It was all chocolate chip cookies and smiles in the village of Breckenridge in Tyler on Friday morning when a $75,000 check from Chick-fil-A was presented to residents and staff for the True Inspiration Award.
“We are so excited about this gift from Chick-fil-A,” said Linda Taylor, Associate Executive Director of Promotion. “The community played a huge role in voting for us, because thanks to their votes, we received more money.”
The True Inspiration Awards were established in 2015 to continue the legacy of generosity and community service from Chick-fil-A founder C. Truett Cathy.
“We were able to apply for the Inspiration Awards on behalf of all Chick-Fil-A in Northeast Texas,” said Jeff Johnston, local franchise owner and operator.
The True Inspiration Award is divided into four categories; Caring for people, caring for food, caring for communities, and caring for our planet.”
Using each of these categories, they determine the people who are eligible in the United States and Canada.
This year, 46 nonprofits received grants ranging from $30,000 to $350,000.
“We were delighted to receive $75,000 for this wonderful organization,” Johnston said.
“The funds will be used to secure their home,” Taylor said.
This institution is a cry from the heart of Jean Breckenridge, who dreamed of a place to care for her son, who had Down syndrome, especially after losing her husband and eldest son only a few months apart.
“There are families who are wondering, ‘What will happen to them if I am gone?'” Taylor said. “But thanks to Jin’s dream, we were able to answer that question.”
Jean donated her land and property to a transitional care facility serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“These people can never fully take care of themselves,” Taylor said, “and they always need someone to help them. Therefore, we provide them with a safe home and take care of them every day.”
Entering its 25th year, BVT continues to serve 60 permanent residents and also offers daytime programs for approximately 12 non-residents.
Each morning they start the day with a chapel service and then attend life skills classes and do the daily exercises for an hour.
In addition to using the services offered by the institution, both residents and non-residents will go out and voluntarily participate in various community activities.
“They give credit to the community that supports them,” Taylor said. “They ride on wheels four days a week, then they go to the food bank and help hand out food, and then they go to Hands Up to help sort out the clothes.”
“We just love them,” Johnston said. “They are so deserving of this award and we are very proud to be a part of it.”