Posts Tagged ‘children’

Sailing instructor inspired by disabled youth

July 2, 2008

About (20) years ago I taught a group of children to sail. They were bright, enthusiastic and as keen to enjoy life as any other child. All however, had a serious disability. Three were in wheelchairs, paralyzed from the waist down. One was nearly blind and had a deformity of his right arm. Two were able to walk with difficulty, afflicted with Cerebral palsy.

The seventh little boy I will never forget. I will call him Matthew. He too had cerebral palsy and was very badly afflicted. His hands and arms were both deformed from the disease and inactivity. His back was bent. His face was distorted and his legs did not work. Even his laughter was a tinkling cough, which racked his body. To speak, Matthew had the help of a letter board. Slowly, and with deliberate determination, he would point out with distorted hands, letter by letter, what he wanted to say. Sometimes he would try to talk. His voice was so distorted that even his constant caretaker could not understand most of his whispered growl. Yet he was always bright and cheerful and loved to try everything his classmates were doing, both in the boat and in the classroom. (more…)

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A World Treasure

July 2, 2008

Living in San Agustín Etla is an extraordinary person called Hanni Sager. Hanni is a world treasure. For many years, she’s suffered from muscular dystrophy-a serious and painful disease-and she’s severely disabled by it. But it’s only her body that’s suffering, not her mind and spirit, which are deeply healthy. She’s a model for us all.

Hanni is a passionate woman with a strength that flows from a fountain of good will and common sense. You could call her opinionated: Among her unshakeable convictions is that anyone who doesn’t know how to play isn’t fully human. That a just society will see a meaningful integration of the able and the disabled. That what is false is abominable. (more…)

Charity fulfills 150,000th dream for ill children

July 1, 2008

Make-A-Wish Foundation also mounts new drive to reach more children – Twenty-seven years after granting the wish of a terminally ill 7-year-old, the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Tuesday made its 150,000th dream come true.

To celebrate the milestone, the charity has launched a new campaign called “Destination Joy,” presented by Lays brand potato chips. The campaign encourages people to give their money, time and talent to the organization and to help it fulfill its objective of granting a wish to every one of the 25,000 children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses every year in the United States.

Currently, the foundation grants one wish every 41 minutes, but is able to fulfill the dreams of only about half of the children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses every year. (more…)

Soldiers shave heads to support cancer kids

July 1, 2008

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Under a huge tent just outside the medical unit at Camp Liberty, shielded from the blazing sun, soldiers watch and cheer as two men at a time get their heads shaved. Clumps of hair fall to the hot sand below.

But they’re not just fighting the Iraqi heat. They’re showing solidarity with sick kids they don’t even know.

It started with a dare on St. Patrick’s Day 2000, when two guys shaved their heads to support children with cancer. Thus was born the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. In eight years, the awareness and fundraising organization says, events have taken place in 18 countries and the United States, “raising over $34 million and shaving more than 46,000 heads.”

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Utahns give new smiles to children in Mexico

June 16, 2008

June 16th, 2008
A group of Utahns just returned from a humanitarian mission to Mexico with the charity Operation Smile. The charity sponsors cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries for children throughout the world.

Many Utahns have been involved for more than 25 years, and that volunteer list is growing as more groups travel to see for themselves how lives are changed.

Hundreds of children wait in line, their parents hope and wonder will our child be chosen? During one week this June, more than 130 children’s faces changed. Cleft lips and palates were fixed.

Each Operation Smile mission costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to transport people and equipment to foreign countries. That’s where corporate sponsors come in.

Joe Morton and his brother, Gordon, commit a portion of XanGo’s profits to children’s’ charities, like Operation Smile.

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North Carolina Kids Send Toys to Iraqi School Children

June 9, 2008

FOB KALSU, IRAQ – Iraqi school children in Al Buaytha received toys from children their age from halfway around the world, March 24, 2008.

Soldiers of Company D, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, distributed 400 Beanie Babies to children at the Oman and Nassir schools. Students of North Hills Christian School in Salisbury, N.C., collected and sent the toys as a gift.

“It is important that we do anything we can to make the children happy and help them, because the children are the future,” said Capt. Joseph Inge, a native of Richmond, Va., commander of Company D.

First Lt. Kirk Steiner, Company D fire support officer, gave his mother, who teaches at the school, credit for organizing the event.

“Most of these children have only seen their country during a time of war. It was great to be able to give them a small gift and see the smiles on their faces,” said Steiner, a native of Salisbury, N.C.