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Maria Lee volunteers with Tucker's House project

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Franklin-based nonprofit Tucker’s House in August was honored to host Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee, who volunteered with the organization as part of her Tennessee Serves initiative. 

In August, the focus of this initiative was serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers. 

Lee first learned of Tucker’s House through her friend who used to serve on the Tucker’s House board. Her office reached out to serve on a project, which happened to fall at the same time that Tucker’s House was named as a 2020 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence from the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Lee was there on the first day of the project for James Roberts, who has Cerebral Palsy. She had the chance to interact with Roberts and his mother, Arlene. She was also able to get her hands dirty by helping with the demolition of the current bathroom. 

In August of 2021, Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee volunteered on a Tucker's House Project.

She took a tour of the home and learned of Arlene’s struggles not only with her son but also with her daughter, who is a recent double amputee. Lee learned what a difference it will make for this family to have their home retrofit with modifications by Tucker’s House.

Tucker’s House partners with families in the Middle Tennessee area who have children with disabilities to make their homes safer and more accessible. Unfortunately, a large majority of these families can’t afford the cost of these modifications. Not only is this unsafe for the child, but also for all caregivers, who are repeatedly lifting, carrying and transferring their growing child. Most caregivers who are the primary caregivers for the child’s entire life experience chronic pain and injuries of their own.

“I see the challenges these families face every day for their children to perform activities of daily living,” Pediatric Physical Therapist Sandra Zaccari said. “An inadequate home multiplies the challenges, both physically and emotionally. Tucker’s House is helping meet a profound and eternal need in our community. The home retrofits that Tucker’s House does for these families are truly life-changing.”

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