About

We have a heart for babies

Connecting families with fellowship, resources, and support

Programs & Services


Respite Care

Families of children with special needs seldom get a break from their daily routine. We help families with the cost of professional respite care and offer respite day camps throughout the year.

Adaptive Equipment

Babies with special needs can require specialized items that can be very expensive. We help families purchase items such as specialized car seats, adapted feeding items, and adapted toys.

Loaner Hearing Aids

A wide variety of state of the art digital hearing aids are available through the Loaner Hearing Aid Bank. For more information, contact Crista Froeling at 865-579-2496 or c.froeling@tsdeaf.org.

Assistive Technology

We help families access electronic devices and other assistive technologies that help enable better communication with their special-needs child.

Family Education

We support parents’ efforts to learn about their child’s disability. We provide financial assistance to families to help with the costs of attending conferences and workshops.

Emergency Support

Every family has emergencies, and our families turn to us for help. We provide assistance for emergencies based on a family’s financial need.

Bereavement Support

Sadly, some children with special needs pass away before they graduate from our program. We offer help to cover the costs of funerals and memorials.

Family Learning Days

We host events for families to learn more about their child’s development, meet other families, attend seminars, and enjoy refreshment.

Hospital Collaboration

We provide care packages to families who have premature babies in the NICU at local hospitals, and host baby showers for those infants at the hospitals.

Workshops

We sponsor workshops for parents, siblings, caretakers, and educators to ensure everyone has the information they need for optimal outcomes.

Lending Libraries

We maintain lending libraries where parents can research their child’s disability in order to make informed care decisions. Click to access!

Information Networks

Where does a family find answers? Our information network of services and resources is a valuable tool in creating a special needs care plan.

Our story


In 1995, a group of friends and parents were discussing the vast requirements of children with special needs in East Tennessee. They realized that even the wonderful services of the best agencies serving this population were not enough. They started recruiting friends with specialized skills to volunteer here and there, and that’s how Friends of Tennessee Infant Parent Services (TIPS) was born. Friends of TIPS later became Friends of Tennessee’s Babies with Special Needs, which has served countless area children for nearly 30 years.

Dedicated people with a heart for service

Our organization of dedicated staff and volunteers serves children from birth to age 3 with all types of special needs. Many of them are inspired by their own child or loved one with special needs, and we are grateful for all they do for the babies.

STAFF

  • Katie Ellis, Event Coordinator
  • Shirley Genander, Office Manager
  • Robin Hamrick, Program Director
  • Allen McGill, Finance
  • Rosalind Wood, Finance
  • Teresa McMahan, Grant Writer
  • Martha Emrey, Librarian

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Kristin Alm
  • Lynn Andrick
  • Suzanne Bond
  • Bud Chandler (Emeritus)
  • Jackie Campbell (Chairperson)
  • Melissa Goin (Vice Chairperson)
  • Cathy Hannan
  • Rachel Humphreys
  • Mary Donnet Johnson (Emeritus)
  • John Kerr
  • Scott Lawson
  • Taylor Livingston
  • Susie McCamy
  • Mary Frances Merwin
  • Shyra Nelson
  • Laura Peters
  • Phebe Starkey
  • Don Thompson (Vol Executive Director)
  • Wesley Woolson

ADVISORY COUNCIL

  • Beth Anderson
  • Kay Clayton
  • Laurie Dover
  • Jim Dunn
  • Susan Forsberg
  • Abby Ham
  • Dan & Mary Holbrook
  • Michelle Jubran
  • April Lawson
  • Carlton Long
  • Dee Lundy
  • Jenny McGlothin
  • Dr. Bill Merwin
  • Nina Milner
  • Danielle Nutt
  • Mary & Stuart Oakes
  • Ashley Sims
  • Karl Thomas
  • Bill Williams

Our Signature Events

Easter Egg Hunt

March 2022

Smokies Game

May 2022

Pumpkin Patch

October 2022

Polar Express Movie

December 2022