About Us

Our mission at OurSpecialNeeds is to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families. We provide special needs individuals an opportunity to seek financial support for their needs. OurSpecialNeeds gives families and friends of those with special needs an avenue to provide support while receiving a tax deduction for their gifts.


While many charities support people with specific needs or provide only specific items, like adaptive bikes, wigs or summer camp, OurSpecialNeeds allows a special needs individual to register all of their needs in one place enabling them to solicit their own support.

Gives OurSpecialNeeds Individuals...

  • One place where they can register their needs, ourspecialneeds.org/name.
  • Motivation to do their own fundraising.
  • An opportunity to share their story and build relationships.

Gives Donors...

  • The personal satisfaction of supporting someone they know
  • The peace of mind that they are providing an item in need
  • The tax benefit of donating through a 501(c)(3) charity
  • An opportunity to build a relationship with the recipient
  • An opportunity to invite others to contribute

Process

  • Special needs individuals or families register themselves and list their needs
  • They reach out to families, friends and personal network
  • Donors provide financial support
  • OurSpecialNeeds provides items in need

Board of Directors

Chair
Kerrie J. Kelly

Kerrie Kelly is a former special education teacher who has been advocating for children for over 20 years. Kerrie is a happily married mother of four who is passionate about helping those in her community. Kerrie believes that communities will support one another, given the chance to do so. That’s why she has been recruiting people to create Our Special Needs, a place where families can share their needs and communities have a chance to offer their support.

Vice Chair
Susan Simms

Susan Simms is married with two school age boys. She knew at a young age she wanted to work with children having special needs. She has taught for 20 years in the special education field. Her experience spans from working with adults whom have multiple disabilities to preschool children having mild special education needs. She is always looking for new ways to teach students as well as building partnerships with parents. For a few years she has wanted to start a company to help families. While networking she met Kerrie Kelly and the team of advocates who developed Our Special Needs. Susan was excited to see what they had created out of compassion for others. Susan joined the organization to expand her ability to help people that have disabilities.

Secretary
Stanley J. Mathewson, Jr.

Stan Mathewson has been a police officer for a local community in Michigan for 12 years. Stan has seen firsthand the needs of the community and its citizens. Stan became involved with Our Special Needs to help people whose needs have gone unmet due to disability and financial hardship.

Treasurer
Kristie L. Mathewson

Kristie Mathewson has been involved with Our Special Needs since its formation in 2011. She uses 23+ year experience in Accounts Payable to set up and manage the finances of Our Special Needs. A happily married mother of three children, she knows how families need all the support they can get. Kristie, along with her husband and oldest daughter Jordann, has taken on the mission of Our Special Needs in supporting families and individuals affected by disabilities.

Key Contributors

The concept of Our Special Needs, people supporting one another, would not be possible without the support of founding contributors. Thank you for your interest and continued dedication.

Advocate
Derek S. Kelly

Derek is a happily married father of four. Derek grew up with a sibling with a disability and he knows how it affects the whole family.

Advocate
Denise O'Rourke

Denise O’Rourke has been involved with Our Special Needs since the concept began. Having family members and children with disabilities, she knows firsthand the struggles families face. She also knows how it feels when family and community offer their support. In fact, Denise offers her support to children with disabilities in her career as a Paraprofessional and youth service worker. Whether it is working with children, families, churches, students, or Our Special Needs, her passion drives and inspires those around her to continually find new and innovative ways to help the community.

Advocate
Veronica Salinas

Veronica Salinas graciously agreed to use her prior experience with technology, charitable organizations, and web development to support the concept of Our Special Needs. As a development manager for a prominent Detroit technology company she knows how to use technology to enhance lives. Veronica grew up in Mexico, as you can imagine, she knows that real value in life comes from working together as community, people supporting one another. That's what Our Special Needs is all about--communities supporting one another. That's what Veronica is about, using her talents to support those around her.

Advocate
Dakota Kelly

A middle school student in Farmington, Dakota has always taken an interest in helping people and making the world a better place. He is eager to join mission projects and help wherever he can. He asked to be on the developing team from the beginning. His assistance with graphic design has helped Our Special Needs share their mission and get our message out into the world. Our Special Needs provides the structure for people to support one another and increase the quality of life for all involved.

Advocate
Jordann Mathewson

Jordann, a freshman at Fenton High School, has learned the value of serving the community for various projects in her school career. She has a caring and generous heart and enjoys spending time with friends, texting, and rolling her teenaged eyes at her parents. Despite her teenaged ‘tude she can see the value of helping people with disabilities. Her artistic nature has been a great asset as Our Special Needs was developed from an idea to a reality.

