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J T Townsend Foundation Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services

Mission: Mission Statement The JT Townsend Foundation (JTTF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established to raise funds, provide financial assistance, and/or adaptive equipment for children and adults with disabilities. JT suffered a near fatal hit playing high school football and ended up a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. He met 2005 PLAYERS Champion-Fred Funk who built his family a wheelchair accessible home. JT had a dream. The JTTF is the Townsend family’s way of giving back to the community that so generously provided for JT after his injury. Sadly,JT passed away suddenly in June 2013 after he had successfully started his foundation. The JTTF will better many lives and provide support for important research. The Foundation operates in complete compliance with established federal and state regulations and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, or national origin

Results: This non profit was formed in 2010 and has been able to help many people with various pieces of equipment they could not afford to have otherwise. As of spring of 2016 we have helped over 260 families with more than $520K in equipment and financial assistance.

Target demographics: People living on Florida's First Coast meeting the mission statement criteria.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2015 we helped 65 families with more than $105,000 in adaptive equipment and financial assistance.

Geographic areas served: Florida/Georgia First Coast

Programs: We offer help to those who have been denied by insurance for pieces of adaptive equipment that can make their lives better. We also help with financial assistance for items such as IPads, ramps, adaptive strollers and activity chairs.

Community Stories

114 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The JT Townsend Foundation provides much needed assistive technology and equipment to children and their families. Funding sources have strict rules for the provision of DME without regard for the individual who suffers without it. JT Townsend also connects families who have used equipment to share in order to maximize their available resources. Every family that I refer to the foundation hears JT's story and mission to give back to others.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I worked at WWP when JT interned and he was a very special person. I witnessed his selfless actions and a great moment was when he was able to give a new chair stroller to a little boy and his family so they were able to take him to the beach.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had a special needs son who passed away 10 years ago. It was always a battle to get services and equipment for him. I only wish the JT Townsend Foundation was around then. They are an awesome organization who helps so many people.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

JT Townsend foundation bought a pulse oximeter for my patient. She is on a pulse ox 24/7 and her's would die after being unplugged for only a few hours. This made leaving the house for doctors appointments and fun outings very difficult and dangerous. The pulse ox we received for my patient from the JT Townsend foundation runs on batteries and lasts for 48 hours! This is such an important tool for my little patient and this has made it so much safer for her! Thank you again JT Townsend foundation:)

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our little daughter, Rhonda, was born with severe brain injury (Cerebral Palsy). She learned to walk but a seizure disorder took that away and she is confined to moving in her wheel chair. We wanted her to be able to stand up again to move, and thought a specialized adult walker would be helpful. Since insurance would not cover a second piece of equipment, we reached out to the J.T. Townsend Foundation. After a brief application, and telephone interview, we were told she would get that walker.
I assumed it would come in a box that we would have to put together. However, we got a call that J.T.'s mother and aunt would personally put it together and bring it to our house.

We had a most delightful afternoon meeting with this special family, and Rhonda took to that supporting walker with a smile on her face. This organization is doing a wonderful job in fulfilling the dreams of J.T. to help other disabled children and adults. God bless them.
Mrs. Jo Knott, Rhonda's mother

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The JTTF helped my son who has cerebral palsy and is a quadriplegic with a much-needed piece of equipment that insurance would not cover. My son's new umbrella type of stroller will assist us in being able to get out in the community again. Thank you JTTF for all that you do in our community!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The JTTF helped when all others said "no." We needed a safe medical car seat to meet not only state law but for proper transporting a disabled person. Diabilities include spastic quadriplegia, scoliosis, and seizures. The Therapedic Integrated Positioning System Car Seat is perfect.

Thank you for the car seat and your consideration and kindness.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The JT Townsend Foundation helped us out after my teenage son suffered an Anoxic Brain Injury last year which left him non-verbal and physically limited. The Ipad they donated helped us to not only entertain him but engage him in ways we did not know were possible. Being confined to a wheelchair getting my son to his many doctors appointments and therapies was grueling and painful utilizing public transportation. We held a personal fundraiser and our aim was to purchase a used wheelchair accessible van. The foundation helped us again by matching some of the funds we raised. We could not have managed this without their help. Getting our own van was a life changer. There are no words to describe how their assistance helped to improve the quality of my son's life. I will be forever grateful.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The JTTF has been wonderful. Thanks to JTTF my son now has a device that helps him walk without the use of a cumbersome brace. We could not have done this without their help.
The response time from when we first contacted them was amazing and the genuine eagerness to help is incredible. Thank you so much for all you do and keep up the great work .
AJ and Laurie

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

JT Townsend is wonderful they help my 4 year old get a iPad he needed it for learning and communication. This foundation is wonderful. Thanks so much for your help to us and the other special people in the community.

