Every kid has a memory of going trick-or-treating. Dressing up, getting all excited and running off your porch. Having such a big smile ringing the doorbell to your first house. Halloween always sparks a time meant for fun in a child’s life, but what about children with disabilities? Halloween makes this time very difficult. Kids with disabilities are left at a disadvantage with dressing up and making memories for a lifetime.
How do we fix this? The non-for-profit organization “Walking and Rolling” connects kids with disabilities to volunteers that will make them a costume. Walking and Rolling’s goal is to provide any child with special needs equipment with a unique and custom built costume, free of charge. In this, making the kids feel a part of a larger group and feeling like they belong.
Recently, Rockhurst has decided to take part in this wonderful program, making an ambulance for a seven-year-old named Grant. With faculty leading the way, Rockhurst is on its way to make Grant’s Halloween his most memorable one yet. It is Rockhurst’s first year doing this program. With Rockhurst being the first year in this program Grant’s ambulance was easy and it can be very well done.
On September 13, Grant came into the Rockhurst art room to get his wheelchair measured and start this journey. As Grant and his family strolled in you could see the nervous look on Grant’s face. Mrs. Searcy (Grant’s mother) could not contain her smile as she looked at the group of students. The meeting started off with introductions and handshakes. Soon after, the project started with measurements of the wheelchair. Grant’s eyes darted around the room as we were measuring him but a smile came out as he got more comfortable. He was getting progressively more excited as he realized his new costume was about to begin.
As everyone talked about the possibilities of how we can customize the ambulance Grant could not contain his excitement. As a student mentioned a horn that he could activate on the ambulance his smile grew bigger and bigger. His eyes looked filled with wonder as the ideas were popping around the room. Drawings and diagrams were useful and it showed how many possibilities there were. Mrs. Searcy was ecstatic about how we could involve her and Matthew (Grant’s little brother).
The Sni-A-Bar elementary student could not contain his smile as he left. Although, as Grant left the mood went from a warm heart-filled compassion to an overall seriousness. With an upcoming deadline and supplies to be bought, the pace started off fast. Meetings multiple times every week will ensure the students will get this done as soon as possible.With Grant in our heart, we all look forward until the moment he can see his new ride.