Since it’s Giving Tuesday, I thought I would do a brief summary of some worthwhile organisations for those interested in supporting kids with special needs. These are specific to my own community, but if you’re not from BC there are most certainly similar charities in your community too!
The BC Centre for Ability is an amazing organization that provides therapy and programs for children and adults with disabilities. C gets her therapy there through the government’s early intervention program, but they do much more than that. I’m actually astonished that this organization does not have a higher profile in Vancouver, but if you read through their newsletters you will get a sense of the work they do.
When I think of the Red Cross I often think of their international work, or of those commercials that used to be on when I was a kid where they brought care packages to families whose houses had burned down. One of the things they do in BC is provide medical equipment which might otherwise be unattainable. For example, they have an equipment program which provides equipment for seniors who need it to live independently. They also provide equipment like walkers and seating for qualifying disabled children. You guys would be astounded at how much this equipment can cost, especially as children outgrow it! So these types of programs are incredibly important.
The CKNW Orphan’s Fund is a charity I learned about just recently. They provide grants to both organizations and directly to families. We are lucky and have pretty good insurance, but for families who do not costs of things like orthotics, speech therapy and so on can be out of reach. Other things, like converting your car so you can put your child’s wheelchair in it, are not covered by insurance. The Orphan’s Fund makes this achievable for low-income families.
Last but definitely not least, BC Women’s Hospital. BC Children’s is a great place and gets lots of press, but BC Women’s is so incredibly important as well. They care for the tiniest and sickest newborns. Also, think about what a difference it makes if a woman with HIV, or who is heroin-addicted, gets appropriate care. For the child she is carrying it can make a huge difference in their quality of life – and they have their whole lives ahead of them.