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HeartAbility

Posted Jul 13 2009 11:38pm

I originally wrote about HeartAbility for the 5 Minutes For Special Needs back in April, and this is an update on how things are going...

So often these days, I see news reports about people getting arrested for shoplifting food. I have to believe it is because the economic crisis has impacted so many families and left them desperate. But in an effort to help, my youngest daughter, Ashley, is trying to make a difference.

Ashley has a canvas bag on which she painted a big red heart. Each week, I give her $10.00 to go to the grocery store to buy non-perishable foods. We then drive to our local food bank to drop off the food. Ashley even helps stack what she bought on the food bank shelves.

Even though Ashley is deafblind, currently has three brain tumors, needs a wheelchair for long distances, and has 2-3 seizures each day, she is a perfect example of how all our children, regardless of their level of ability, can make a difference for people in need.

But this is not just a one way street. While Ashley is in the grocery store, she is learning to find items without any vision. She is learning the concept of exchanging money for goods and services. She is learning math and how to ensure she gets the right change. She is learning the value of her money, and she is honing her communication skills. And most importantly, she is learning that we must all take responsibility to make our world a better place.

Ashley is making a difference, and I ask that each of you also consider encouraging and assisting your children to make a difference. I would love to hear your ideas or what you and your children are already doing. If anyone is interested in starting a HeartAbility effort in their town, just let me know. I can provide promotional material and graphics.

I just really don’t want to hear any more stories about people stealing food…
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