An Update to our Supporters
Friday June 19, 2020
Your Tremendous Impact
How YOU are a part of the KidsAbility Story!
I hope you are well and looking forward to some summer sunshine as our communities begin to flourish once again.
Thank you for standing together in these challenging times to support KidsAbility. By taking tremendous action to support our kids this spring, your donations raised $146,500 to help our kids and families receive the therapy, supports and programs they urgently need.
Most importantly, you’ve helped contribute to the stories I share with you today.
On June 5, KidsAbility excitedly welcomed back its first family for an in-person therapy session as part of the autism program at our Waterloo location. A small, dedicated group of therapists and staff are leading the way for safely returning to in-person therapy sessions, especially for those children who need face-to-face support.
As KidsAbility prepared for the first session after more than 10 weeks of shut down due to COVID-19, Instructor Therapist Rabia Farhan was worried about her young client’s reaction to wearing a gown, gloves and mask. But, she shared that her apprehensions dissolved once the young boy arrived. "I saw how happy he was to see us, and to be able to interact after so long. I could tell how much the family appreciated having the opportunity to be back."
While KidsAbility carries out its gradual return to in-centre therapy visits, virtual therapy continues to and will play an important role in KidsAbility’s future. Newer technology has allowed increased engagement for children in virtual therapy visits. Speech-Language Pathologists and other therapists are using green screen technology to appeal to their young audiences’ interest, and peak their engagement. Experience a virtual visit for yourself…and see how searching for dinosaurs helps encourage the formation of sounds and speech!
Aside from the glimpse into how services continue for children and youth during the pandemic, I’m so pleased to share an update about Carter, KidsAbility’s Cambridge Ambassador. Three years ago Carter began intensive therapy at KidsAbility to overcome paralysis due to a severe car accident. Having recently turned eleven, Carter continues his journey, taking valuable lessons learned from therapy to find success in his everyday activities. Discover how he is thriving with help from you.
I’m also delighted to share how one extraordinary teen volunteer is hard at work to help promote inclusion and change lives. Read what inspires Morgan to lend a voice to kids of all abilities.
I welcome you to be part of some other stories happening right now!
Community events support a great number of therapy services at KidsAbility. With significant funding lost due to cancelled events, our Foundation and its partners have introduced innovative online fundraising challenges!
Our Superhero Virtual Challenge is growing in size with many families and community members signing up to join the challenge in support of KidsAbility. You can be a superhero too!
Visit our Superhero Virtual Challenge Fundraising Page to learn more.
As you know, we share a rich partnership with over 13 Rotary Clubs who built the foundation of who KidsAbility is today. This year, Rotary Waterloo would have tee-d off to celebrate 20 years of Golf Fore KidsAbility Classic. For two decades our supporters, sponsors and players have committed to ‘taking to the greens’ to support our kids and families. Undaunted by restrictions to large gatherings, Rotary Waterloo is ‘playing through’ by hosting a virtual fundraising page alongside committed sponsors.
Visit the Virtual Golf Fore KidsAbility Classic 2020 to witness our community in action!
Finally, I wish to acknowledge and thank our legacy donors who have created a special meaningful gift in their Will for the future work of KidsAbility to continue. While our Leave a Legacy awareness month comes to a close, we welcome any conversations you might have about legacy giving. To find out more, please connect with us here.
Together with our families, our staff, our volunteers and our community supporters, I can’t thank you enough for your support. When you support KidsAbility, you open up a world of possibilities for children and youth.
Thank you for believing in our kids so they can create their own stories of success.
Executive Director, KidsAbility Foundation
P.S. Our Foundation’s physical offices remain closed at this time but our mailing address continues to remain a secure way to connect with us, in addition to my email or 519-886-8886 ext. 1201. I invite you to connect with me to share your feedback with our communications as we look ahead with hope and confidence to continue making a difference in our community.
Friday May 22, 2020
A Heartfelt Thank You!
Your compassion and generosity is appreciated by so many families
at KidsAbility. It’s why Jackson and his family want to thank you for supporting the therapy he urgently needs as he continues to grow.
