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MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Havis' Kids

In spite of battling cancer, his focus remains on creating life long memories for families with special need children.

Posted: Dec. 22, 2017 1:04 PM
Updated: Dec. 23, 2017 7:35 AM

Corinth, Miss. (WTVA) --  During this holiday season of giving, one Alcorn County man continues to bless others.

In spite of battling cancer, his focus remains on creating life long memories for families with special need children.

The Magic of Disney...

It's something that Joe Havis Hurley, better known as Havis has always loved sharing.

Havis first took a group of children from the Boys and Girls Club to Disney World, on the first day that the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971.

Now, he coordinates once in a lifetime experiences for children with special needs.

Allison Cornelius is Havis's daughter.

"There's a thing when I think about my Dad. Love God. Love people. That love that is from God has manifested itself into Havis' Kids," Cornelius said.

After retiring, Havis began driving a special needs bus for the Corinth School District, which led to an idea.

"His heart just fell in love. He does have a heart for kids and it spills over to kids with special needs," Cornelius said.

Havis decided he would take special needs children to Disney World.

The non-profit organization now includes a board of directors and plenty of volunteers

Kim Ratliff serves as one of the board members for Havis' Kids.

"It's a great opportunity for a special needs family. They get the opportunity of a lifetime. Some people spend their whole lives wishing and wondering that they could go," Ratliff said.

Providing transportation for a special needs child and a parent is costly, which is where the creative fundraising comes in such as the recent Jolly Jog Run.

It takes $1000 per person for a parent and a child to go to Disney World.

A cause the community rallies around.

"Four trips later, they're still giving," Cornelius said.

Havis' Kids is creating memories of a lifetime.

"Overwhelming, humbling, Again, it's not about him. It's about these kids, they're pretty special and his heart is that it continues."

The next trip to Disney World is planned in the fall of 2018.

If interested in donating, please make checks payable to Havis' Kids.  Mail donations to JB Darnell State Farm Insurance, 1400 N. Harper Road, Corinth, MS 38834.  To volunteer, look for Havis' Kids on Facebook and leave a message.

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