SADI wins nation-wide True Inspiration Award

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Wednesday, May 24, 2023

SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence, Inc. (SADI) was nominated by local Chick-fil-A owner

Brian House to apply for True Inspiration grant funding through the fast-food franchise in 2022. SADI submitted their application, and they were chosen out of 46 finalists nationwide to participate in a “voting contest” on the Chick-fil-A's mobile app.

SADI was surprised in December 2022 when a film crew and Chick-fil-A executives showed up at their door to present their finalist check and announce that they were chosen as the True Inspiration Award winner for 2023. They received $350,000 in grant funding.

“This has by far been the most special recognition we have ever been blessed to receive,” said executive director Donna Thompson. “SADI had been fundraising to build a sensory garden/recreation area, so a portion of the grant money will go toward that project. As for the rest, it will go toward enhancing services and experiences for our consumers.”

SADI opened as a nonprofit center for independent living in 1993 and has provided services for individuals with physical disabilities for 30 years. In 2019, they began offering services for developmental disabilities, and opened a behavioral clinic in 2021 that offers day habilitation services for adults out of high school. There are 22 centers for independent living in the state of Missouri.

For their 30th anniversary, SADI is working with a local company to create a new logo that celebrates all they do.

SADI employs people with disabilities or people whose family members have disabilities, and this is one thing Thompson said makes their organization unique.

“SADI staff understand the challenges of living with a disability whether it’s physical or developmental. I think that gives us the gifts of empathy and understanding the day-to-day struggles,” Thompson said.

For more information on SADI, visit