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Gary, a member of our Waynesville Kiwanis Aktion Club (an organization for adults with disabilities) remembers wanting to play with his cousins on the playground; but he couldn’t. His special needs playground was on the other side of the park (across the railroad tracks). The playground had only three pieces of equipment on which to play. Gary wasn’t able to play with his friends at the community playground because of his disability; which made him feel left out. For years his family, as well as many other families in his community had to drive 1 1/2 hours to Spartanburg, SC to be able to visit a fully equipped inclusive playground. Gary dreams of an enhanced community playground where 1,280 Haywood County special needs children can visit and play together with their friends and families. Not only will they have appropriate playground equipment, but they can build friendships, develop social skills and have valuable interactions with non-disabled peers. Community partners have come together to offer their expertise in grant writing, fundraising, social media and playground planning. We are proud to live in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina and envision a mountain-themed playground with streams, bears, canoes, logs and trees. As a voice for the “special needs” community, Gary wants to help make his dream a reality so that all future special needs children will have a playground in which they feel fully included. Gary is excited about making his dream come true during the One-Day Kiwanis service project.
Waynesville, North Carolina
Kiwanis Club of Waynesville North Carolina
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