BYLAWS


ARTICLE I

NAME AND PURPOSES

Section 1.01
Name.  The name of the organization is Our Special Needs.  It shall be incorporated under the laws of the State of Michigan.

Section 1.02
Purpose.  The Corporation is organized for the charitable purpose of improving the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families.

ARTICLE II

MEMBERS

Section 2.01
Membership.  Membership shall consist of only the members of the board of directors.

ARTICLE III

AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF DIRECTORS

Section 3.01
Authority of Directors.    The Board of Directors is the policy-making body and may exercise all the powers and authority granted to the Corporation by law.
 
Section 3.02
Number, Selection, and Tenure.     The Board of Directors shall consist of up to seven and no less than three (3) directors.  Each officer on The Board shall hold office for a term of two (2) years but are eligible for re-election. Each non-officer on The Board of directors shall hold office for a term of one (1) year but are eligible for re-election.  Election of new directors or election of current directors to a second term will occur as the first item of business at the annual meeting of the corporation.  Directors will be elected by a majority vote of the current directors.
 
Section 3.03
Resignation.  Resignations are effective upon receipt by the Secretary of the Corporation of written notification.
 
Section 3.04
Regular Meetings.  The Board of Directors shall hold at least four (4) regular meetings per calendar year.   Meetings shall be at such dates, times and places as the Board shall determine.
 
Section 3.05
Special Meetings.  Meetings shall be at such dates, times and places as the Board shall determine.
  
Section 3.06
Notice.  Meetings may be called by the Chairperson or at the request of any two (2) directors by notice emailed, mailed, telephoned, or telegraphed to each member of the Board not less than forty-eight (48) hours before such meeting.
 
Section 3.07
Quorum.  A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Board attending in person or through teleconferencing.  All decisions will be by majority vote of those present at a meeting at which a quorum is present.  If less than a majority of the directors is present at said meeting, a majority of the directors present may adjourn the meeting on occasion without further notice.
 
Section 3.08
Action Without a Meeting.   Any action required or permitted to be taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors (including amendment of these Bylaws) or of any committee may be taken without a meeting if all the members of the Board or committee consent in writing to taking the action without a meeting and to approving the specific action. Such consents shall have the same force and effect as a unanimous vote of the Board or of the committee as the case may be.
 
Section 3.09
Participation in Meeting by Conference Telephone.   Members of the Board may participate in a meeting through use of conference telephone or similar communications equipment, so long as members participating in such meeting can hear one another.
 
Section 3.10
Committees.  The Board of Directors may, by resolution adopted by a majority of the Directors in office, establish committees of the Board composed of at least two (2) persons which, except for an Executive Committee, may include non-Board members.  The Board may make such provisions for appointment of the chair of such committees; establish such procedures to govern their activities, and delegate thereto such authority as may be necessary or desirable for the efficient management of the property, affairs, business, and activities of the Corporation

Section 3.11
Reimbursement.   Directors shall serve without compensation with the exception that expenses incurred in the furtherance of the Corporation’s business are allowed to be reimbursed with documentation and prior approval.  In addition, Directors serving the organization in any other capacity, such as staff, are allowed to receive compensation therefore.


ARTICLE IV

AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Section 4.01
Officers.  The officers of the Board shall be a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary and Treasurer, and such other officers as the Board of Directors may designate.  
 
Section 4.02
Appointment of Officers; Terms of Office.   The officers of The Board of Directors shall be elected by The Board of Directors at regular meetings, or, in the case of vacancies, as soon thereafter as convenient.  Only current directors can be elected to an officer of the board.  New offices may be created and filled at any meeting of the Board of Directors.
Terms of office may be established by the Board of Directors, but shall not exceed three (3) years.  Officers shall hold office until a successor is duly elected and qualified.  Officers shall be eligible for reappointment.
 
Section 4.03
Resignation.  Resignations are effective upon receipt by the Secretary of the Board of a written notification.
 
Section 4.04
Removal.  An officer may be removed by the Board of Directors at a meeting, or by action in writing pursuant to Section 3.08, whenever in the Board’s judgment the best interests of the Corporation will be served thereby.  Any such removal shall be without prejudice to the contract rights, if any, of the person so removed.
 
Section 4.05
Chair.  The Chair shall be a director of the Corporation and will preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors.  The Chair shall perform all duties attendant to that office, subject, however, to the control of the Board of Directors, and shall perform such other duties as on occasion shall be assigned by the Board of Directors.
 
Section 4.06
Vice-Chair.  The Vice-Chair shall be a director of the Corporation and will preside at meetings of the Board of Directors in the absence of or request of the Chair.  The Vice-Chair shall perform other duties as requested and assigned by the Chair, subject to the control of the Board of Directors.
 
