Angels of Lansing: How KCS Angels is Changing Lives
CATA’s mission is to meet the mobility needs of our region by providing innovative solutions in partnership with the communities we serve. That’s why CATA is proud to support KCS Angels’ mission to help people with disabilities enjoy safe, therapeutic recreation, physical activity and life skills development in an inclusive environment. In the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, programs for adults with disabilities are underfunded and there is a greater need for programs such as the one KCS Angels provides. In light of this, CATA is showing support for KCS Angels by providing a donation of $2,500 for use toward Spec-Tran services for their members. We’ve provided this with hopes it can help the KCS Angels fulfill their passions with this noble cause.
“It's [this program] everything to me, I don't want to do anything else," said one of the KCS Angels founders, Tracy Smith "I've watched the Angels, all of them, bloom and become themselves."
Tracy's brother-in-law Scott, and two other adults with disabilities were the co-founders and creators of KCS Angels, which is a registered nonprofit 5o1(c)3 in 2016, to help support peers with inclusive activities in the Lansing area. It was founded with ‘Angels’ as an acronym forming the organization's core values.
Attitude - we respect each other and recognize our differences without judgment.
Network - we are pursuing opportunities to strengthen our relationships with similar organizations in the community to build each other up.
Give - we believe in giving back to our community.
Empower - we believe all people have their own unique abilities, we want to be the vessel that helps support and empower everyone.
Love - all people need and deserve to feel valued, safe, and included in the community.
Support - our foundation is to support each other; we do that by listening to each other's needs and desires and incorporating that into our daily life and activities.
The daily activities that are provided by KCS Angels are run solely by volunteers. Others that volunteer with Tracy have found the experience fulfilling, like KCS Angel Big Al, who explains what KCS Angels feels like to him. "Family, because of all these people around me. I don't have a family up in Michigan, so when Tracy came along and told me about KCS Angels a couple years ago at the workshop I used to work at, I asked if I could join. I'm proud to be an Angel because of Tracy and this program."
And for others, the value of KCS Angels is much simpler. "I just like helping people," said Kristin, co-founder and peer of KCS Angels. "We come here to see our friends, we have a good time."
The purpose and guiding principles of this organization are something CATA deeply empathizes with, which is why CATA has donated $2,500 dollars to KCS Angels so they can provide Spec-Tran services for the members of the organization. [Spec-Tran] is CATA’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit service for people unable to use CATA’s fixed-route system.
If you’re interested in learning more about KCS Angels or are interested in volunteering or donating, visit kcsangels.com to read more. If you’re also interested in finding out more about CATA’s services such as Spec-Tran and more, you can find it as well as service information, trip planning tools, and plenty more helpful service information at their website.
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