EVANSVILLE, INDIANA—At the recent launch of the Jacob Ball Wish Fund website, jacobswish.org, Tiffany Ball, the organization’s Executive Director but more importantly, “Jacob’s Momma,” reflected: “It makes it real. We’re really going to be able to help some kids—that’s the biggest thing for me. You want people to feel compelled to help a child.”
According to the not-for-profit group’s mission statement, “The Jacob Ball Wish Fund benefits children as special as he was. Although Jacob was only 12 when he passed away in 2013, his joyful impact continues through the “wishes” that provide special needs students with the experiences and developmental skill builders that would otherwise be unavailable to them.” The organization has already funded a field trip to St. Louis, purchased band instruments, and classroom resources for area students. Thank you notes and pictures from appreciative students are featured on the website.
Jacob Andrew Schriber Ball was so tiny at birth, his neonatologist cradled the infant in the palm of his hand. Born with double-congenital heart disease, Jacob also suffered from seizures, never spoke verbally, and was autistic. Always small for his age, Jacob’s impression on those he encountered was huge. Fascinated with other people’s hands, Jacob was known to reach for, and study, the hands of strangers. It’s fitting then, that his mother, Tiffany Ball, wears a charm around her neck that bears the imprint of one of Jacob’s fingertips.
Jacob, who attended Glenwood Leadership Academy, was an enthusiastic and lifelong fan of the music and adventures of Jay Jay the Jet Plane, an animated character on PBS. Shortly after his death, Tiffany and her husband, Brian Douglas Ball, along with other family members, sought to find a way to keep Jacob’s spirited joy alive. The result was the creation of the Jacob Ball Wish Fund. Those seeking to have a “wish” funded on behalf of a child will find the simple application process on the website: jacobswish.org. Donations to fund a wish may also be made via the site.
The mobile-friendly site was designed and built by EXTEND COMMUNITY, the community-focused branch of the Evansville-based marketing company, EXTEND GROUP. Shawn Collins, EXTEND GROUP Founder & CEO, met Tiffany Ball more than a decade ago through Leadership Evansville.