What type of organization is the Speak Foundation?
We are a faith-based, non-profit organization that serves those who are living with disabilities.
Where is the Speak Foundation based out of?
TSF is a national organization, however our central office is based out of Columbus, Georgia, near Atlanta. TSF is also committed to reaching out to individuals who live in other countries.
How did the Speak Foundation get started?
Kathryn submitted a wish for Pantene’s Beautiful Wish Contest. This contest was held by Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which was created to bring people together to share their strength and donate their hair to create free wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment. Kathryn’s submission essay to Pantene, which named her grand prize winner, expressed her hope for a cure for Muscular Dystrophy, as well as her desire to start an organization in Columbus for people with disabilities.
What is the motivation for the foundation?
After dealing with Muscular Dystrophy and surviving a heart tumor, our founder Kathryn Bryant began The Speak Foundation. From first hand experience, she understands the life of a person who has to handle physical challenges daily. Besides understanding these struggles, Kathryn realizes that a supportive community is a huge part of helping those who are dealing with disability and other types of diseases. Our foundation tries to connect other people who face the same challenges. Sometimes, a person may not know anyone else who is also dealing with a serious health issue and it can feel like a road traveled alone. This may be particularly difficult for children and teens who can go their whole childhood without connecting with another person who is also dealing with the same issue. The Speak Foundation meets the needs of kids, teens, and adults by putting you on the path with others who may be dealing with similar struggles. You can learn from other people. We all can. When you read the stories in our “Stories of Strength” pages, we believe that the heart of our motivation will become clear.
What does The Speak Foundation do?
Our foundation has a large reach providing a mentoring and supportive community to people of all ages with physical disabilities. We cannot think of a more difficult situation then to struggle daily and be without a support system. We hold an annual summer conference for individuals with neuromuscular disorders that includes informational sessions, medical presentations, and social events.
Why is the foundation called “Speak”?
Proverbs 31:8-9 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
The Speak Foundation was created to give all people with disabilities a voice. We want to be mentors and advocates for the youth, to speak out about the plight of disabled orphans in other countries, and to be a support for disabled people of all ages worldwide who are isolated in their communities or dealing with barriers (e.g., lack of transportation, access to good medical care). We want to connect the lives of people living with disabilities to create a community of support, encouragement, and empowerment.