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The partnership between Ability Tree First Coast and the communities in Northeast Florida will be the cornerstone of its future. We are committed to meeting the needs of the special needs community by offering Recreation, Education, Support, and Training. Our organization’s approach to excellence in the family’s development, socialization, and support will be its hallmark.

As Ability Tree First Coast grows its roots deeper into this region, our programs will provide various opportunities for our families to be supported, included, and educated. We currently offer respite through our Parents Night Out & Parents Day Out, as well as providing a therapeutic summer day camp: CampAbility Special Day Camp. In the future, we will offer activities including sensory friendly activities, sibling groups, teen & adult socials, workshops, after-school care. We also currently promote inclusion in the community by providing strategies for churches, businesses, and organizations to assimilate these families into their visions.

Ability Tree Roots:

Joe and Jen Butler were college students, studying pastoral ministry, when their son Micah was diagnosed with developmental disabilities. They would go on to pastor for five years before founding Ability Tree, a faith-based nonprofit organization, in 2010. Joe and Jen have been married for 22 years, have three children, and a personal understanding of the impact of disability on the family.


To come alongside families impacted by disability and equip organizations through Recreation, Education, Support, and Training (R.E.S.T.).


To create inclusive and supportive communities where individuals and families affected by disability can enjoy healthy relationships in their neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and churches.

First Coast Team Members

Joanne Alicea

Joanne is our Chief Executive Officer and the parent of a spunky boy with Down syndrome and a creative teenage girl with ADD & Learning Disability. Joanne believes in the collaboration of individuals, families, and the communities they live in to work together to create a culture of support, inclusion, and personal growth. She does presentations on disabilities awareness in various settings, including symposiums, churches, hospitals, business groups, and schools.

Kelly Wilkinson

Kelly is our lead teacher for CampAbility Special Day Camp. She has an extensive history teaching children with special needs in the school system both in NC and FL. She has a passion for children to reach their fullest potential and looks forward to pouring into the lives of our campers each summer. She has her degree and is certified in Special Education, is a Florida Certified Infant Toddler Disabilities Specialist, and is certified in CPR/AED/First Aid, as well as Safe Crisis Management. 

Board of Directors

Ability Tree is led by a team of people passionate about the mission. Our volunteers are the heart of the organization.


Joanne Alicea

Ability Tree First Coast, Inc.

Angela Barnes

Barnes Interactive, Inc.

Jeannie Petty

Professional ASL Interpreter

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Ability Tree is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.