Fund Helps Native Household With Particular Wants Little one | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

A local family has received help from the AJ Strong Fund to assist their child with special needs. Submitted photo

A local family is thanking a charitable organization for its assistance in supporting their child with special needs.

The family, which wishes to remain anonymous due to extenuating circumstances, said they are grateful to the founders of the AJ Strong Fund, Aaron Lee and Nick Kahanic and contractor Bill Kestler, for helping provide the necessary funds for an adaptive stroller and for building a wheelchair ramp for their child.

“They have really good hearts,” the child’s grandmother said. “They are very good people. I want to thank you and promote your services. I just want the community to help them so they can continue to help others.”

As the family cared for the child, they realized they had a pressing need for an adaptive stroller and for a ramp to better transport him in and out of the home.

With the financial support of the AJ Strong Fund, Kestler installed a wheelchair ramp for the family. “They did a wonderful job,” the grandmother said. “They gave us the stroller because he needs a special stroller.”

The family said the wheelchair ramp will make a significant impact, providing them with an easier and smoother way to transport their child. “It’s so hard to go up and down stairs with him,” the grandmother said. “It will help tremendously.”

The cost of the stroller and the wheelchair ramp was fully covered by the AJ Strong Fund. Lee started the fund in honor of his son who suffered long-term brain damage as the result of child abuse. The AJ Strong Fund is part of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and works to help families in the community.

“AJ Strong Fund paid for everything,” she said. “We didn’t have to pay anything.”

The AJ Strong Fund provides yearly support for the Child Advocacy Program, which offers a variety of supportive services for families that face challenging circumstances.

The child’s grandmother said the number of families in need has increased significantly in recent years.

“There’s so much need in the community,” she said. “Jamestown has changed so much from when I was younger. There’s just more people in need, or maybe I just realize it more because we were in the system.”

After receiving support from the AJ Strong Fund, the family wants to encourage people to support the work of Lee and Kahanic as they continue to help other families in need.

“I just really want to thank them and let the community know that the services are there if they need them or if anyone can help,” the grandmother said. “Just to let everybody know that they’re there for kids.”

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