Natalie Rankins is a kind, supportive woman and very special in her own right. She is a modest, selfless worker who is often unaware how much her smile and support effects those around her. Traveling down a hard road of her own, she now enjoys sparing others some of the hardships she and her family endured.
Her older son was born with multiple health problems and for the first part of his young life, there was no guarantee he would survive. As a young, single mother with a special needs child, Natalie had to learn early how to navigate a system with more paperwork than funds.With little guidance and support she was tenacious in finding every opportunity for her son. Yet, once her son became an adult, activities to gather with peers were slim and FREE events impossible to find. As some parents do, she took her son on a variety of outings, soon including a few of her son’s special needs friends. As they included more and more friends, Natalie could no longer keep up the outings on her own dime.
Natalie saw a problem and set to work creating a solution. As a special need’s mom and foster care provider, she was already in contact with a host of social workers and various agencies and though they believed her idea had merit they could not provide funds for the venture. Aware that special needs adults have few extra funds, the answer was to provide free activities where special needs adults could connect with their peers in a social setting.
She moved forward with her idea and filed paperwork to become a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Charity called Special Adventures. This endeavor would not work without community support, so she gathered volunteers who not only work all the Special Adventures events, but also have the task of collecting donations. Special Adventures mission is to provide FREE, FUN and SAFE events for special needs adults and does not charge them or their caregivers for food, drinks, entrance or entertainment to any of the events