Made4Me is a non-profit local to the Triangle, specializing in creating personalized adaptations out of industrial strength cardboard for children with special needs at no cost to the family. Their mission is simple: to help improve the lives of kids with special needs and those who care for them. We interviewed John Mainey, Executive Director of Made4Me to hear more about what he and the organization are passionate about and how the local community can help.
What is Made4Me’s Mission, Vision, and/or Purpose Statement?
We know that parents of kids with special needs can have a difficult time finding or affording the equipment their kids need to do basic things in life. That’s why we partner with families to design and create custom pieces that make day-to-day life full of possibilities. Made4Me’s Mission is to help improve the lives of people with special needs and those who care for them. Our vision is we see a future when all people with special needs have access to custom adaptations.
What project has Made4Me worked on in the past year that you are excited about?
We are extremely excited to have started a project with three school districts in the Triangle, Wake County, Durham County, and Granville County. Made4Me will be giving them a set of tools to help them provide improved instruction to their Exceptional Children’s programs. We are excited about expanding our previous limited assistance to a concentrated and specific focus.
What are your goals and hopes for the next year?
We are focused on three strategic initiatives in 2021/22. First, to serve one or more families and organizations each month with custom adaptations. Second, to strengthen our partnerships with schools, therapy offices, and special needs service providers. Third, to strengthen our involvement with the community by attracting more volunteers and through greater participation with the special needs community.
What inspired you to start Made4Me?
Jim McAgy, the founder, was my next-door neighbor. He was looking to begin working again and found out about an organization in New York City that helps people with disabilities by creating custom adaptations using cardboard. Jim’s background is woodworking, so he was intrigued by this and asked me if I would be interested in it too. Jim has four adopted children, three of which have a special need, and my stepson is on the autism spectrum, so we both could personally relate to the financial and emotional challenges parents of special needs children face. Long story short, we did our homework on the approach and decided this was something we were passionate about and started up Made4Me officially in March 2017.
How can the local community partner in the goals and dreams of Made4Me over the next year?
Made4Me is primarily a volunteer-run organization and as such, we rely on the local community to donate their time and talents to help us complete our mission. There are many opportunities for people to use their God-given gifts to help us design, fabricate, and finish our custom adaptations as well as help in the business operations.
If you are interested in volunteering with Made4Me, you can find opportunities and sign up by visiting: https://made4me.org/volunteering/
Why are you passionate about the work that you are doing?
God called me to co-found Made4Me along with Jim McAgy and to use the gifts He has given me to serve others. I have been blessed with a wonderful career and a supportive family, all of which enables me to devote the time required to support Made4Me’s mission. The best moments I have with Made4Me are when we deliver a custom adaptation to a hero and their family!
Made4Me is so incredibly grateful to Greene Resources for partnering with us in 2022. We pray this will build a long-term relationship for the years to come.
If you are interested in learning more about our community involvement, visit https://www.greeneresources.com/our-community-involvement/