Improving the Quality of Life for Children Is Our Passion and Purpose

Your Contributions Raise and Distribute Funds to a Variety of Projects That Will Help Children With Special Needs and Their Families in Our Community

Events & Fundraisers

“Turkey Trot” – Date: Unknown

Our first fundraiser will be held by a Private Neighborhood named “Bayside” located in St. Johns county. The neighborhood will hold its second annual “Turkey Trot” fun run to raise money for the project.

3rd Annual Fund Run: 

Make sure you mark your calendars on October 15th at 11am for our 3rd Annual Fund Run! This year’s Fund Run will benefit Dkoa Jones, the nephew of Olivia and Robert Coker. Please see below for a letter from Dkoa’s family. We will start the race at 11am with a food truck at the end! Yes, we have the food truck coming earlier this year so it is ready when the run is done! 🙂
Sponsorships start at $150. Payment can be made to Candy via Venmo at Candy-Hurst-2. Please reach out to Candy Hurst at for more information!
We already have wonderful sponsorships confirmed with:
  • Susan Hopkins at Watson Realty
  • Jon Edenfield with Great Strides
  • Jon Edenfield with Great Strides Special Needs Opportunity Fund
  • Alex O’Connor with Little Britches
  • Sharon Davis with Dealer’s Circle
  • Ana Beeler with Universal Contact Lenses
  • Ian MacDonald with Regions Mortgage
  • Tina Smith with Creeks Air
  • Arienne Frazier with Dermatology Southeast
  • George Durden with Durden Surgical
Shirts will be $13 each. Payment can be made to Candy via Venmo at Candy-Hurst-2. Shirt sizes and payment must be received by NEXT FRIDAY.
Supply issues continue to plague the apparel industry, so getting our order in early will ensure we have all shirts in time!
Please email Candy at to provide your shirt sizes!

Drowning Prevention Initiative

Great Strides for Children’s Drowning Prevention Initiative.

Every year almost 800 children in the US drown. More children ages 1–4 die from drowning than any other cause of death except birth defects. For children ages 1–14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes. In addition, Florida was ranked 5th in the U.S. for unintentional drowning death rate among children ages 0 to 17 years of age. In Jacksonville alone there were several child drownings or near-drownings in 2021.

Among children with special needs drowning rates can be significantly higher. In fact, 91 percent of all wandering-related deaths among autistic children were due to accidental drowning.

Children who experience “near drownings”, can be left with serious after affects including motor and cognitive deficits which can affect them for the rest of their lives.

Great Strides for Children, a newly formed non-profit organization with the goal of helping children with special needs and their families recognizes the importance of drowning prevention and has established a drowning prevention initiative.

The initiative aims to help prevent drownings among the local special needs community. The funds raised for this initiative will be utilized in multiple ways. The initiative aims to provide drowning prevention education to the special needs community, provide door and pool alarms to families of children with special needs and to provide therapist aided swim lessons to children with special needs.

Great Strides for Children believes if even one instance of child drowning can be prevented the efforts of this initiative will be worthwhile.

Contact Us

9 + 5 =