SPOKANE, Wash. - Coming up this weekend, KHQ is hosting a telethon to benefit the non-profit pediatric therapy provider, Joya. They serve hundreds of Spokane County families each year, regardless of their ability to pay.
The organization went through a 'rebrand' in 2019. For years, they were known as the Spokane Guild's School. While Joya's name and branding are different, their commitment to helping kids age zero to three is the same. The telethon with Joya Child & Family Development is the same day as their annual Penny Drive. Joya representatives saying funding is desperately needed as the number of children in our community who qualify for their services has increased more than 70 percent since 2014.
Joya continues to grow and make an incredible impact on the families they serve. Since each is different, there are tailored plans to help. They teach, treat, heal, but most importantly, families say Joya gives them hope and compassion.
"Our son Colton was born five weeks early," said Staisha Brazington. "He suffered a brain injury due to complications for labor."
Before Staisha and Allen Brazington's baby boy was even released from the NICU, they were already connected with Joya.
"They completely changed our lives with Colton," Staisha said. "Joya Is a huge reason he hit a lot of milestones and accomplishments. They laid the foundation for him."
And they did the same for mom and dad.
"We would not be the parents we are today without (Joya,)" she said. "We wouldn't have felt prepared to adopt a child with special needs without the help of Joya They not only changed Colton's life, they changed ours. They helped shape us as parents."
Last year, the couple started the process to adult their little girl, Amber. She just turned 10 months old.
"Amber came to us from adoption," she said. "She has down syndrome and some other medical problems. Of course, for early intervention, we knew this is where we wanted to be. This feels like home."
And they're not alone. The Brazington family is one of some 300 families who are served each year.
"We truly feel like it takes a village to raise children," Staisha said. "When you have children who have medical needs, you need an even bigger village."
The Brazington family say they have found that with Joya, and are continually touched that anyone, regardless of finances, can too.
"You probably know someone who has been through these doors," she said. "It's like handing them the ability to learn how to sit, play with a toy, learn how to walk."
Colton, now seven, learned how to stand up on his when hit age six. It was a huge milestone that they once again credit to that early intervention he received when he was just an infant.
To continue to work with children like Colton and Amber, Joya needs community support.
'The dedication of our staff is not enough,' Joya states on their website. 'Joya Child & Family Development cannot offer this exceptional care without the community behind us. Every year, philanthropy supports 40% of our expenses, far higher than most social service nonprofits in Spokane.'
If you're interested in supporting Joya with a donation, tune in Saturday morning starting at 7:00 AM. You can also contribute through their annual penny drive.