Locations: 2350 E. Tahlequah St. (P.O. Box 6929), Siloam Springs, AR
Mission: Ability Tree comes alongside families of children with special needs and equips the church through recreation, education, support, and training (R.E.S.T.)
About: Joe & Jen Butler were college students, studying pastoral ministry when their son Micah was diagnosed with multiple disabilities. They would go on to pastor for five years before stepping out by faith to travel the U.S. and help equip churches to better include individuals and families impacted by disability into the life of the church. They moved from New Jersey to Arkansas and founded Ability Tree in 2010, nine months after being invited to share their story at a church in Northwest Arkansas.
Joe and Jen have three children and a personal understanding of the impact of disability on the family. Joe holds a B.A. in Bible from the University of Valley Forge and an M.A. in Disability Studies, with a concentration in Disability Ministry, from California Baptist University. Currently Ability Tree operates programming in Arkansas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Florida. Ability Tree's home office and flagship R.E.S.T. Center is located in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, where Joe and his family make their home.
Services: We provide services for children, teens, and young adults of all abilities. For children with special needs and their siblings, we provide daily after-school programs, weekly Parents Night Out events (respite) to give parents/caregivers a few hours off, inclusive sports leagues, art programs, summer activities, and a variety of community events for families.
For families of children of all abilities, we offer Open Play during the day throughout the week and on Saturdays in our one-of-a-kind 16,000 square-foot R.E.S.T. Center that includes multi-sensory bubble tubes, interactive panels, 7-foot rock climbing wall with monkey bars, indoor and outdoor swings (including a wheelchair platform swing) and dozens of other interactive specialized equipment. Families can pay by the hour or buy a monthly membership.
Volunteer Opportunities: We are a volunteer-driven organization. Fulfilling our mission involves people who are compassionate and willing to give of their time and serve on a team. All of our volunteers go through a thorough background check and receive training, so you don't have to be an expert in the special needs field, you just have to have a heart to serve and a good attitude.
We have many opportunities to serve as a Team Member...monthly, weekly, or daily...from a couple hours to as many as you can give. To learn more about our volunteer opportunities and to submit a volunteer application, go to: abilitytree.org/volunteer