Exceptional Children’s Charities turns 30; started with Special Olympics in ‘83
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org February 1, 2013 1:12PM
Bob Diamond, President Exceptional Children's Charities, talks about the children's charity beginning in Richton Park, Illinois, Wednesday, January 16, 2013. The charity began when it started supplying the medals for the specail olympics in the area. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 4, 2013 6:03AM
Whether it’s handing out iPads to autistic children or donating medals for the Special Olympics, Exceptional Children’s Charities strives to make life a little better for special-needs children in the Southland.
The Chicago Heights-based charity has donated more than $1 million worth of bicycles, wheelchairs, dental care, surgery, iPads, physical therapy sessions and other services and goods to needy Southlanders.
The charity started 30 years ago when volunteers helped organize the Special Olympics at Bloom High School in 1983.
Exceptional Children’s Charities has two primary fundraisers: a St. Patrick’s Day party in March and a golf tournament in August.
There are no paid staff members, only volunteers. The charity consists of eight board members, a three-person application screen committee, an attorney, a doctor, an accountant and three volunteers.
Bob Diamond, the president of the organization, said the group donates about $6,000 worth of goods a year, or about $500 a month to children in need.
Ed Heubeurger, who has been with the organization since its inception, said volunteering has been its own reward.
“When you do something for the city, it gives you a feeling of giving something back,” Heubeurger said.
Diamond, a 1976 graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, said the charity accepts and approves applications year-round. Application forms are available by visiting the charity’s website at www.ecckids.org.
“We want people to know we’re out there,” Diamond said. “We’re not a super wealthy charity. We just want to help people when we can.”