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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

EFFINGHAM COUNTY NAVIGATOR TEAM INC

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Autism, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Civil Rights, Disabilities, Disabled Persons Rights, Health, Humanities

Mission: Our mission is to provide an outlet to advocate, give a voice and strengthen famiiles with special needs children. Our goal is to provide children with disabilities of Effingham County and surrounding areas a better quality of life through community awareness, support, resources, training, and recreation.

Results: We have supported over 40 families to date. We have supported each other. We are growing stronger and strengthening families and communities.

Target demographics: Children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities a better quality of life through community awareness, support, resources, training, and recreation.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 40 families.

Geographic areas served: Effingham County, Georgia and surrounding areas

Programs: community awareness, support, resources, training, and recreational programs.

Community Stories

53 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5 Pat Pearson M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Until I learned about the Navigator Team I had no support in raising my granddaughter with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome (a form of severe intractable epilepsy). My husband had passed away and it was just Isabel and me. The Navigator team wrapped their arms around us and guided us to resources as well as companionship and love. I cannot measure the extent they improved both Isabel and my quality of life.

Mikeand Angela J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We're now on our tenth year with ECNT. We have enjoyed watching all of our friends and families grow. Everyone is accepting of each other and you can always find an ear that will listen or a shoulder to cry on. We have had so many people and agencies assist us through the years and we've made forever friends with them. Looking forward to see what the future holds.

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3

Board Member

Rating: 5

My kids and I have made friends and shared memories that will last a lifetime. Because they're families just like mine and we're understanding of each other's needs and what must be achieved in our communities, so that our children will be able to fulfill their dreams without limitations set on them. We lift each other up and advocate in anyway that is needed.

Rocio H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This group makes it possible for me to find support as my kids and I venture into their endeavors as they grow. Having someone willing to fight for a child’s rights really made a difference for my high functioning son.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was diagnosed in Jan of 2020 with autism, SPD, and anxiety. We were referred to the Navigators by a church member. This group and all the people and their families in this group have changed my life as well as my husband's and my daughter's life. We immediately went to the support group meeting in Feb and they welcomed us with open arms and provided us with so much support and guidance. The sports activities that they provide for the children and adults has also been a life changer for my daughter. She now is more social and wanting to join activities where before she was to scared or shy to do so. It has opened her world up to so many opportunities. This group is more than just a support group they are now family. It is nice to be around people who are going thru what you are going thru and they don't judge you. They are always there to help and lift you up and guide you in any way they can. I can't say enough the Navigators. My whole family would be lost without them.

1 Shelby S.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I serve many families who have benefited from the love and support the Navigator Team have given them! From time to just play and be kids for the kids, to support groups and information for parents, they do a great job of bringing people together and partnering with other local groups to raise awareness and funds to help children with disabilities in need!

Jessica Eason A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The individuals that we have met through this group have been understanding, accepting, welcoming & helpful. I would say to any family with a special needs child or children that are looking for a place to come to learn and have lots of fun. This is the place for you!

1 Hollie Nicole P.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This group has helped my son come out of his shell! I have learned so much and it has made my life easier knowing laws and resources to help my son. This is not just a group they are family!

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family and I love this group. We would be so lost on things with out them. As a mom of a child who doesn't socialize with children his age, to see him laughing and playing with children in this group brings joy to my heart. All the parents are great as well and we have made many friends. We are beyond blessed to have found this group

Vicki W.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great group for individuals and families with developmental disorders. They provide social and recreational opportunities in the community, and their support group meetings are a great opportunity for families to meet, share resources, help one another, and become friends.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Effingham County Navigator Team is a great group. They provide social activities, hold monthly support meetings, and advocate for individuals of all abilities, while helping them to become strong self-advocates. The support meetings provide an opportunity for parents/caregivers to talk and share their experiences, and to offer support to one another.
Whether it's bowling, water parks, or a Christmas party, the social activities are always a good time. Life long friendships are formed here.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Effingham Navigators is amazing group of people! Inclusion Revolution! They provide and organize sports and other events for special needs and their families! I am thankful and grateful for all they have done for my son Stephen and our family!

Nolan D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Effingham Navigators are an amazing organization. Pauline Shaw and her team work tirelessly to advocate and provide resources for individuals with developmental disabilities.

2 Tommy M.3

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization deserves more than 5 stars. I could write a book but will keep it as short as possible. This group was formed for kids with special needs to be able to play sports. This organization does so much more and has a huge positive impact on all of the community. This organization is a blessing to all that have been around it and a part of it. They make everyone feel
Like family and most importantly loved. I have met a lot of amazing families through this group that I would have never met if it wasn’t formed. Every community needs a group like the Effingham Navigators.

1 Beth R.5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love that they include siblings. Lots of different activities and they are so non-competitive.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Back in 2011, I met this wonderful lady Pauline Shaw...she filled me in on what this group was all about...I was truly inspired by this group then but even moreso now! Through the years, I always go to this group and read updates! I’m so moved by all the children, parents, and leaders of this group! The uplifting stories and pics of these beautiful & loving children can change any bad mood that you might have waken to...you know in your heart daily that these children, parents, & leaders of the Effingham County Navigator Team are a huge impact on this county...I love them all very much...some I’ve met, some I haven’t but they are the most awesome group in this county!

