Our daughter, Mary Grace has a rare neurological disorder called Rett Syndrome, which significantly affects her ability to function as others do. She needs assistance in almost every aspect of her life. She is dependent on a wheel chair for mobility and uses switch devices and eye gazes to communicate her wants and needs to others. It is a rare occasion for Mary Grace to participate with her peers or her older sister, Lauren. It excites our whole family to think about the possibilities and opportunities Operation Hope playgrounds will bring to us. Lauren (her sister) summed it up by saying “an accessible playground would be so Wonderful! People like Mary Grace can have fun with their sisters (or siblings) and friends and not just have to watch everyone else have fun!” Mary Grace is a beautiful, smart girl and a member of the Hanover community – She deserves the opportunity to have fun like other children!

~ Debra Halloway

 

My daughter Stella is an 8 year old second grade student who is hopeful that a playground will soon be built so that she can play with her friend Reily.

Reily is also an 8 year old second grade student who has never been able to do more than watch the other children play on the swings, slides, etc. due to a disability that severely limits her mobility and ability to communicate.

Physical and communication limitations do not reduce a child’s desire to play. The enjoyment that is gained from playing on a playground is life giving. An accessible playground will allow special needs children and typically developing children a place to develop friendships. Stella and Reily’s friendship is special but not unique. Stella and Reily are just two of many children and families who would benefit from an accessible playground where their relationship can be fostered and valued.

We appreciate the support of this community for all kids.

 

Julius is five years old and has been diagnosed with PDD (Pervasive Disability Disorder). He has some spectrum of Autism and a sensory dysfunction. Julius constantly seeks constant impact, like jumping, to stimulate his joints. Stimulating Julius’s sensory system allows him to focus and function better. Because of Julius’s needs, the places we go to are limited. Having a handicap-accessible playground/park is a place where we can spend quality time as a family, while Julius stills gets the O.T. (occupational therapy) he needs.

“A handicap playground/park is a place where we can meet our son at his level, while still meeting his other needs. It allows us to look beyond the disability and really enjoy the blessing of having him.”

~ Iris
Mechanicsville,Va.

 

Our family will be tremendously grateful to have a playground that meets the needs of all children! We are so excited to be apart of the Operation Hope Project. We believe that it will bring joy to many families in Hanover. Our son, Jackson, is a very happy and busy three year-old who loves to be outside. He has Global Developmental Delays, which for Jackson that means he is behind in almost all of his skills, he is not talking or independently walking. Jackson is not able to stabilize himself in a regular swing and the toddler swings with straps may become too small for him. Jackson also loves to slide but in most cases he cannot climb the obstacles that lead up to the slide. We are thrilled to know that soon a playground could be built with special needs children, like Jackson, in mind. Knowing he will be able to play alongside his friends with little or no obstacles gives us a great sense of security and peace of mind. Thanks to all of those who are working to make this a reality for us!

~ Kevin & Rebecca Randolph
Mechanicsville, VA