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Special Touch Ministry, Inc. is a non-profit service organization “serving the concerns of people with disabilities.”
Crossing denominational lines as a Para-church organization, Special Touch provides a network of support for people with disabilities consisting of hundreds of volunteers and caring churches across America.
After volunteering for many years in the disability community, Charlie and Debbie Chivers founded Special Touch Ministry in 1982.
Special Touch came to Missouri two years ago.
Lana Dawkins, Shelbina, is a Missionary Associate. She was appointed at the beginning of April to cover north Missouri.
“Our mission is to enhance and enrich the lives of those with disabilities and those who care for them, the caregivers, the parents, anyone who is involved with disabilities,” Dawkins said.
Something that pushed Dawkins to do this mission was her brother, Alan. He was born with disabilities and currently lives in a group home.
“Back then, people excluded those with disorders,” Dawkins said.
According to Dawkins, there are roughly 15 percent of individuals in each county in northern Missouri who have disabilities.
Special Touch is continually expanding to meet the needs represented by the community of people with disabilities.
One of Dawkins’ goals is to raise funds for a facility or campground for north Missouri.
“We don’t have anything like that close to us. I want those with disabilities to have a place of their own,” Dawkins said.
Dawkins serves all counties north of Interstate 70. Those wanting to donate to this organization can contact Lana at 573-795-8196 or email her at [email protected]
Funds are raised for the current operating programs and services: local fellowship chapters, summer get away, retreats and special events, conferences on disability ministry, awareness and training seminars and resources and consulting.
Dawkins said construction is started on a camp in Republic, Missouri.