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Article posted on April 10, 2017

7 reasons to love Children’s Ability Fund

Children’s Ability Fund is celebrating 70 years of helping children and young adults with disabilities throughout Alberta.
Children’s Ability Fund is celebrating 70 years of helping children and young adults with disabilities throughout Alberta.
Edie’s family was able to purchase an accessible van thanks to the support of Children’s Ability Fund and other charities.
Edie’s family was able to purchase an accessible van thanks to the support of Children’s Ability Fund and other charities.

Children’s Ability Fund, an Alberta’s Promise partner and one of the province’s longest serving charities, is celebrating its 70th year. Its mission: to provide funding to enhance the independence of children and young adults (up to age 21) with disabilities throughout Alberta. This is achieved by providing funding for specialized equipment.

In honour of 70 incredible years, here are seven reasons to love – and support – Children’s Ability Fund:

  1. Its heartwarming history.
    The 1940’s proved a challenging time for northern Alberta families in medical crisis. Farm accidents and infectious diseases like polio were claiming and altering young lives, and few resources were available to help. Public health services were limited to major cities, travel was difficult, health benefits and government health grants were not yet available, and money was scarce – especially in rural areas. In 1947, as the need to help distraught families grew, a group of traveling salesman from Edmonton founded the Northern Alberta Crippled Children’s Fund (NACCF) as a way to give back to the communities in which they worked. NACCF raised money from special events and donated it to offset families’ medical, surgical, and specialized equipment expenses.  Adopting the name Children’s Ability Fund in 1997, the organization is now known as a last resource for many of the 235,000 Albertans living with some type of disability and unable to meet the funding criteria of other agencies. For 70 years, Children’s Ability Fund has assisted hundreds of people in Northern Alberta by providing more than $10 million in equipment and support for those with a disability.
  1. It helps people get where they’re going.
    Almost 80% of the equipment Children’s Ability Fund provides to youth relates to mobility and independence. Thanks to the Bikes for Tykes program, children with a disability can explore unknown territory, ride to the park with friends, and participate in the same everyday activities that all children enjoy. The program helps fund bicycle adaptations for the individual needs of a child with a disability. And as youth transition from two wheels to four, they can look to the Vehicle Adaptation Grant for support. The grant of up to $5,000 can be used to cover anything from minor modifications like the installation of hand controls to more complex modifications on a used or new vehicle. It can also assist with the purchase of a new accessible vehicle.
  1. It gives everyone the chance to play.
    Since 1995, Children’s Ability Fund has awarded $745,000 in grants to help build 176 barrier free playgrounds across Northern Alberta. Beyond creating a safe and accessible play space for everyone, these playgrounds also encourage inclusion of accessible playground equipment for children of all abilities and raise awareness of accessibility.
  1. It connects youth to opportunities.
    Be it through education, recreation, or resources, Children’s Ability Fund provides self-improvement opportunities to youth with disabilities. The Children’s Ability Fund Bursary is awarded to a young person with a disability entering their first year of post-secondary education, and a fund designed to cover registration fees allows youth with disabilities to participate in community programs, like martial arts classes or computer camp. Children’s Ability Fund also acts as a link to the community, connecting its clients with other agencies offering services and supports.
  1. Its impact on families.
    Financial support and specialized equipment donations are making all the difference for children and families in Alberta. Here are just a few words of gratitude from Children’s Ability Fund clients:

    “We really appreciate the kindness you have shown to me and my son. He loves his new adaptive stroller! He has had many seizures while we were out and I needed to care for him in the stroller with rescue meds. (My nurse also really appreciates it!) Thank you so much.” - Keyaan's Mom

    “Thank you for helping me obtain the Roger Pen (assistive hearing device) in time for the school year. My biggest challenges are understanding my professors.  Rather than listening hard and trying to figure out and remember what the Professor is saying, the Roger Pen helps me to quickly hear and understand what they are saying. I am so grateful for all you have done so graciously in helping me to be successful in college.  So far my marks are better than they were in high school.  I feel successful, capable and good about myself.  Thank you most sincerely.” - Nikki     

    "The Children's Ability Fund has been an exceptional resource for me and my family.  Without their support we would have struggled with the regular daily activities that most families take for granted." - Carter's family   
  1. It welcomes gifts of all shapes and sizes.
    Tempted to give to support Children’s Ability Fund? Thanks to its variety of giving options, you are sure to find something that suits you best. Monthly and annual gifts allow donors to give regularly, while planned gifts allow donors to leave a lasting legacy. Other ways to give include donating services, donating event prizes, hosting third party fundraisers, or offering employees paid time off to volunteer.

  2. Its Bowl for Children fundraiser gets you moving while supporting mobility!
    The 19th Annual Children’s Ability Fund Go Auto Bowl for Children will take place Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at Ed’s Rec Room in West Edmonton Mall. This pledge-driven event combines the fun of 10-pin bowling with the heart of supporting programs and services for youth with disabilities. With a goal of raising $50,000, the event will feature appearances from local celebrities and an after-party with light refreshments and prizes! Spots are limited, so get your team of four together and register today: www.bowlforchildren.com

To learn more about Children’s Ability Fund, check out their website: https://www.childrensabilityfund.ca/

Last Updated: Monday, April 10, 2017

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