Reflection by Laura Reed, Children’s Village Physical Therapist

Children’s Village has always been a celebration for this community … From the days when it was nothing more than a vision in the minds of a few amazing Dreamers… To the day that little John Jones, hard hat on and shovel in hand, broke ground on this beautiful piece of land… To the day our rainbow covered doors opened and children began flooding in… up to this very day … Children’s Village has always been a celebration.

Over the years, we have had the honor of hosting a number of fairly prestigious guests, all who in one way or another have highlighted our mission here at Children’s Village.

Mona Locke, wife of then Senator Gary Locke, met with many families and staff.   Melinda Gates has helped to raise awareness around some of the difficulties raising a child with special needs.  We have had Olympic Swimming Medalists inspire many of our kids while playing and splashing around in our pool.  Ex-NBA great Isaiah Thomas came and “hung out” with kids, giving hugs and lap time to many!  Tipper Gore, wife of then Vice Presidential candidate Al Gore met with families to hear about their concerns and challenges.  Even the amazing Bert and Ernie, straight from Sesame Street, graced our halls, bringing smiles and joy to many!

And while it was an honor to host these kind and very public figures, it is every day that we get to meet so many true heroes.  Because right here… Right in our own backyards…

Every day there is a new family who is learning to live their lives with a child who has special needs….  And that family is feeling Anxiety… Fear… Joy… Isolation… Hope…Despair…Anger…Elation…Concern….     And yet they walk across our bridge and through those rainbow doors….   With their 1 month-old baby.  Their 2 year old.  Their 8 or 12 year old child…

And when they hand over to you the most precious thing in their lives.   There is no GREATER honor

The Children’s Village is a home of Triumph.  Right here in these walls.  Triumph happens every day….

It is the mom you meet at the elevator, who is bursting with excitement because her child, who has been on a feeding tube for the first year and a half of his life, just ate 2 bites of cracker and a spoonful of applesauce!  She leaves today full of pride and hope for her baby!

It is the mom who calls you at 6:30 one night, because even though they have an appointment to come and see your first thing the next morning, she can’t wait that long to tell you that her 3-year old just stood up all by himself for the very first time!

It is the 9-year old with Autism, who comes running down the hall, waving a card in his hand so excited to show you the very first invitation he has ever received to a birthday party…  “LOOK!   I have a FRIEND!”

It is the mom who moves here with her 3-year old daughter, who cannot begin to utter the words “cerebral palsy”.  As a matter of fact, she covers her mouth and whispers while saying this in front of her little girl. And after a month of feeling the support of Children’s Village, not only is she able to say “cerebral palsy”, but is able to say it without shame or guilt, ready to teach the world about it, and is now able to instill confidence and empowerment in her child. 

This child was one of the first children to play on the playground at the Children’s Village.  Several months later, this family moved out of town, to a different county.  And do you know what???  One evening as I turned on the news, guess what I saw….!  This mom’s face, filling the television screen!  And do you know what she did??  This mom was instrumental in rallying her new community into building a playground that was accessible to ALL children! 

TRIUMPH!!And do you see?   Triumph is not contained within the walls of the Children’s Village…

It is not contained within the walls of a child’s home….Nor their school. Or church. It is not contained within the boundaries of this town.

Not even within the boundaries of this county!

Through our littlest heroes and the incredible families we serve, the compassion and caring of the Children’s Village touches many lives.  Triumph spreads beyond these walls, and beyond this county, to inspire and give hope to many.  Many who are already on this journey, and many who will find themselves seeking information, acceptance, hope, sharing, and triumph.

There is still time left to make your end of year donation… consider supporting the good work that is performed at Children’s Village by DONATING HERE.

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