FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, ON, March 3, 2014 – Today marks the beginning of March is Easter Seals Month, Easter Seals Ontario’s annual fundraising and awareness campaign for kids with physical disabilities. The annual campaign focuses on raising awareness of the ongoing issues and needs of children with physical disabilities and how people can lend their support in their own communities.
Children and youth with physical disabilities face challenges on a daily basis, including issues surrounding accessibility and lack of opportunities to socialize and participate in recreational activities. For many, this results in feelings of social isolation and lack of self-esteem.
“Kids with physical disabilities are just like any other kids. So why aren’t we treated like one? The majority of children have an innate self-consciousness regarding themselves. This self-consciousness is amplified when you are a child with a physical disability,” says 17-year-old Jonathan Lu, an Easter Seals youth. “It is time for a social paradigm shift. It is time we start seeing with the eyes of our hearts. Physically disabled children have a lot to offer society. All we want is a chance. You can start by treating us like any other kid.”
“The children and youth we serve may have a physical disability, however, first and foremost, they are kids,” said Carol Lloyd, President and CEO, Easter Seals Ontario. “Easter Seals’ programs and services enable these young people to participate in activities, integrate in their communities and enjoy fun and freedom just like other kids. However, we are only able to offer assistance thanks to the generous support of our donors, sponsors and volunteers. During March is Easter Seals Month, I encourage everyone to lend their support to help give kids with physical disabilities the chance to just be kids.”
Easter Seals’ programs and services focus on helping young people with physical disabilities experience greater independence and integration by providing financial assistance so families can purchase the essential mobility equipment their children need to participate at school and engage in their communities. Easter Seals’ fully accessible summer camping programs give kids the opportunity to feel accepted and participate in a wide range of activities, just like other kids.
March is Easter Seals Month marks the beginning of Easter Seals’ annual fundraising efforts in communities across Ontario, including:
• The annual Easter Seals direct mail campaign, containing the traditional Easter “seals”, will arrive in homes across the province during the first two weeks of March. This annual campaign continues to be one of the organization’s largest fundraising initiatives.
• On March 24, the Easter Seals Paper Eggs Campaign will arrive in retailers across Ontario including Booster Juice, TSC, Sobeys, Foodland, FreshCo, Price Chopper, and The Bargain! Shop. Shoppers will be invited to purchase a Paper Egg for $2, which will be displayed in-store for the duration of the three-week campaign.
• On Sunday, April 13, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., the provincial broadcast of the annual Easter Seals Telethon will air on CBC and on local stations in Windsor, Peterborough and Kingston. Local Easter Seals Telethons will also take place in other communities in the coming weeks, including: Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday, March 30, and Sudbury on Sunday, April 6. Visit www.EasterSealsTelethon.org.
Easter Seals Ontario is a registered charitable organization that has been helping children and youth with physical disabilities from all ethnic and religious backgrounds for over 90 years, Easter Seals relies fully on the generosity of donors and sponsors to be able offer its programs and services. For more information or to donate, visit www.easterseals.org.