EVENT DATE: Sep 30, 2017
The Donnie Walk is dedicated to the memory of long-time Donelson resident, Donnie Whitworth. Donnie was a beloved member of our community and was known as a gentle man whose intellectual disability never prevented him from winning our respect and touching the heart of Donelson.
Donnie did not attend high school and because of his intellectual limitations, he only spent one year in elementary school. To support his family, Donnie collected aluminum cans from churches and businesses up and down Lebanon Road and Donelson Pike. Friends estimate he walked between 8 and 9 miles a day along his collection route.
So why have a Donnie Walk?
With an increasing life expectancy, the number of older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities will continue to grow. Community agencies and families face the daunting challenge of providing for their needs. Hip Donelson is committed to raising awareness of the needs of those in our community facing these challenges.
In comparison to adults without long-term disabilities, individuals like Donnie are more likely to experience age-related health changes earlier, have even more limited access to quality health care, and have far fewer financial resource options. They are more likely to be living with parents into adulthood and have more limited social supports and friendships outside the family.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities seek the same life outcomes as you or me, including (a) maintaining their physical and mental health and ability to function as independently as possible; and (b) actively engaging with life through friendships, contributing to society, and meaningfully participating in community life. Like the rest of us, they desire to lead a life of dignity and respect.
Proceeds from this event will benefit The Shelby Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c) 3, established to provide charitable giving to Harris-Hillman Special Education School and other charitable organizations that provide services to children and young adults with severe/profound intellectual and developmental disabilities.
For more information regarding the Shelby Foundation, please visit their website at www.shelbyfoundation.org.