The inspirational story of Siskin Children’s Institute co-founders Mose Siskin and Garrison Siskin is told in local author Barry Parker’s most recent book, “Men of Steel, Hearts of Gold: The Life and Legacy of Mose and Garrison Siskin,” and is now for sale to the community.
The book recounts how two sons of immigrant parents rose from modest circumstances to become successful entrepreneurs and groundbreaking humanitarians. Today, their legacy lives on through the services offered at Siskin Children’s Institute and the Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation in Chattanooga
More than a half century ago, two Chattanooga businessmen devoted their lives to serving their community and reaching out to people with disabilities. In 1942, Garrison Siskin sustained a life-threatening injury, and he was told his leg would have to be amputated. He prayed to God that if his leg were spared, he would dedicate the rest of his life to helping others. His plea was answered, and he made a full recovery.
When Mose learned of the vow, he told his brother, “If it’s your promise, it’s my promise, and we will keep it together.” They established the Siskin Foundation in 1950; and nine years later, they opened a rehabilitation center, what is now the Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation, to provide outpatient services, including physical therapy, speech and language therapy, and even free dental care.
A highlight of the facility was a preschool for young children with physical disabilities and developmental delays. Long before laws were passed to guarantee that children with disabilities had the right to an education, the Siskins developed programs that offered opportunities for schooling to children with special needs.
Today, the brothers’ commitment to helping children with disabilities continues at Siskin Children’s Institute, which is dedicated to making life better for children with special needs and their families.
The book is available for purchase on the Institute’s website at www.siskin.org/menofsteel or call 423-648-1730.
Siskin Children’s Institute achieves its mission locally and nationally through four areas of focus: education, outreach, health care and research. It provides early childhood education for children with and without disabilities; family support and professional development programs; developmental pediatric health care; and innovative research in early childhood development and special education. For more information about Siskin Children’s Institute, visit www.siskin.org.