by Raissa Chandler, Founder
My friend, Karen Echols, died this week due to an illness that arose during her cancer treatments. I’ll miss her. A lot of people tend to lean on me for advice and support. I, in turn, leaned on Karen for advice and support. Karen was one of the original Southsiders. She was one of our first trustees for the organization and ultimately the first Vice President of Southside Support back in 2011 when we first incorporated into a 501c3 nonprofit. Her most significant contribution to Southside was developing our core belief that the family is a unit. What happens to a child affects the whole family, not just the child.
She was the author of our original Purpose, stated here: The corporation's purpose shall be to assist families who have a child with a special need connect to community resources as well as connect community resources to families through the organization, development, and implementation of information resources, support mechanisms and appropriate services, and/or programs which function to create a bridge and offer guidance directed toward that end.
I learned a lot from listening and talking to Karen. She and I were super close those early years of Southside, but drifted a little apart when she moved to Florida. I have regrets that I couldn’t make more time to hang out with her once she moved back to Georgia, but life often pulls all of us in different directions. I will never forget the lifelong lessons she gave me.
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