Because of you, brighter futures are possible for children like Jackson.
If you haven’t yet made donation, there is still time to help.
When you give to KidsAbility, you not only help support therapy, you embark on the journey of a child to reach their potential. Like finding mobility in a wheelchair or in taking their first step, holding a scooter handle or a hockey stick, and learning how to say “I love you” with words or a device.
Thank you for helping to build the brightest futures for children and youth.
Executive Director, KidsAbility Foundation
PS.. I invite you to read Jackson’s journey
with KidsAbility to see how your gift is changing a child’s life.
Monday May 4, 2020
Our Kids Need Your Help Now More Than Ever!
Our KidsAbility community is rallying together. If you are able, I invite you to join us.
Last week, I shared with you the incredibly challenging times ahead for children who are waiting for therapy and support. Our kids still need your help.
Community events, along with other annual programs, help over 1,000 children who otherwise would not receive services.
Event cancellations mean we must fill a tremendous shortfall in funds to ensure that children in need of therapy are supported.
Will you help? There is still an opportunity for you to make a special gift to KidsAbility.
While KidsAbility is still here to help over 11,000 children, youth and families with virtual therapy sessions, virtual playdates, online support groups and youth hangouts, many community fundraising events in support of KidsAbility have been cancelled.
On average, one KidsAbility therapy session for one child costs $250. This provides early and ongoing family-centred therapy from a professional therapist. As each child’s journey is uniquely their own, a child may require many sessions of occupational, speech or physiotherapy to reach their potential.
special gift of any amount will help kids like seven-year-old Jackson.
Jackson’s journey with KidsAbility therapists began at the age of one following a stroke as an infant. It affected his entire right side. Throughout the past six years, Jackson has worked tirelessly to reach his goals. While he still has milestones to reach, Jackson is now walking, riding his bike and giving back to the community by running in the KidsAbility Superhero Run with his parents, who are also top family fundraisers!
Last month, Jackson started virtual visits to continue his progress with his physiotherapist, Amy. It’s a crucial time to receive therapy while Jackson works to improve his gait and strengthen his right leg during his growth spurts.
"We are so incredibly thankful to our KidsAbility family," Jackson’s mom, Alice, tells us. "I can’t imagine where we would be without them."
You can take action today with a gift to support a child like Jackson.
Thanks to supporters like you, Jackson is just one of our kids thriving with virtual visits. Read about five-year-old Lydia’s successful virtual therapy sessions.
And, watch KidsAbility’s first-ever virtual playdate
for two six-year-old children with autism who are delighted to be reunited together while physically apart.
You can make the difference in a child’s life. With your gift
today, you can make brighter futures happen for children and youth.
Executive Director, KidsAbility Foundation
PS. You matter. Your gifts count.
Friday April 17, 2020
Passion. Promise. Innovation.
I continue to hope that you are staying safe and healthy. And my sincere thanks to all of you who
have reached out with heartfelt messages of support for the children and youth served by KidsAbility.
My weekly online virtual meetings with the KidsAbility Leadership team continue to inspire me as I listen to the many success stories and updates from our teams full of passion, promise and innovation. KidsAbility continues to develop new and exciting ways to meet the needs of our families, children and youth. I want to share some of these stories with you.
Our therapists, social work teams and staff continue to share a passion for meeting the needs and wellbeing of our kids and their families. A family can be confident knowing that KidsAbility’s caring, professional and dedicated team will be there when they need it the most, especially in these unique times.
Our entire KidsAbility team is here for families, open (virtually) working together as we continue to help children realize the goals important to them and their families. For our therapy teams, this means they will continue to provide the support, guidance and therapeutic professionalism in the best way possible to bridge the gap while our buildings are closed. For our support staff, it means working to ensure that appointments are scheduled, resources are available and families are able to reach out when they need assistance. This all adds up to KidsAbility’s promise of doing all that we can to help make brighter futures possible.
For each child, therapy sessions will look different depending on the goals and skills they are working on together. One therapist at KidsAbility invites a glimpse into what a virtual appointment may look like in a video. I believe it captures the universal compassion shared by all our therapists for the children and youth they serve every day.
