Posted On: Tuesday, July 23, 2019
I was “meditating” yesterday, meaning I went for my very first short run, while still recovering from rotator cuff surgery. When I run I get to think a lot. Yesterday was an especially beautiful day; the birds were chirping, the temperature was amazing and everyone seemed to be out. People were walking their dogs, playing with their kids, just enjoying the simple things in life. That got me thinking; What can we do in our communities through out New England to create equal opportunity for all residents, despite their disability. They too should be able enjoy the little things in life like hopping, skipping, jumping or rolling. As I was running, my dream got bigger and bigger!
I had a vision; What if people in this and our surrounding communities fully realized the power in people? If we ALL did a little, we could move mountains making an incredible impact and finally creating the ideal lifestyle and community we would all be proud to be a part of.
The accessible playground put us on the map and from there it just snowballed. Today, SMILE Mass services over 100,000 people and families during the year with the different programs we offer.
I started to realized that even the smallest of changes towards creating a better and more inclusive community where everyone could thrive was the beginning of a better tomorrow!
While the SMILE Mass Mission is simple, it is still complicated for most towns. They do the best they can with the information they are given. Despite all this, the unfortunate thing is most often people whom are mobility challenged or confined to a wheelchair just don’t have the same opportunity and access to the facilities in their community. That is exactly what we are striving to change.
For the last nine years, the SMILE Mass team has been committed to this mission. There has been no greater joy than watching people emerge into their full potential, gain confidence, live with purpose; simply because of access to new programs where everyone is included despite disability. Although this all started with a thought, I would not have been able to do what we do, without each and every one of YOU! With your support, we can continue to transform communities, one town at a time. If you love what SMILE Mass is doing, stay tuned: Over the next week you will receive information about a campaign where YOU will be the reason that someone SMILES today – stay tuned!
SMILE Mass fundraises in the following areas:
Beach wheelchair program – We want as many beach wheelchairs across New England!
Adaptive gym – We’re looking to build a fully handicapped accessible gym space. A space where everyone will have the opportunity to work out together, despite disability.
Equipment Loaner Program – The SMILE Mass equipment loaner program allows families to borrow adapted equipment, FREE of charge, to take anywhere for a day, a week or longer, so that they can enjoy a day of recreation with the entire family.
Hudson Playground – The Town of Hudson is raising funds for a universal playground!
Accessible Beach House – The SMILE Mass Beach House is a fully handicapped accessible space, that is aesthetically pleasing. It offers families equal opportunity, with minimum barriers. Everyone deserves to relax, have fun with friends and family, play outside and soak up the sun despite disability.
Sincere thanks from Lotte and the SMILE Mass team