1 Christy A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

JT Townsend Foundation is amazing on how helpful they are for the disabled community. They were so helpful when we were in need of help for our 3 year old with Spina Bifida. Our family will forever be grateful.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I want to thank JT Townsend Foundation for helping my 3 year old son with the addition "Intense Therapy" he will be receiving in October 2012. My little guy has Spina Bifida and uses a wheelchair to get around for long distance and a walker for short distance. This intense therapy will help work weak muscles and make a world of difference in his physical abilities. We feel SO BLESSED that we found JT Townsend Foundation to help us with the cost of this therapy. Insurance will be paying very little if any for this very expense therapy. The whole process was a wonderful experience with JTTF and I look forward to returning a favor one day. Once again Thank you, you have no idea how much this has meant to our family. The Alvarez

Comments ( 1 )

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zjudes3 10/04/2012

Thank you Alvarez family! You are awesome! The JTTF Staff

1 Nanett P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The JT Townsend Foundation helped us get an adult size jogging stroller for our 15 year old son. This is an amazing blessing and give him (and our family) much freedom. We can go to the beach, down trails, out to the Jetties, and around town to festivals and parks in the jogging stroller. Most of that would be off limits in his daily wheelchair either due to the wheels, or the lack of shade. They truly gave my son and all of us the whole world, not just the tiny part his chair will go to.

They also gave up hope and joy at a time we really needed a bit of sunshine. My son has been in and out of the hospital this last year. Our involvement with JTTF and Carmen was definitely a boost to our morale and our spirits.

1 Erin80

Client Served

Rating: 5

We needed a piece of durable medical equipment for our toddler son. Insurance wouldn't cover it as they deemed it unnecessary. When we contacted JTTF, they procured the bath/potty chair for our child within 2 weeks. 2 1/2 yrs later, we are still using it. Their generosity has made such a big difference for our little boy's quality of life. Thank you, JTTF!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The JT Townsend Foundation is absolutely amazing with helping out disabled families like mine who are less fortunate. They helped our son who has severe Autism and is non verbal with a device to help with his learning that we would otherwise not be able to afford. I can't tell you how much that meant to us and our son who is making very good use of it!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The JT Townsend foundation is a nonprofit where one truly sees positive results. Numerous students at our school and a good friend's daughter received equipment that truly met the person and the family's needs. I am so impressed by the JT Townsend foundation. Go JT!

Comments ( 1 )

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zjudes3 03/03/2014

Thank you for your kind words! Judi Zitiello, Board Chair JTTF

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The JT Townsend Foundation provides more than just a piece of adaptive equipment or a check- it gives so many people hope that they can overcome whatever their obstacle is and that they can still make a difference no matter what their disability is. In the end, I hope everyone is touched by JT Townsend's story and decide to live their life like JT did.

1 Tink L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

JTTF is an amazing organization which has done soo much in the Jacksonville community. Its brought us together with their events raising awareness and funds at the same time. JTTF is a key member of the First Coast Family.

Comments ( 1 )

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zjudes3 09/12/2013

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments! We are so happy to hear the community is behind us and wants us to keep JT Townsend's good works going. Thank you, thank you, thank you.....Judi Zitiello, Board Chair

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great cause - helping those less fortunate with adaptive equipment and financial support. Carrying on the legacy of the named founder JT Townsend -- always be positive and pay it forward.

1 masonmuzik

Board Member

Rating: 5

The JT Townsend Foundation provides support for individuals and families who have significant needs for adaptive equipment and services to help them achieve greater functional independence, but have not been able to acquire these things due to insurance denials or financial hardships. Patients are often left with their needs unmet and few options for assistance. Without the JTTF, many patients would be left having to settle for less independence and functional mobility. The foundation executes its mission in a loving, caring, and compassionate way that has touched over 170 families in NE Florida.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The JTTF has made an unbelievable difference in our community by making resources and equipment available to those with spinal cord injuries who might not otherwise be able to obtain these items. Because of increasing denials, co-payments, and co-insurance amounts being imposed on patients by insurance companies, it is often impossible for them to get needed equipment. The JTTF has stepped up to help patients in need receive adaptive equipment and assistive devices that increase their independence and quality of life. As a physical therapist working with these types of patients, I have first hand experience in how a wheelchair, standing frame, transfer aid, FES bike, and other items can change the lives of a patient and their caregivers. The JTTF is most definitely a "Great Non-Profit"!