Section 4.07
Secretary.  The Secretary shall be a director of the Corporation and shall be responsible for keeping records of Board action, including overseeing the taking of minutes at all board meetings, sending out meeting announcements, distributing copies of minutes and the agenda to each board member, and assuring that corporate records are maintained.

Section 4.08
Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall be a director of the Corporation and shall make a report to the Board of Directors at each regular meeting on the status of the Council’s finances.  The Treasurer shall chair the finance committee, assist in the preparation of the budget, help develop fundraising plans, and make financial information available to Board members and the public.
 
Section 4.09
Paid Staff.  The Board of Directors may hire such paid staff as they deem proper and necessary for the operations of the Corporation.  The powers and duties of the paid staff shall be as assigned or as delegated to be assigned by the Board.

Section 4.10
Limitations.  The Board of Directors and their immediate family members shall not receive benefits as participants while members of the Board.  Board members and their immediate family members are free to make donations to other non-related participants.


ARTICLE V

INDEMNIFICATION

Every member of the Board of Directors, officer or employee of the Corporation  may be indemnified by the corporation against all expenses and liabilities, including counsel fees, reasonably incurred or imposed upon such members of the Board, officer or employee in connection with any threatened, pending, or completed action, suit or proceeding to which she/he may become involved by reason of her/his being or having been a member of the Board, officer, or employee of the corporation, or any settlement thereof, unless adjudged therein to be liable for  negligence or misconduct in the performance of her/his duties. Provided, however, that in the event of a settlement the indemnification herein shall apply only when the Board approves such settlement and reimbursement as being in the best interest of the corporation.  The foregoing right of indemnification shall be in addition and not exclusive of all other rights which such member of the Board, officer or employee is entitled.


ARTICLE VI

ADVISORY BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

Section 6.01
Establishment.  The Board of Directors may establish one or more Advisory Boards or Committees.  The Board Chair appoints all committee chairs.
 
Section 6.02
Size, Duration, and Responsibilities.   The size, duration, and responsibilities of such boards and committees shall be established by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

Section 6.03
Executive Committee.  The four officers serve as the members of the Executive Committee.  Except for the power to amend the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, the Executive Committee shall have all of the powers and authority of the Board of Directors in the intervals between meetings of the Board of Directors, subject to the direction and control of the Board of Directors.


ARTICLE VII

FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION

Section 7.01
Fiscal Year.  The fiscal year of the Corporation shall be January 1 - December 31 but may be changed by resolution of the Board of Directors.

Section 7.02
Checks, Drafts, Etc.   All checks, orders for the payment of money, bills of lading, warehouse receipts, obligations, bills of exchange, and insurance certificates shall be signed or endorsed by such officer or officers or agent or agents of the Corporation and in such manner as shall from time to time be determined by resolution of the Board of Directors or of any committee to which such authority has been delegated by the Board.

Section 7.03
Deposits and Accounts.   All funds of the Corporation, not otherwise employed, shall be deposited from time to time in general or special accounts in such banks, trust companies, or other depositories as the Board of Directors or any committee to which such authority has been delegated by the Board may select, or as may be selected by the Chair or by any other officer or officers or agent or agents of the Corporation, to whom such power may from time to time be delegated by the Board.  For the purpose of deposit and for the purpose of collection for that account of the Corporation, checks, drafts, and other orders of the Corporation may be endorsed, assigned, and delivered on behalf of the Corporation by any officer or agent of the Corporation.
 
Section 7.04
Investments.  The funds of the Corporation  may be retained in whole or in part in cash or be invested and reinvested on occasion in such property, real, personal, or otherwise, or stock, bonds, or other securities, as the Board of Directors in its sole discretion may deem desirable, without regard to the limitations, if any, now imposed or which may hereafter be imposed by law regarding such investments, and which are permitted to organizations exempt from Federal income taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


ARTICLE VIII

BOOKS AND RECORDS

Correct books of account of the activities and transactions of the Corporation shall be kept at the office of the Corporation.  These shall include a minute book, which shall contain a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, a copy of these Bylaws, and all minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors. 


ARTICLE IX

AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS

These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the Board of Directors, provided prior notice is given of the proposed amendment in the notice of the meeting at which such action is taken, or provided all members of the Board waive such notice, or by unanimous consent in writing without a meeting pursuant to Section 3.08.


ARTICLE X

TERMINATIONS

Upon the dissolution of the organization, assets shall only be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax come, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.  Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Circuit Court of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such an organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

Photography

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