SUDBURY – SMILE Mass, is launching a fundraising initiative to build the “Community within a Community,” a fully accessible indoor and outdoor recreation area including trails for running, biking, cross country skiing, a water sports area for fishing and kayaking and a pavilion where fitness training, art and music classes can be offered to those with special needs.
More details available at https://smilemass.org/initiative/community-within-a-community/.
Small Miracles in Life Exist (SMILE Mass) is a 501 C3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping families with a severely disabled family member enjoy happy, healthy lifestyle choices. We are hyper focused on kids and adults with both mental and physical disabilities, that don’t have a good after school program or a great placement after reaching age 22.
- Need support staffing for the rest of their lives to live a meaningful life
- Deserve full inclusion in our community
- Need to be physically active to stimulate their minds
- Should have access to job opportunities
To bring this to life including the facility, adaptive equipment, and programming, SMILE Mass will need to raise $2.5 Million over the next year. We can’t reach our goal without the help of both corporate donations and individual donations from members of the community. The leaders of SMILE Mass, Lotte Diomede and Susan Brown have dedicated themselves to making sure the 12.2 % of that population that is severely handicapped (have multiple disabilities) can have a happy, healthy lifestyle despite their disabilities. Both are raising children with disabilities and are driven to make sure all people with disabilities have the same opportunities to enjoy the outdoors that we all take for granted.
Lotte Diomede said “Having a son with severe disabilities motivates me every day to make sure he is living a full life, surrounded by like-minded people while still providing an atmosphere of continued learning, filled with fun, friends, and job opportunities in a safe environment. It’s a place where he will be able to experience a full inclusive and meaningful life despite his many disabilities. I believe we all, regardless of physical disabilities, want to fit in, be needed and belong. With community support we can make sure everyone with a disability has a brighter future with more opportunities available to them. We are building the Community within a Community, Club SMILE Mass to ensure all individuals have a place where they can belong, have fun, and move with safe access to both indoor and outdoor space for recreation and possibly even have a job.”
Susan Brown said “Many people take for granted the outdoor space we are lucky enough to have in Metrowest. Unfortunately, much of that space is not accessible to people in wheelchairs. We want to create a space where your disability doesn’t preclude you from enjoying the outdoors and we will provide access to the equipment needed to have a safe, fun experience for the entire family.”
Small Miracles in Life Exist (SMILE Mass) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families raising children or adults with disabilities enjoy happy, healthy memories through vacation and recreation experiences. Over the past 11 years SMILE Mass has donated over 150 floating beach wheelchairs to public beaches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. In addition, SMILE Mass built the first of its kind universal designed, handicapped accessible playground in MetroWest, today SMILE Mass has supported 7 other playgrounds right in MetroWest.
In 2018 they purchased a condo on the beach and transformed it into a beautiful, fully accessible vacation rental in Truro, available to families. SMILE Mass created an Equipment Loaner Program that allows families to borrow recreational equipment for a day trip to the beach, a stroller for a hike, a bath chair for a quick getaway and so much more.
SMILE Mass has a running team, that connect kids with disabilities to runners in our area so they can go for social runs together, or road races if desired. And now the newest project A Community
Within a Community, Club SMILE Mass, where we will be providing direct services to kids and adults with disabilities, either as an after-school program or a more extensive self-directed program after turning 22.
To learn more about all our programs visit www.smilemass.org
In full transparency, above is a press release submitted to SOURCE media.