Comments ( 1 )

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zjudes3 10/04/2012

Thank you for the kind words and for all you do for so many every day as well. Judi Zitiello, Board Chair JTTF

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

J T Townsend Foundation provides support for our families right here on the First Coast. Many families describe this assistance as life changing.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JTTF has done more than provide people with certain needs. It has given people hope and it lets people know that they are not alone. There are so many people out there that need help and I truly believe this foundation will trive! JT's heart and soul was dedicated to his foundation and I couldn't be more honored to be a part of it! Live Like JT!!

1

Board Member

Rating: 4

JTTF has helped over 170 families on the First Coast by providing adaptive equipment that insurance will not cover.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about how awesome The JT Townsend Foundation is!!! My fiancé & I just got involved with this top notch organization this past Spring! It truly was an amazing eye opener & life changing moment for us both. Although we only had the pleasure of meeting JT Townsend just once before he passed. He touch our hearts in a spot that never had been touched before. The genuine love & passion that this foundation represents makes it all more worth the while for us both to want to continue to be active volunteers for the JTTF. And more importantly keep JT's awesome energy, kind spirit & true determination alive & moving forward!!! "Live like JT" ... Blessings Tessa & Michael

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

It has been a privilege to serve on the JT Townsend Board of Directors since its inception two years ago. We are a small group of hard working, caring individuals who truly believe in JT's desire to give back and make a difference to those needy, yet most deserving families.
Look out! There are great things ahead for this Foundation. Many thanks to our fellow board members, volunteers and donors who inspire us and help keep JT Townsend's legacy alive.

1 Jessica125

Client Served

Rating: 5

The JT Townsend Foundation truly changed my son's life. After denial after denial from our Insurance Company, (BCBS), we had given up on getting Caleb the adaptive stroller and adaptive car seat that he needed. You see, My son has Cerebral Palsy. His Dad and I provide all of his daily needs, as he is unable to do anything for himself. You can imagine our frustration when we couldn't get the supplies/equipment that our son so desperately deserves. Enter the JT Townsend Foundation. No questions asked, except, HOW CAN WE HELP and WHAT DO YOU NEED? 3 weeks after applying, we were approved! We were overjoyed! FINALLY our son was going to get 2 very important pieces of equipment we could not have afforded on our own. :( We have been welcomed with open arms into the JT TOWNSEND FAMILY, and we couldn't be happier to be here. We are forever in their debt. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LOVING OUR SON!
Jessica, Jeff, Jacob and Caleb Finch

1 theEaglesDaughter

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

JT has been my friend since High School and I am so proud of everything that he has done. A heart of gold and now an Angel.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

During a recent One Spark event I had the pleasure of meeting J.T and his mother as well as his group of volunteers. JT's life and his story has truly been life changing for me. He has given me sucha positive outlook on life. He is sweet, loving , genuine and always seems to have a smile on his face. What he is doing in our community and how he took such a trajedy in his life and turned it around for the good has truly impacted me on so many levels. JT I want to say Thank You to you personally from the bottom of my heart. After meeting you for the first time yesterday here at my place of employment The Everbank Center and literally have not been able to keep my mouth shut about you. You and I are the same age and graduated the same year and I know that in your mind at times you think life should have been different for you but God had different plans, but what you have done has truly been extraordinary and I cant say thank you enough. I have a 4 year old son who was diagnosed with Autism in May 2012, it has truly been challenging and I cannot wait for you to one day meet my little angel! I will be seeing a lot more of you as I feel I have been lead to volunteer where my time is needed. There is no greater joy than to help those in need and that is my passion! Lastly I will say congrats and Enjoy your graduation next week you are so deserving and have worked so hard!!! Much love and respect Sincerly Victoria Distefano

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son Aijalon is 6 years old, with CP, microcephaly, trach, gtube, etc. He is total care and requires 24hr care. Our issue was that I bought my home which is a townhouse, prior to me even considering adopting my son. Well the problem is all of our bedrooms are upstairs. I'm a single adoptive parent and all of the carrying my son up and down the stairs fall primarily on me. My son is growing and getting bigger and that task is becoming more difficult.

We were referred to the JTTF and I told our story and requested a stairlift to help me with getting my son up and down the stairs. I was contacted immediately by Mrs. Judith and after a couple of conversations the process begun and within a two week time period I was informed we would be "Blessed" with the stairlift and it was installed.

