By: Tana Christian Suggs firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s not just genies who are granting wishes these days. Kingdom Kids is an organization located in Gwinnett County founded by Kevin Ford and Justin Hutchinson that focuses on helping children and families in the local communities who are battling diseases, abuse, neglect and other challenges by fulfilling wishes that bring joy to the children and their families.
On Oct. 9 the organization held its Third Annual Lily’s Run at Vickery Village in Cumming where runners participated in a 5K and a one mile fun run. Through the event and the funds raised, five children will have their wishes fulfilled. Jackson Jinright is one of those children whose wish will soon be granted.
In March of 2007, Travis and Angie Jinright of Sugar Hill welcomed their son Jackson into the world. But shortly after Jackson was born, he failed to thrive and reach the typical milestones reached by most infants, and after undergoing testing, Jackson was diagnosed with Peroxisomal Disorder, a rare metabolic disease that affects vital organs.
About a year ago Angie Jinright was asked to be a guest speaker at a Kingdom Kids event and share the family’s story, and later the organization asked the Jinrights if they would like to make a wish for Jackson, and he became one of the beneficiaries of Lily’s Run. Angie said they were so excited when they got the call.
“The fun run was just amazing,” she said. “We had so much fun, Jackson especially. It was such a great turnout.”
For Jackson’s wish, the Jinrights will be taking a family vacation to Disney World at the end of January.
Ford said he always had a notion of one day helping others, and after a conversation with Hutchinson, the two decided there was no need to wait, hence their motto, ‘It’s always the right time to do the right thing.’
Ford and Hutchinson both have full-time jobs and families, but still find time for Kingdom Kids. Ford said moving forward and starting the organization made him understand that one chooses to make an impact.
It’s always the right time to do the right thing. – Kingdom Kids Motto
And the organization has made quite an impact. In the last two and a half years they have raised more than $300,000 to benefit local children and their families, and what they have found, is the events have a ‘pay it forward’ element where when one family is helped they come back to help other families.
The organization’s next event will be the Annual Poker Tournament held at the 1818 Club in Duluth. For more information about the organization, upcoming events and how to donate, go to Supportkingdomkids.com.
About Lily…In September 2009 Lily was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer and endured several rounds of chemotherapy, surgeries, a stem cell transplant, radiation, and anti-body therapy. She completed her treatment in October 2010 and earlier this year a scan showed the cancer had returned in her pelvis and spine, and she is once again in the fight of her life. Lily started chemotherapy in March.
Due to the overwhelming support of the community during the first Lily’s Run, Lily, in partnership with Kingdom Kids wanted to continue Lily’s Run to grant wishes for other children also facing challenging circumstances. Lily is an inspiration to all to “pay it forward.”
Main photo: LEFT to RIGHT: Kevin Reed, Jodi Ford, Kevin Ford, Justin Hutchinson and Brooks Hutchinson