ACTS OF KINDNESS: Paying it forward to a champion of children - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

ACTS OF KINDNESS: Paying it forward to a champion of children

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Providing a place where kids with special needs feel accepted and connected, is the mission of the "Friends Program" at Swift Creek Baptist Church.

We're paying it forward to the founder of the friends ministry, a mother of two special needs children who's been leading the program more than a decade.

A volunteer calls Loretta Geyer a "Champion for Children," who deserves our Acts of Kindness recognition.

What started 12 years ago with just a couple of kids has expanded to connect more than 80 special needs friends and volunteers.

The annual friends talent showcase always gets a ringing endorsement.

"They may have what we consider disabilities, but I just see them as having abilities that we don't have," said Loretta.

Volunteers said founder Loretta Geyer leads a ministry that is life changing.

"There's so many kids that feel rejection, either because of down syndrome or learning disability or even abuse," said Nancy Griffin.

Sabrina: "We are so excited about this friends program and here's one-hundred, two-hundred, three-hundred dollars."

Volunteers Nancy and her husband Phil said Loretta never wants recognition, she always lets her friends shine, so we had to surprise her.

Nancy: "You are the best of the best, and I want so much to thank you for what you've done."

Nancy said through friends, Loretta helps people with special needs feel connected, confident.

Nancy: "You make em hold their head high and know that they're loved through God and that is the most awesome thing anybody could do."

Acts of Kindness honors uplifting connections and we add a little cash to help pay it forward.

Loretta: "We will just put it in our 'Kitty' for the kids, they will love it."

Loretta reasons the friends program is successful because it's rooted in love. She found inspiration in her daughter, Kristen.

Mother and daughter never imagined they'd make so many new friends, generate so many smiles.

"You get em and they see you and they run to you and they put their arms around you... I'm blessed. Very, very blessed," said Loretta.

If there's an organization or individual you believe deserves an Act of Kindness, e-mail me. Remember, it cannot be a relative.

Send your nomination to kindness@nbc12.com.

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