Parker’s Purpose actively seeking donations

Yaneek Smith

        For the last three years, Parker’s Purpose has had to forgo its primary fundraiser, a dinner held every summer featuring a speech from a collegiate or professional athlete or coach that has helped raise hundreds of thousands for local families having trouble paying medical bills.
        Some of the speakers have included Buckeye greats like Jim Tressel, Archie Griffin and Eddie George, among others.
        In 14 years, the organization has given out over $600,000 to hundreds of Ohio families in dire need of assistance.
        The foundation came from the humblest of beginnings. In 2008, Parker Inks, who was at the time a 9-year-old in third grade in the Bishop Hoffman Catholic School District, fell very ill with respiratory problems.
        Inks, who suffers from muscular dystrophy and can only move his head and his hands slightly, was the recipient of a fundraising campaign started by Todd Drusback, who would later become the president of Parker’s Purpose, to bring money in to pay for Inks’ medical bills. As fate would have it, there was money left over after the bills were paid, and Inks decided to pay it forward and found the charity.
        Inks graduated from Bowling Green State University two years ago.
        “Being an educator, in our current day and age, you kind of appreciate Parker even more. For Parker, instead of comparing and focusing on (social media), he chooses to focus on the things he can do and not the things he can’t do, and that’s to make an impact on other people’s lives,” said Drusback. “He knows that if you put others first, you will be rewarded.”
        Under Drusback’s leadership and with the help of countless individuals who make the foundation what it is today, things are going well.             
        “Every year, we’re trying to increase our annual giving; we’re continuing to have more funds raised. That’s where we are, I’m trying to collaborate with others,” said Drusback. “We're providing iPads and bikes, something tangible, for families with disabled children. Families that are struggling, they’re spending their money on medical bills and putting food on the table. We can help them out, help the child in need.”
        Drusback recently talked about a meeting he had with Kids Mobility Network, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides children with disabilities with complex rehab technology and durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, standers, adaptive bikes, activity chairs, and other medical equipment.
        “As an educator and coach, I understand what exercise and physical activity can do for your mental health with the release of those endorphins,” said Drusback. “These children can participate in more activities. We’re helping to assist (the company).”
        Drusback has done work with iTaalk, which is located in Toledo. iTaalk stands for Interactive Technology Assisting Autistic Little Kids and helps kids on the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) communicate. The iTaalk Autism Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources, education and assistive technology to individuals with autism and their stakeholders for the purpose of developing greater independence at all stages of life.
        “There’s iPad training for parents, it teaches kids who are on the autism spectrum disorder. It helps kids, some of whom are non-verbal, to communicate. I think we’ve worked with them for eight years,” Drusback said.. For our iPad recipients, iTaalk will help get them set up, depending on the child’s disability, and when they leave, they’re equipped to help their kid success with the iPad.”   
        The Glass City Wine Festival, which takes place in March, will donate $5,000 to the foundation, and Wine Check will donate, too. There is also the Welty Insurance Group’s 7th Annual Charity Golf Outing that benefits Parker’s Purpose next July. And the other two corporate sponsors are Express Employment Professionals and McNaughton-McKay Electric Company.
        For more information, contact Drusback at 419-680-9568 or 419-334-7275 or email


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