Harris Employees Participate in Challenged Child & Friends 5K Harris employees participate in the Challenged Child & Friends 5K Run/Walk

Harris donates $20,000 to charities helping kids, adults with disabilities

Mason, Ohio - Apr 05, 2010 :

The Harris Products Group recently announced two donations of $10,000 each, to organizations who assist children and adults with disabilities. These organizations, Abilities First and Challenged Child and Friends, Inc., assist families in their community through inclusive education, therapies, awareness programs and other services.

“We have proudly supported Abilities First and Challenged Child and Friends for several years and recognize the importance of continuing that support,” said David Nangle, president of the Harris Products Group, which has its international headquarters in Mason, Ohio. “We understand that as businesses suffer the effects of the economic downturn, so do the organizations in the community that rely on donations. For that very reason, we believe we must continue our long tradition of giving to support deserving charities in our local communities.”

Challenged Child and Friends, Inc., operates an early intervention center, serving children who have developmental delays as well as their typically developing peers. Located in Northeast Georgia, with a school across the street from the Harris Products Group’s Gainesville, Georgia, plant, the nonprofit served more than 250 children and families during the 2008-2009 school year from 11 counties. The organization partners with public school systems and other organizations to ensure a unique, interdisciplinary approach to pediatric therapeutic services.

“Harris is a wonderful friend of ours. They are our neighbors in every sense of the word – literally across the street from our school – and they have been generous with donations and volunteers. They not only support us financially, they understand what we do and have been willing to step up and be a visible champion for us in the community,” said J. David Earnest, executive director/CEO, Challenged Child and Friends. “It would be very difficult to imagine Challenged Child and Friends not having this kind of strong relationship with Harris.”

Abilities First started in 1958 with eight children and today serves more than 1,200 clients, both children and adults, in an eight-county region. The organization offers an inclusive day care and preschool, Beginning’s Children’s Center, welcoming and educating children with both special and traditional needs to learn side-by-side. Abilities First also offers pediatric therapy services, as well as the unique Discovering Abilities and Everybody Counts programs to raise awareness of disabilities in the community and with school-aged children.

“Harris Products Group contributes annually to Abilities First and is a Platinum Sponsor for our annual Golf Classic, helping to raise over $30,000 each of last two years.  Their continual support is more than more than just dollars and cents; it’s their employees giving of themselves and being involved in the lives of those served. The time those people spend with us is the greatest gift of all.  We feel very fortunate that Harris has adopted us into their family and the difference they have made is immeasurable,” said Roger Smith, Director of Development and Community Relations, Abilities First.

About Challenged Child and Friends, Inc.
Founded in 1985, Challenged Child and Friends is located in Gainesville, Ga., on a 15-acre campus. In 2000, Challenged Child and Friends was selected by Leadership Georgia as a model children’s program. Today, it continues to be one of the most efficient and effective non-profits in the region, partnering with public school systems and other organizations to ensure a unique, inter-disciplinary approach to pediatric therapeutic services, serving over 250 children and families in 2008-2009.  For more information, visit www.challengedchild.org or call (770) 535-8372.

About Abilities First
Abilities First, located in Middletown, Ohio, serves more than 1,200 clients, both children and adults, in an eight-county region. Founded in 1958, the organization offers an inclusive day care, therapy services and other resources and two residential care facilities and an adult day program for adults with disabilities. The organization also provides disability awareness programs and age-appropriate curriculum for children to understand disabilities and recognize the abilities of their classmates with special needs. For more information, visit www.abilitiesfirst.org or call (513) 423-9496.

About The Harris Products Group
The Harris Products Group, a Lincoln Electric Company, is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of cutting, welding, brazing, and soldering equipment and consumables and gas distribution systems. Harris Products Group products are sold and used in more than 90 countries. For more information about the Harris Products Group and its products and services, please visit the company's web site at www.harrisproductsgroup.com.

Contact Information:
Ira Vea Bennett, Director of Marketing
The Harris Products Group
2345 Murphy Boulevard
Gainesville, GA 30504-6000
Tel:  770.538.6184
Fax:  770.535.8358
Email:  ira_bennett@lincolnelectric.com