January 31, 2012

Got Play??

This post took 8 months to complete and I am finally excited to say that the first Universally Accessible Playground in LCPS is about to be built!

I finished fundraising and just signed the contract.  I have spent the past 8 months writing grants, grants and more grants, meeting with politicos, fundraising, event planning, pounding the pavement, etc.  The generous support has been overwhelming.

Grants the Building Bridges Project has been awarded:

• $60,000 Anonymous Founder’s Grant
• $11,000 Himmelfarb Foundation
• $10,000 Bloomfield Foundation
• $5,000 Baker & Hostetler Fund
• $5,000 The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
• $4,000 Loudoun County Board of Supervisors
• $3,500 The Home Depot Foundation
• $2,000 Mosaic ATM Grant

• $1,500 CVS Caremark Foundation
• $1,000 Walmart Foundation
• $1,000 Middleburg Bank Grant
• $1,000 Northwest Federal Credit Union Foundation
• $500 INOVA Loudoun Hospital Grant
• $500 Reston Town Center Pediatrics Grant
• $300 Loudoun Education Foundation
$106,300 Total Grants

Donations from businesses and individual supporters outside the school: $5046
Donations from Families INSIDE the School$1641

Add to that our 3k Buddy Up and Go Fundraiser, "Got Shade" campaign within the school, some other fundraising initiatives, other donations and a PTA contribution and we got one super fun accessible playground that with donated services and materials totaled
over $180,000!

So come on out an join us at the Building Bridges Playground in April:) :)

I am exhausted, excited, and humbled.  I have learned so much in this experience. 

I have learned the power of a few supporting words and the power of a few negative ones. 

I have learned that comfort zones get you no where. 

I have learned there are so many out there that truly love these special children around us and feeling that has been such a boost to me personally in this journey. 

I have learned how healthy this has been for my 3 older children who have owned this initiative and they have been so proud to help make the world a better place for children with special needs -- for whom they personally advocate and champion every one that they have met. 

I have learned of the workings of the Spirit in my own life and the lives of others.  I have learned that God loves these special little ones and cares about every aspect of their lives - even something as superficial as play.  And He also cares about the ones that care for them.

I have learned that I can survive and possibly thrive in this journey.

I hope to learn that a trip to Bermuda can restore all that one has lost in learning the above.

Bermuda anyone?