When Morris and her son Jeffrey (who was afflicted with muscular dystrophy and later died in 1980) moved to California, she found no childcare for disabled children. In 1972, Morris opened the Jeffrey Foundation in Los Angeles to care for her son, while helping other families in similar circumstances.
“I started it in my living room while on unemployment,” she says. “I had no idea I was creating a foundation.”
The Jeffrey Foundation’s philosophy is to provide quality education and recreation services to help children improve learning skills, modify behaviors, learn socialization, develop self-reliance and achieve dignity and self-esteem.
Operating out of Jeffrey’s Special Child and Family Resource Center, which opened in September in Los Angeles, the foundation serves children suffering from a variety of physical and emotional problems. Morris recently formed Special Child USA to replicate her organization in major cities throughout the country.
“She is an amazing woman who has devoted her life to family services and support,” Veronica Solano, program administrator, says about Morris. “I have never met anyone so invested in making her dream a reality.” Morris adds that reaching out to others has helped her overcome her own grief at the loss of her son.