I can't say enough good things about the JTTF foundation, not only what they did for us, but what they have done for so many others in the community. Many others heard my problem and either had or offered any solutions. JTTF stepped right in and became our hero!! If there is ever anything I can ever do to help or spread the word about this wonderful foundation, I will definitely do it without a moments hesitation. They were truly a God send for us!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 3 year old son, Jonas, has Sensory Processing disorder and autistic-like behaviors at times. His occupational therapist suggested a therapeutic listening system to help him with his behavior. She said the JT Townsend Foundation may be able to help with paying for it, as we were stressed at the time for funds getting ready for our daughter's medical trip to Colorado and a possible strike with my husband's work. The JT Townsend Foundation paid for the therapeutic listening headphones, CDs, and other items needed for the therapy. Not only that, but when the board members met later in the month to discuss the cases they had helped, they decided to give us money to help my daughter and I travel to Colorado for her medical treatment. We are so thankful for the JT Townsend Foundation family!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A co-worker shared this foundation with me last week as i had been searching for financial assitance for my patients; babies with synostosis, who require custom molded helmets following cranial surgery. Most insurance companies do not cover these helmets and they are quite expensive. When i looked into JT's foundation i was so elated to find out that these precious lives and thier families could be helped. It is such a beautiful thing to give back and JT you are amazing. Thanks for being open to helping those in need. I pray for miracles to continue in your life. Suzanne B.

1 Lindsey13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of volunteering with JTTF in December 2011 for a toy drop at Nemours Children's Hospital. It was also the first time I was be to interact with JT and his mother, both very inspiring! It was so uplifting to see sick children have joy from receiving toys and seeing JT give with such a huge heart! The JTTF is doing great things for in Jacksonville and I look forward to working with them in the future.

Comments ( 1 )

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zjudes3 10/12/2012

Thank you Lindsey for joining us in helping JT make a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities here on the First Coast. See you soon.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working as a volunteer for the JT Townsend Foundation (JTTF) since its inception has been an incredible experience. I've witnessed firsthand that when JTTF assists a disabled individual here on the First Coast, they don't view or treat them as a client, but as family. The support that JTTF provides for disabled individuals and their families goes beyond financial and/or equipment support, but largely provides moral support to these families that face struggles that many of us can't even begin to imagine. JT himself is the heart and soul of this foundation and his loving, selfless and caring nature embodies everything that the Foundation is about. While the equipment that JTTF provides for these individuals brings a great sense of relief, it barely seems to match the reassurance of having the support of this extended family behind them. I look forward to continue working with this great non-profit in the future and encourage those looking to make an impact on the First Coast Community to donate or get involved in this organization.

Comments ( 1 )

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zjudes3 10/05/2012

Without volunteers like yourself Kevin, we could not accomplish our mission. Thank you for all you do every day for JTTF....The JTTF Staff

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have known JT a few years after meeting him briefly at UNF. I heard about him and wanted to meet him since we have similar injuries. My mother heard of his foundation and contacted JT about applying for an FES bike for me, which I never would have been able to afford and insurance didn't cover it. She submitted the application and sure enough JT helped get it for me. This special bike works my muscles with electrodes and is the therapy I need to keep my body moving. I am so, so thankful for the JT foundation and what they did for me. JT and everyone on his staff are amazing! :)

Comments ( 1 )

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zjudes3 10/05/2012

Thank you so much Christy for the wonderful review. We were so happy we could help in the purchase of the FES Bike. The JTTF staff.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This spring we went to the medical supply store to inquire about cost of a lift for the van; there was no way we could afford it and insurance does not cover those things. Am thinking it was a divine appointment because there was a precious lady there picking up supplies when I told the man we could NOT afford it. She asked about the item and we explained it to her. She was a board member of the JT Townsend Foundation and asked me to fill out an application and submit it. We did and the glide n go lift was installed in our van. J T helps so many folks in so many different ways. And he is so loving and kind; has faced some insurmountable odds himself and yet he does not give up. What an inspiration!! Our Emily had a wheelchair race with him at his house when we had the lift installed. May God continue to bless this awesome Foundation and the folks they help.

Comments ( 2 )

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zjudes3 10/05/2012

God is soooo good! So happy we met that day! Thanks for the kind words.

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zjudes3 10/05/2012

God is soooo good! So happy we met that day! Thanks for the kind words.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was informed about the JT Townsend Foundation through a colleague of mine. I was working with a pt who is 16 years old and sufferd a traumatic injury that left him paralyzed. The patient was in need of a lot of resources, still is. I submitted an application for the patient to get a hospital bed through the JT Townsend Foundation and in no time received word from Judy Zitello that they wanted to help out. Within a short time Judy had found a bed through Stryker and had everything set up for this family. Additionally, JT himself went out and talked to the patient to talk to him about not allowing his injuries to limit his future. What a quick response and a fantastic impact Judy and JT made. It was wonderful working with them and I so appreciate their wilingess to help others.

Comments ( 1 )

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zjudes3 10/04/2012

Thank you so much for your kind words. Judi Zitiello, Board Chair