Founded in 1971, and incorporated in April of 1972, as a touring theater company, Happiness Bag presented plays to schools and various organizations, with the cast consisting of students from Indiana State University. As the touring company grew, the cast began to primarily consist of individuals with disabilities and those without. As a direct result of our theater group, Happiness Bag has evolved to service not only the needs of the physically and mentally disabled, but their entire family as well.
Happiness Bag, Incorporated is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and recreational activities. In general, the mission statement of Happiness Bag is as follows:
Happiness Bag is dedicated to providing adapted educational and recreational services and programs that encourage the unique potential of children and adults with disabilities.
In 1987, Happiness Bag changed its program format from the drama/arts areas and began to focus more on the educational and recreational areas of programming for the intellectually and/or physically disabled. Our Agency is the only educational AND recreational oriented facility in the entire Wabash Valley. We provide care and programming for individuals ranging in age from five to adult.
Due to the continued growth in the number of individuals participating in our programs and the additional programs offered, in 1997, we moved from our location on South Seventh Street to our current location. A group of individuals, who wish to remain anonymous, made it possible to have a long-standing dream become a reality. The facility is located on the south side of Terre Haute and sits directly behind the Vigo County Fairgrounds. Our facility rests on approximately six acres of land.
Planning for the Future
Based upon the ever-growing popularity of our facility-based program, it became necessary to research and explore expansion options. Although plans have been established, reestablished and yet reestablished again, a final expansion plan was created and approved by the Board of Directors in February 2020. Fundraising has been an on-going effort since this plan’s inception in 2017. Our targeted fundraising goal is 2.6 million dollars to make this expansion a reality.
The Board of Directors continuously works to further develop the programs and services for all individuals in our community. It is our sincere hope that as a result of our long and rich history in the Wabash Valley, we will continue to grow and prosper and provide quality programs and services to not only our program participants, but their families as well.