TORONTO, March 1, 2016 /CNW/ - March is Easter Seals Month serves as the beginning of Easter Seals Ontario's annual fundraising and awareness campaign for kids with physical disabilities. The campaign's objective is to generate an increased understanding of the ongoing challenges and needs experienced by children with physical disabilities and to raise much-needed funds to support the organization's programs and services.
"Kids with physical disabilities require essential, and often expensive mobility equipment and communication devices to maintain a high quality of life," said Carol Lloyd, President and CEO, Easter Seals Ontario. "A power wheelchair alone can cost $30,000, far exceeding the budgets of most families. Without the equipment they need, kids with physical disabilities cannot be integrated with their peers which often leads to feelings of social isolation and low self-esteem."
Initiatives like the Easter Seals' financial assistance program help children acquire the equipment they need so they can be mobile and achieve greater independence. "A van lift for example, means that a child can move more easily from his/her home into the community at large. Without it, children spend the majority of their lives in their homes, and miss out on what it's like to be a regular kid," continued Carol.
Marie's son, Ronan needed a stander – a piece of equipment that can cost up to $8,600. But without a proper diagnosis for her son, Marie didn't know where to turn for help. "We didn't 'belong' anywhere," said Marie. "We couldn't go most charities because we didn't know what medical condition he had. Easter Seals was the only place that would help us no matter what."
The support this family received made all the difference in the world. "The devices acquired through Easter Seals' support have given Ronan more independence and the ability to get around our house and community on his own. Easter Seals is here to alleviate any little bit that it can," said Marie.
In addition to events taking place in local communities throughout March is Easter Seals Month, province-wide fundraising efforts include:
- The annual Easter Seals direct mail campaign, containing the traditional Easter "seals", will arrive in homes across the province during the first two weeks of March. This annual campaign continues to be one of the organization's largest fundraising initiatives.
- Between March 4 and March 27, the Easter Seals Paper Egg Campaign takes place in retailers across Ontario including Sobeys, Foodland, FreshCo, Price Chopper, Avondale, Highland Farms, Booster Juice, The Bargain! Shop and Red Apple. Shoppers will be invited to purchase a Paper Egg for $2, which will be displayed in-store for the duration of the campaign.
- The annual Easter Seals Telethon will air on Sunday, April 3 from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m. in Sault Ste. Marie, as well as on Sunday, April 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Peterborough, Toronto, Windsor-Essex, and from April 4 to 8 from 5:00 pm. to 6:00 p.m. in South Eastern Ontario. For more information, visit EasterSealsTelethon.org.
For the past 93 years, Easter Seals has played an important role in providing support for children and youth with physical disabilities from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Thanks to its generous donors, Easter Seals continues to offer programs to allow kids to experience freedom, independence and a sense of accomplishment. Easter Seals helps by providing financial assistance for mobility equipment communication devices and fully accessible summer camp opportunities at its two properties, Camp Merrywood and Camp Woodeden. Easter Seals relies solely on the generosity of donations from the public to be able to offer its programs and services. For more information, visit EasterSeals.org.
SOURCE Easter Seals Ontario
For further information: Franco Cignelli, Communications, Easter Seals Ontario, [email protected], 416.421.8377 ext. 326