Originally posted April 23, 2015
Our Most Ambitious Project Yet
by Kim Norton
Our non-profit started out of grief. It began as a way to distract ourselves from the fact that our deaf child was now losing his vision. We could deal with the reality that Henry requires deliberate communication or he would shut himself off from the world around him. He would become depressed. Those with Usher Syndrome have a higher rate of committing suicide than most. Of course, Henry was 5 at the time we learned he was losing vision so we went to that dark place…fast.
Today, almost 3 years later we are not in a dark place. Yes, its a little grey some days but mostly its filled with smiles and joy and lots of bubbling sunlight. What happened? Well, this brings me to the title of this post. I am not one to take the easy way or the path of least resistance so I have spearheaded our summer camp scholarship. My board will tell you I really am hard to control!
I want kids with sensory-impairments outside! I want them mingling and playing with peers and getting filthy from mudpies and laser tag and finding frogs and painting refrigerator-worthy works of art. You see, once Henry was diagnosed, he didn’t want to go outside. The sun hurt his eyes. Kids came out of nowhere because he had lost peripheral vision. Xbox became his best friend.
So, I have this stack of scholarship applications sitting here and all the photos are smiling at me. They are begging me to pick them up and assign their aid and send their parents their acceptance letter. The are gnawing at me to do something.
I am doing something. I am making a difference. I am gathering some of the most amazing volunteers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing: Will, Delaney, Devon, Terri, Traci, Michelle, Faye, Susan, Betsy, Dan, Karla, Gina, Jean, Pat, so many of you joined this journey with me because you too believe the need to do something.
So here is my appeal: Help us DO SOMETHING. Get involved. Make a difference where it is is easy to retreat and hit the LIKE button and move on to the next post. Help us make a difference in a child’s life with your gift of time. You never know, you might experience the pure joy of knowing what it is like to see these kids carry on a conversation…outside.