The Angel Warriors program nurtures individuals with special needs and multiple disabilities.
Published: August 31, 2017
By: Emily Reed
Jamia Alexander-Williams firmly believes everyone has a purpose. It is this belief that compelled her to establish The Angel Warriors Foundation, which provides activities and programs to Shelby County area special needs individuals and their families.
“I have been so involved in PTOs for many of the schools over the years,” says Williams, president and CEO of the Alabaster-based nonprofit. “I started noticing that those with special needs were having to go outside of Shelby County for programs. Year after year nothing changed, it was always the same, and I wanted to step up and make sure our special needs community was taken care of.”
The Angel Warriors program “exists to help nurture individuals with special needs and multiple disabilities, so that they may realize their full potential and build their futures,” according to the organization.
The organization held its debut summer camp June 12-30, which Williams described as an exciting and humbling experience.
“It was truly incredible,” Williams says. “We held a daily camp Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. with before care and after care. We went on field trips, we had swimming at the YMCA, we had a teacher lead life skills, Target came in and led the group in different activities, and we also had art. There were five individuals that participated, and we were thrilled with that, because our goal was even if we only had one child, we were helping those parents, because we were providing something for them during the summer.”
Several activities have been planned for the fall, including the organization’s first “gaming tournament.” The event will be held Sept. 23 beginning at 4 p.m. at Thompson High School’s gymnasium. Williams says the event will feature both Madden and FIFA tournaments.
Trunk-or-treat will be held Oct. 14 at the Pelham Armory, and the final event of the year will be “Sensory Santa” held at the First United Methodist Church of Alabaster’s Restore building from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.
The group’s biggest fundraiser is held in the spring, and is planned for March 3, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel. Williams says as a non-profit, the organization relies on donations and sponsorships from individuals and businesses to ensure that all of the activities are available to those interested.
As the organization continues to grow, Williams says it provides a positive network for those with special needs. “It has been such a great thing to see that a lot of the events that have been held this year have friendships forming and being made,” Williams says. The organization allows those with special needs of all ages to participate in activities.
“It can be all the way up to 50 years old,” Williams says. “The special needs community needs support, and sometimes that support is just getting out of the house and having a fun event to attend. We have had a sensory dinner before, we had a sensory haircut. Our goal is to show that God made everyone important.”
Emily Reed is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom to her son, Tobias.