2 Ashley D.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are so many incredible outlets to this organization. Not only do they meet and facilitate events for the children, but they also meet as a support group once a month for guardians to be able to share experiences, give one another tips, offer support, and ask questions. I have attended several meeting and left learning some new information every time! The recreational services provided through this group are fun, interactive, and bring inclusion to another level! I have seen amazing unity come over our county since this group began. I have witnessed first handedly typical kids mentor, assist, and encourage our kids who thought they would never cross a finish line, or home-plate. There is nothing more inspirational in life than witnessing a game or event of the Effingham county Navigators. The way they support one another as adults is incredible, the way they inspire our younger generation is truly a gift, and what they’re doing with our County is something I enjoy seeing, participating in, and will use as a testimony for the rest of my life. A review really doesn’t do this organization justice. You would just have to see it for yourself. They’re a family, and everyone is welcomed with opened arms.

2 Lynnette B.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Awesome support to allow all people to laugh and play together! #inclusionrevolution

1 Andrea B.7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I absolutely love this group! They do so much for our community

3 Ashlie K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Effingham County Navigator Team has helped my family and I throughout the years. They have been a great outlet and resource for so many families within our community. They’ve helped me as a mother of a child with a disability to navigate the system with knowledge and power to advocate for not only my child but others. They’ve given multiple children opportunities to have lasting and meaningful relationships/friendships that otherwise would not have happened. They have allowed families to spend quality time together without the worries of doctor visits, diagnosis’s , and judgement within the community. They are a great organization and are well deserving of praise and gratitude for all they do.

2 Lori Burdo T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been to their sporting events. They are an amazing group and do so much for the kids.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a provider in Savannah who has worked with MANY of the families involved with this organization it is very difficult to put into words the immense support The Navigator Team provides to those who are affiliated with them (and others).
The individuals who run it are REAL people (not suits) and live the lifestyle they are promoting day to day.
Being a heart first organization can be difficult but they are pulling it off and anyone involved is changed for the better because of them. They work closely with families to ensure they are involved and informed.
Thank you for all you do in this community!!

Jon - Therapist / Harper Aquatics

2 Jessica Nicole S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Effingham Navigator Team is amazing. The best throughout GA.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've never seen my sister so excited to see her Navigator friends. She loves baseball.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my daughter joined this group not only did she make friends but she made a new family. She loves being able to do things that she has never been able to do before.

3 Keith D D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Effingham County Navagator Team has been a great resource for my family and I. We are truly lucky to have them in our community.

4 Carson F.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is one of the most amazing nonprofits I have ever personally seen or been involved with. They do such great things for so many families and individuals. Get involved with them ASAP!

2 Debbie F.7

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been a part of the Effingham County Navigator Team Family for close to 2 years.
My sweet Piper has multiple diagnosis. We found out quickly that the even though the diagnosis is different the resourses are the same. We share the same struggles and emotions along the way. It doesn't matter if it's a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen or someone to guide you in the right direction Pauline, Angela and Michelle are there as well as the other members. We have experienced feelings that I never thought we would. To see your non mobile child participate in a physical sport is the best feeling . To see her smile and laugh that big belly laugh because she is having so much fun is beyond words. I'm truly grateful for The Effingham County Navigator Team.

2

Client Served

Rating: 1

Effingham Navagator Team is more then a support group they are like family. My 4 year old grandson was diagnosed with Autism. The Effingham Navagator Team helped with my many questions and also attended his IEP meeting to make sure his needs are being met. God bless the Effingham Navagator Team.

Comments ( 1 )

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ECNTeam 06/10/2019

AW! Thank you so much for this wonderful review. We try hard to make everyone feel like family because we walk the same paths. I would like to ask why you only gave one star? If it was intentional, no worries. We still love ya! :)

3 Tonya Michelle D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great organization helping the special needs community. Need more people helping like this.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Effingham Navigators has been amazing for our boys. They go above and beyond to help, offer resources and give opportunities for inclusion. Our boys love being involved in extracurricular thanks to Effingham Navigators. I love seeing the pure joy on their faces while playing basketball and baseball. We are so thankful for the many services offered. We have made many new friends through this program. Effingham Navigators is a support system, it is a family.
So thankful, Jay and Ashley Smith

Comments ( 1 )

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ECNTeam 04/17/2019

Thank you so much for their amazing review! We want everyone to feel included and loved.

3 Kaysee C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This group is the best of the best! Supportive, caring, accepting and overall loving of every child and their family that comes their way! My daughter loves her Gators as she calls it! We are so thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow with this team! Go Navigators!

Comments ( 1 )

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ECNTeam 04/17/2019

“Gators”! We LOVE it!!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love playing sports! This year I got to play on a major league ballfield with all my friends and my sister. It was so much fun. We were all in the newspaper and on the news. I have so much fun with all my friends!

