don’t want them to ever limit their child. I want them to know they can get out in the community and do anything that every other child does and that’s what I teach mine. Nothing’s going to hold you back and nothing has held him back, the wheel chair has never held him back,” Bacon said.
She also has a heart for children who’ve been burn victims. she organizes Burnfest, an event that honors fallen firefighters and raises money to get children who’ve been severely burned to a camp where they can have fun.
“I want more kids to be able to go. More kids to have fun. They get to go and be themselves. just like a disabled child when they go to school every day, they get picked on, they get made fun of. My child has faced lots of criticism over the years,” Bacon said.
For Amy, giving of herself and her time is her way of setting an example.
“I watched my mum take in people in our home. She would give you the shirt of her back and that’s the kind of person that I want to be. That’s the kind of person I want my children to see,” Bacon said.
The mother of four does her best to connect parents of children with disabilities to places where they can find help. Bacon said she doesn’t want those parents to go through what her and her family went through.
“Special needs families, so many people do not know, they’re not knowledgeable. And I don’t mean that they’re stupid they just don’t know that there’s help out there,” Bacon said. “That is my ultimate goal. I want to start a nonprofit organization to where we do nothing but help other special needs families. That’s my dream,” she added.