Hale County honored for receipt of grant

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Governor Bob Riley and First Lady Patsy Riley hosted an event at the Governor’s Mansion Saturday night to benefit Kid One Transport and the Alabama Ballet.

Kid One Transport will provide transportation for children and expectant mothers who have little or no means to travel on their own to doctor’s appointments and other medical treatment.

“Kid One Transport provides an extremely valuable service to children and expectant mothers who are in need,” First Lady Patsy Riley said.

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“The Governor and I are proud to help this worthy cause.”

Marengo, Hale, Sumter and Perry counties are about to receive a service that has been dearly needed for a long time. That service is called Kid One.

Vice-president of development for Kid One Kathleen Cleveland said thanks to the $150,000 matching grant from Johnson&Johnson INC. of the original U.S. Department of Transportation grant of $500,000 our services will soon be on their way to these four counties.

“I would like to thanks the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and the Friends of Hale County for their letters of support during the grant process,” Cleveland said.

She said the $150,000 grant would be split into $75,000 for two years of service in the counties.

Cleveland said that the $75,000 would pay for the driver’s salaries and for the overall up keep of the two vans.

She also said our mission statement is something we stand behind and can’t wait to implement in this area.

“Our Mission Statement is to transport children and expectant mothers, with little or no means of transportation, to needed medical care,” Cleveland said.

She also said that in the Black Belt region of Alabama, doctors and hospitals are very scarce and so much in fact that pregnant women and sick children have to travel over 30 miles to the nearest clinic for a check up. If the children need specialized help, they must travel over 150 miles to the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.

Cleveland said that there is no bus service and a quarter of the homes don’t have a car. The infant death rates during the 1990’s were worse than the countries of Panama and Uruguay.

“An Auburn University study discovered that women in the region are exchanging sex for transportation to medical care for their children,” Cleveland said.

She said so thanks to this grant Kid One can station two vans to serve just these four counties too make sure those stats change for the better. Our service will be open to those with sick children under the age of 19 and to expecting mothers for pre natal and post natal care.

Russell Jackson started Kid One in 1997 after leaving the Hoover Fire Department. Jackson witnessed a two-year-old boy die during one of his calls and that moved him to try and make a difference for the rest of Alabama’s children. Kid One provided 2,854 trips that year for over 293 children.

In 1998, Mercedes-Benz US International in Vance, Alabama committed to sponsoring the idea by giving them two M-Class vehicles a year for free. Cleveland said this was a major turning point in the movement that is Kid One.