Tulsa's Little Lighthouse organization unveiled several sculptures in front of their building that represent the kids they serve who have special needs.
"They just asked me if he could be a model, and I said sure," said Ashley Friend, who has a five-year-old boy who attends the Little Lighthouse.
Her son Connor was one of three children who unveiled the new bronze statues Wednesday afternoon.
"I don't really know if he knew it was him, but he definitely was excited," said Friend. She says Connor was born with down syndrome and has been coming to the Little Lighthouse for speech therapy for the past four years.
Like Connor, another girl saw herself in a piece of artwork. Eight-year-old Kadance unveiled her statue from her wheelchair. The statue staring back at her also wore glasses, a ponytail and had her arms wide open.
"This was a big surprise to us. We are just so blessed to be able to tell God's story about this place," said Kristen Long, Kadance's mother.
She said Kadance attended the Little Lighthouse four years before she transitioned into public school.
"This place has just been so tremendous for her for getting a solid foundation for her education and for what we can expect for her, and showing us that there is hope for her and that people love her just the way that she is," said Long.
Families like Long and Friend said the organization offers important services their children need, and it's at no cost to them.
Now, they have something else to look forward to when they drop their kids off. The statues sit at the entrance of the building.
A spokesperson said the value of all sculptures are about $130,000. The money was donated by community members.
The sculptors are local artists, Rosalind Cook and Denise Ford.
The Little Lighthouse offers tuition-free services in Tulsa to children with special needs. It was established in 1972.
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