Emerge Foundation Update: July 2020

An Update from our CEO

Dear Emerge Friend,

This certainly has been a unique summer for all of us at Emerge. Since The Emerge Center re-opened in early May, the majority of our children have returned for therapy and we are providing support via telehealth on a limited basis. We remain diligent in following all recommended CDC guidelines to safeguard the health of our clients and team.

I’m excited construction on The Emerge School building has been completed and we are hosting a summer camp. With support from New Schools for Baton Rouge, we are able to serve double the number of children in our summer camp compared to last year. 

Our teachers are preparing for students to return for the new school year in August, based on guidance from local and state authorities. Next month, we also will welcome two classes of preschoolers into our signature Bloom program, which integrates multiple therapies in a small group setting.

In recent months, we have been blessed to receive generous contributions from community members to support us as we recover from our closure this spring. These funds have been critical in strengthening both the Center and School as we scale up our operations and adapt to our “new normal.”

During these challenging times, your faith in our team’s perseverance means a great deal to us. Thank you for continuing to champion the needs of the children and families in our care.


Deanna Whittle, CEO, Emerge

Donated Occupational Therapy Playhouse

Recently, Faulk & Meek General Contractors constructed a brand new playhouse for our children. This is a fully functional home setting complete with a kitchen and garage. This offers the opportunity for our therapists to simulate an at-home experience and teach children daily living skills. Grant funding from The William Montan Charitable Trust allowed us to fully outfit the house with furniture, dishes and more. We are so thankful for the generous contributions from these two organizations to help further our programming!

Emerge Fest Wrap Up

On June 26 and 27, we hosted Emerge Fest – a unique, virtual fundraiser that took the place of our previously planned Annual Gala and 60th Anniversary Reunion. Throughout the day on June 26, we shared countless stories from former families, staff, and friends on our social media accounts. On June 27, we broadcasted a live, virtual gala happy hour.

The response from the community – both old and new supporters – was truly remarkable. Over the course of our two-day event, the community stepped up in a major way with donations totaling more than $72,000! Combined with the generous support of our sponsors, host committee, and challenge match from The Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation, Emerge Fest raised a total of $335,000 to support the daily operations of The Emerge Center and The Emerge School.

This has been a challenging year for all of us and we are so very grateful to each and every donor who chose to support Emerge’s first-ever virtual event.

If you missed anything from Emerge Fest, you can visit our Facebook or Instagram pages to look back at the stories we shared. You can also watch a replay of the live gala happy hour.

Donor Perspective

“As parents of a child who needs speech therapy, we have seen firsthand the impact Emerge has on the children and families they serve. The staff is phenomenal and you can truly see the passion for what they do. It’s a pleasure to support such a critical mission that has such a positive impact on the families Emerge serves.”

-Hunter and Lindsey Hines