Amarillo Lions Club starts Amarillo Kids Count to help special needs kids

VIDEO: Downtown Amarillo Lions Club starts Amarillo Kids Count to help special needs kids

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Amarillo by Morning Lions Club started a new club, Amarillo Kids Count, that will provide relief to special needs families and encourage kids to attend Lions Camp in Kerrville, Texas.

The new club is bringing together the Lions members, special needs parents and special needs experts such as speech-language pathologists and physical therapists.

Organizers started the club after watching many disabled children not be able to get the special equipment they needed in order to live a functional life because it wasn’t covered by insurance.

“We are hoping to meet those needs that can’t be addressed otherwise,” said Kathy Hyatt, retired physical therapist and Amarillo Kids Count co-founder. “Many times, I recommended wheelchairs and was able to get them for the children, but then the parents couldn’t get them into the house. This is a void there that we miss sometimes.”

Parents who many need a wheelchair ramp, special doorway or other equipment, can fill out an application to the Lions Club.

The Lions will then raise funds to make the children’s and the parents lives a little bit easier.

“The insurance they have doesn’t pay for some service that they need and we want to provide those things for children that make their lives happy and easy for their parents," said Gay Chalfant, retired speech-language pathologist and Amarillo Kids Count club member.

Another major major goal of Amarillo Kids Count is to recruit kids to attend Lions Camp in Kerrville.

The camp is specifically built for children with special needs, allowing parents to feel comfortable sending their children while providing them with a week of fun and community.

“We’ve got horseback riding, we’ve got paddle boats, zip lining, rock wall climbing. If you can think of something to do, they do it, but it has been modified to meet handicapped kids needs," said Henry Wyckoff, district governor for Lions Club District 2T-1.“The swimming pool, for example, (at) the end of it we provide waterproof wheelchairs for the kiddos.”

Amarillo Kids Count will include children from all 26 counties in the Panhandle and with different types of disabilities.

The club will receive its official charter this Saturday at 13060 Wandering Road.

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