The Bubel/Aiken Foundation (TBAF) is excited to announce the completion of its second annual Wrapping for Inclusion awareness campaign and fundraising project.
Hundreds of volunteers around the country set up gift-wrapping stations for customers and passed out information about the Foundation and its mission of inclusion. From November 20 through December 24, 2005, they wrapped gifts in exchange for donations totaling over $57,000.
Everyone was welcomed and encouraged to participate in any way possible. Schools made this a community service project, putting together teams of children with and without disabilities. Jan Dixon, the Texas state WFI coordinator, recruited high school volunteers to man several booths. Their excitement and energy was certainly a big boost to the wrapping effort. One of the City Team Leaders said, “By giving me the opportunity to lead this program in my area, The Bubel/Aiken Foundation has encouraged and enabled me to use my voice and to involve my community. Thank you!”
For people who did not get a chance to participate in the fundraiser this year, there are many opportunities for volunteers to coordinate states and cities across the country and become volunteer gift-wrappers to man the booths throughout the holiday season.
“By speaking out on the issue, we have been able make sure the message of inclusion has reached people all across the country. Special thanks are in order for all of the many volunteers who have given of their time and energy to help increase the awareness of the benefits of inclusion in their own communities. The success we have had would not have been possible without them,” said Clay Aiken.
Although Wrapping for Inclusion was a big success, there were hurdles to overcome throughout the fundraiser. During the project, the transit workers in New York City went on strike. Even though several wrapping locations were affected because of transportation difficulties, volunteers found ways to man their booths and get the word out about inclusion in their area.
The states bringing in funds include: CA $8,226.85,IL $8,098.85, NY $6,319.85, NC $6,183.50, MA $4,258.85, OK $3,145.23, AZ $3,060.04, MO $2,695.49, PA $2,114.37, WA $1,828.03, NJ $1,784.98, FL $1,320.55, TX $1,273.14, RI $1,095.44, IN $1,013.43, IA $999.43, MN $982.86, OR $650.00, KS $486.38, CT $425.50, OH $375.07, NE $299.61, ME $268.50, NH $167.37, GA $109.52, and WI $35.00.
The total as of December 31, 2005 was $57,000 and the amount continues to rise. The Bubel/Aiken Foundation shows appreciation for the volunteers’ efforts and participation. For additional information on Wrapping for Inclusion and/or to volunteer, please visit www.bubelaiken.org.
Kids on course for change Hobart YMCA summer camp teaches children more about each other
This story ran on Thursday, March 23, 2006 12:14 AM CST
Author: Kass Stone, Post-Tribune correspondent
Edition: WEST LAKE; CPL; HM
Sydney Mock had a smiling, but determined, look on her face Monday as she maneuvered her occasionally unwieldy "vehicle" around the scattered orange cones.
Like many of the others who patiently waited in line to try the obstacle course, she had to have a little help from an adult. But that didn’t dampen her spirits or cause anyone to cry foul. The day and the event — a wheelchair-obstacle course — were all in fun for Mock, a 3-year-old with Down syndrome from Hobart, and other 3- to 5-year-olds attending the first day of a preschool summer camp sponsored by the Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Indiana Inc. and Hobart Family YMCA.
The camp is designed to teach preschool-age children with and without special needs to view one another as equals and to look past physical and mental disabilities to see the similarities everyone shares.
Monday was the first day of the two-week camp, which is being held at the Hobart Family YMCA and is funded through a grant from the Bubel-Aiken Foundation.
Twenty children, divided evenly between those with special needs and those without, are taking part in the pilot program for the camp. "The thought process behind this is that having fun is what being a kid is all about, for kids with or with out disabilities. Part of being a kid in the summer is to go to camp, so we thought we’d provide that opportunity for these children," said Michelle Higel, community relations coordinator for the New Chicago-based Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Indiana.
Each day of camp includes story time, often involving tales that feature a person with special needs, plus a physical activity.
Tracy Smith was on hand Monday to volunteer at the camp and to keep an eye on her 4-year-old daughter, Serenity, who was born three months premature and has a number of developmental delays as a result.
Helping Serenity have a good time at the camp were her older brother, Hunter, 9, and sister, Destiny, 10, who has cerebral palsy.