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Hands Up

Meet the Staff

Encouragement, comfort, advice.

Whatever help you need, The SPOT team will always do our best to provide.  We are a group of people coming from all different walks of life sharing common experiences and the belief that all kids need a special place to thrive and grow.


Candice Coker


Candice is a wife, mother and nurse. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Baylor University and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing. Candice has over 10 years of nursing experience in the areas of trauma, adult critical care, nursing management and nursing education. She is married to her high school sweetheart and best friend, Matthew, and in early 2019, they added to their family with the birth of their son, Barrett. The family relocated from Dallas, TX to Meridian in the summer of 2019. Due to medical complications from a premature birth, Candice has been caring for their son at home since coming to Meridian, and more recently, she has begun channeling her energy and passion for helping others into the special needs community.

Ashlee Porter

Social Media/Marketing 

Born in Oxford, Ashlee is a Mississippi native and has lived in the Brandon and Thomastown areas for most of her life. Soon after marrying her husband, Justin, the couple relocated to Meridian and has called it home for over 5 years.  They have two children, Liam and Rohan, and the oldest, Liam, was diagnosed with Autism around the age of three.  Ashlee is very active as a volunteer with LDS Helping Hands and Family Services and shares her gifts on the committees of several non-profits in the area. Her passions are aimed at organizations focused on helping children and families overcome challenges in the way of leading abundant lives.

Ashlee's Story- In Her Own Words

Julie Cade

Vice President

Julie is a Meridian native and has lived in the area her entire life.  After graduating from Meridian High, she earned her Associates of Applied Science in Nursing from Meridian Community College.  She has spent her 20-year career caring for the patients of Anderson Regional Medical Center, first in oncology and then over 15 years in obstetrics and women’s health.  She and her fun-loving husband, Tim, have two children, Ava and Cooper, who each have a diagnosis of Autism.  Julie is driven to help not only her family but other families who are walking the same path.  She is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge and experience as a special needs parent with those new to the journey as well as with anyone who has a love for our community.  Advocacy and education are her passion!

Holly Moore


Holly Moore bio pic.jpeg

Holly is a Georgia native but has called Mississippi home since 2000. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, she moved to Jackson to complete post-graduate residency training at the University of MS Medical Center where she met her husband, Jonathan, a Meridian native. They decided to call Meridian home after Jonathan completed his
ophthalmology residency training in 2004. 

They have two children, Katie who has Down Syndrome, and Houston who has Autism. Holly has been active in the special needs community since the birth of their daughter and continues to volunteer her time on several regional non-profit and professional Board of Directors and committees. It has been a long-held dream to help develop a center for special needs individuals and their families that will serve as a social, educational, and respite resource because the need was recognized early on when seeking care for her own children.

Holly Moore bio pic with kids.jpeg

Tom Sikes

Pastoral Advisor

Tom Sikes is a native of Atlanta, GA. He received degrees from Oxford College of Emory University, the University of Georgia, and his Masters and Doctorate from Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. He has served churches in Meridian, Madison, and Hattiesburg for over 30 years. He is currently the pastor of Prospect Presbyterian Church. Tom is a board member of the MCC Foundation and has served on the LOVE's Kitchen and Meridian Little Theater Board. He is also the Founder of Missionscape since 2000 offering media messages and working with families of special needs children as well as partnering with the PGA TOUR for worship and outreach.


Tom is married to Page Arrington of Meridian and they have three grown children and four grandchildren. Tom enjoys golfing, fishing and hunting, and leading mission trips down the Amazon River, Belize and New Orleans. He is the author of four devotional books and his TV shows are on his YouTube channel.

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