A couple of years ago, it was hard to picture what technological developments the 21st century was going to see. However, today, one can only marvel at the distance that technology has taken us. Geared towards promoting social inclusion, a couple in Canada went the whole ten yards to make wheelchair accessible swings a reality.
How it all began
It all began with a dream that took root in the minds of James and Jennifer Todd who live in Ontario, Canada. They wanted to have wheelchair accessible swings installed in Riverview Park and Zoo’s playground area. The funding for this project was taken up by James and Jennifer, who went about gathering money to turn this dream of theirs into a reality.
On speaking to PTBO Canada, James Todd explained that it all began when the couple was planning a picnic with friends, some two years back, and Jennifer realized that one of their guests had a disabled son. That is when they began racking their brains trying to figure out how the boy would pass his time on the playground.
Realizing the lack of facilities for children with disabilities that existed there, they decided that Peterborough was in need of wheelchair accessible swings and went on to work for the cause. They first got in touch with the Manager and Curator of Riverview Park and Zoo, Jim Moloney, who supported the plan wholeheartedly.
Flowing support from all sides
Without wasting any time, the couple began a GoFundMe campaign with the aim of raising at least $1,000. To their surprise, a day later, Ed Arnold from The Examiner, contacted James to inform him that the pro hockey alumni would be donating $2,500 to their cause. An article written by Arnold, subsequently, brought in an anonymous donation of $1,000 along with bringing attention to the cause.
It did not end there. A Lakers game that was being held in Peterborough at that time, brought in a fair amount of money, along with another anonymous donation of $2,500. The Fowlers Lions/Lioness cruise night also showed extreme generosity toward the cause.
Donations poured in from as far as New Jersey and by the end of it, the couple had gathered over $16,500. Of course, a small amount would still be required to cover the cost for fencing, asphalt fixing and ground covering, which the couple is confident of receiving.
Smiles and community support
Although building swings that hold wheelchairs would not be easy, the project was expected to bring a smile to many faces. Todd was aware that it would be quite a challenge; however, he was confident that the results would be worth it. He was pleasantly amazed by the support the community provided to the cause.
He exclaimed with delight when talking to PTBO Canada that he could not have been happier with the support and assistance provided by Jim Moloney and the work of the swing manufacturers. Given that a lot of the work has already been completed, Moloney assured PTBO Canada that these wheelchair accessible swings will not take more than two weeks to become a reality.