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3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love playing baseball, basketball, and going bowling. I have made a lot of friends and we get a lot of trophies too.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is such a wonderful group. It has given my son a chance to participate in sporting activities we probably would not have tried. They are also very supportive if you need help in advising you of your options to provide services to your special needs child. We have been blessed to be a part of it.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

Favoritism is rampant and the same individuals are always favored while the rest feel left out.

Comments ( 1 )

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ECNTeam 08/03/2018

I am so sorry you were made to feel this way. Please know, this is not intentional. Our group is parent led and our events can get hectic at times as we also have our own children to supervise. It gets impossible for us to get to everyone. Thanks for your honesty. We can not fix what we don't know.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Amazing support group for adults combined with a wonderful athletic / sports program for children with special needs. They work to involve the child’s whole family in activities. Newer parents have the opportunity to learn from the more seasoned parents as well as develop allies in the daily struggles and joys of life with a special needs child. Each parent and child participant will be blessed for years to come from participating in this amazing group!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so thankful for Effingham County Navigator Team I have learned so much from this great group. So amazing how they make you feel loved and always ready to help if I need help with child. My child loves his extended family, he enjoys bowling with his friends and riding his bike in the Christmas parade each year.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

It has been a blessing seeing this organization grow the last 8 years! Children and adults have formed lasting friendships. I joined the very first meeting to find supports for my child, but ended up finding a network of families, communiies, and businesses , that have joined together to make the world a better, accepting place for everyone’s tomorrows.

5 Theresa Tirpak M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am grateful. The Navigator Team has made an enormous positive impact on me and and my son' life

3 shawby

Board Member

Rating: 5

Effingham County Navigator Team is an excellent non-profit group. As an adult living with autism, this group has helped me learn to use my own voice in becoming a self advocate, as well as an advocate for others. They provide many social activities, opportunities to play sports, and they also have support meetings for families. The Navigator Team also helps individuals and families find resources to assist those with disabilities to live their best independent lives too!

Previous Stories
4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I’m an adult diagnosed with autism. ECNT is a great group that helps me with resources and training so I can be a better advocate for myself and others. We also have a great time socializing together!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being a part of a group of families that have "needs" in common has been great for our family. We started out small, and just attended the monthly support group meeting in the beginning, but before long we were going to every event that The Navigator Team put together. From bowling, baseball, basketball, parties, a small get together, to the big Christmas party at the end of the year they make it fun for all our kiddos, but most
of all they make us feel included, wanted and welcomed! Our son is not a fan of large groups or even leaving the house most days, but when we say we are doing something with ECNT/The Navigator Team he is eager to go!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an amazing group of people! The "team" goes above any beyond helping with needs a family may have, and with organizing fun events for our children. We started going to support meetings earlier this year, and from meeting ONE we felt welcomed! It takes a village to raise a child, and I am so glad that ECNT is our village.

2 Lindsey H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined this group about 6 months after moving to Georgia. My family had been struggling with finding resources for our autistic son. He and I were also struggling to find friends. We joined this group and got both. The Navigators helped my family get signed up with Family Supports, heled us find an advocate for school, advised us on how and when to talk to the school. They've also become our extended family. The Navigators provide so many activities to bring the families and kids together. They help the kids play sports and go on fun outings. My family has found a group to help guide us through the maze of special needs services, is always welcoming and encouraging, and has led to some of the strongest friendships I've ever experienced.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm so impressed with the amount of dedication this organization puts forth to help raise awareness for children and adults with disabilities!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an Organization made by The Community for for the Community, Warm Welcoming Families and Happy Loving Children . Always a Fantastic Gathering or Event to Enjoy As a family with Families. Epic Memmories to Envelop all the Happiness of the Giffted

3 Michelle Hansen S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family has been involved with this group for several years. We have made friendship that will last forever. My son has been able to do sports with this group, which is something that he would not be able to do without them. They are always there for you when you need them without hesitation.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Effingham County Navigator Team is a great group to be a part of. All who attend are welcomed and feel at home. Thanks for some great times.

3 Heather C.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This group has been one of the best things that has happened for my family. They have helped me figure out next steps since my son's diagnosis, and to get my son's school accommodations in place. My son has made friends (as have I) within the navigator team better than anywhere else. He is able to play the sports he is interested in without embarrassment or reluctance. He took his first ever picture with the Easter bunny because they understood and respected his aversion to being touched. I can't stress enough the positive impact that ECNT has made in our lives.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Effingham County Navigator Team is a great community to be a part of! We have been accepted and loved since our first meeting

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great group for children with special needs and their families. They offer lots of fun recreational activities for the children. They are very supportive and help me to see and understand that other people in the community have a family like mine.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This group is wonderful! Great fun for all kids with special needs and their siblings (parents too). We have participated in bowling, basketball, softball, Splash-in-the-boro adventure, Christmas parties and more! Come join the fun and camaraderie, you'll be glad you did!!!