Cabarrus

Card sales will go toward care for disabled at PRDC

Selecting what type of Christmas card to send out to friends and family is a very big decision. There are so many to choose from nowadays, from comical to religious to whimsical.

But this year you can order cards that not only will bring a smile to the recipient but also will help the lives of disabled children and adults here in Cabarrus County.

For the first time, the Piedmont Residential Development Center is offering specialized Christmas cards for sale, and all proceeds will go to support the residents of PRDC's four group homes in the Cabarrus area.

"This year's card will be ivory in color and 5-by-7 (inches). ... The image on the front is of Ethan Ford and was taken from an original watercolor that I was asked to create for this new fundraiser," said Bennice Tipton, PRDC's development coordinator.

"Ethan is our youngest resident, at 5 years old," Tipton said. "He lives at the E.T. Bost group home and was born with cerebral palsy." Ethan can't walk and uses a wheelchair, she said.

Inside the card will be green print saying, "May peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through."

At the nonprofit PRDC, children and adults who have been diagnosed as medically fragile with both mental and physical disabilities receive care in a loving and compassionate home setting.

"Our organization came to be as a result of a local parent's need to find an institution for her disabled daughter, and the closest one she could find was 170 miles away," Tipton said.

"Determined to bring her child closer to home, she began plans in 1976 to create the first residential center that could provide 24-hour care for severely mentally disabled, multihandicapped, medically fragile and non-ambulatory children," Tipton said.

"In 1980, PRDC opened the E.T. Bost group home," she said. "Our organization has grown, and we now have ... four group homes throughout Cabarrus County."

A box of PRDC's Christmas cards costs $20 and contains 12 beautifully printed cards and envelopes. What a wonderful way to make a difference in a person's life this Christmas!

"Our goal is to get 500 orders for a total of $10,000. One hundred percent of proceeds will go to the purchase of durable medical equipment for the residents of PRDC," Tipton said. "Durable medical equipment includes items such as handicapped-accessible vans and custom wheelchairs."

PDRC could always use help with other projects throughout the year. Volunteers are welcome to read to residents, help with crafts, assist them on trips or even paint and landscape the group homes. Many opportunities are available for both groups and individuals who are interested in giving their time.

For more information about the Piedmont Residential Development Center, go to www.prdc.org. To place a card order, call Bennice Tipton at 704-788-2304 or e-mail her at Bennice@pdrc.org. The deadline to order is Friday.

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