Last week I shared a story in my video segment
from one of our physiotherapists who was able to do a virtual physio session with a mom and child. Our therapist was overjoyed to reconnect with the family, give the needed support and still be able to keep a much-loved end of session routine of reading a book. The entire session was a success!
KidsAbility has leveraged technology in previous years to help connect families to the support that they have needed. Now, pivoting to use technology in new ways has proven to be more important than ever as we re-imagine the delivery of services and supports to our kids and their families.
Some families are familiar with virtual appointments but for others who are new to this type of delivery, KidsAbility has put together many resources to help families navigate technology and help their children realize their goals from home!
From virtual support groups to website resources, our families are supported with information accessible 24/7 online. By shifting, adapting and embracing technology, KidsAbility remains committed to delivering the help and support our community needs.
If you would like to make a donation at this time, we would be most grateful for your continued support. If you have already donated to KidsAbility this spring, thank you! Together we will ensure the needs of our kids and their families are met during these times.
Executive Director, KidsAbility Foundation
P.S. A final word on innovation! We are so pleased to invite you to the first-ever Facebook Live concert by members of the Western Swing Authority tonight at 5pm in support of KidsAbility.
Arranged by renowned, award-winning musicians, Shane Guse and Stacy Lee Guse, accomplished artists of the Western Swing Authority (WSA), and lead cast members in Waterloo’s very own Sounds of Christmas Guse Productions, this dynamic duo will be hosting an extended double Facebook broadcast April 17, first from Shane Guse’s Facebook page at 5pm and then from the Country 106.7 Facebook page at 6pm.
Shane is Waterloo’s five time CCMA Fiddle Player of The Year and Stacy Lee is a highly accomplished session vocalist, live performer, and featured vocalist with WSA, Canada’s most recognized and awarded authentic Western Swing group.
We invite you to tune in!
Spring Update to our Supporters
Wednesday April 8, 2020
From Lisa Talbot, Executive Director of KidsAbility Foundation.
I hope you are staying safe and well! Like many others in our community, I’m doing my part to work from home and use technology to stay connected to you.
I want to extend my profound thanks to you for your ongoing commitment and concern for the children and youth who continue to benefit from KidsAbility’s services during this health crisis. I know that you share in our belief that every child deserves to realize their full potential.
KidsAbility’s first priority continues to be the well-being of our kids and families. I can assure you that while our physical buildings are closed, our therapists, social work team and support staff continue to be there when families need us the most.
KidsAbility continues to support families, but in new and innovative and creative ways!
- Our therapists are holding online therapy appointments and coaching sessions with families. As well, our social work team are providing virtual counselling.
- Just this week, KidsAbility launched three virtual support groups for parents to connect with one another, to share their ups and downs, and to offer suggestions for coping with physical distancing.
- KidsAbility is also planning a series of many other workshops for parents online later this month.
We know that this has also been a very difficult time for families. Our team has put together a wide variety of new resources and information for families on our website from how-to information for virtual appointments, emergency services locally that focus on food security, practical education websites and even some fun activities!
One physiotherapist shared with me that she felt VERY encouraged in her first online Zoom therapy session with the little child she was working with. The parents of the little child also found the experience to be very successful. The therapist even ended the session in the traditional way by reading the story about Rudy, a dog with a disability.
Like you, we are re-imagining how we are working in these unique times, finding new ways to support our families when they need us the most, and remaining committed to the kids we serve.
Because we really are ALL in this together. And together, we will get through this challenging time.
Thanks to supporters like you, I know we will rally together – with a renewed and deeper resolve to continue to help children and youth have brighter futures.
As we begin the celebrations of Passover and Easter, I hope each of you find unique and meaningful ways to reflect and connect with family and loved ones.
Thank you for being a part of the KidsAbility family and I wish you a Happy Spring!
Lisa Talbot, Executive Director, KidsAbility Foundation
P.S. I invite you to reach out to me to have a conversation. Let me know how I can help make it easier for you and your family as we join together in these unique times.To support KidsAbility, please visit our donation page
. Thank you.