The Jester in The Jester Has Lost His Jingle reminds us, “It’s up to us to make a difference. It’s up to us to care.” I thought about that as Super Storm Sandy wrecked havoc last 29 October. Then Cynthia Clifford, a bilingual early interventionist living in the Rockaways, inspired me to figure out how Playworks could help those working with young children with multiple disabilities. Despite catastrophic personal losses, Cynthia and her colleagues were eager to get back to the children and their families.
Imagine the trauma of losing everything. Imagine yourself in that situation. Then imagine yourself as a child in that situation. Just imagining takes my breath away.
Children experiencing trauma regress, then gradually, as they feel safe, regain lost ground. For children with special needs, the need to continue receiving support services is critical. That’s why early interventionists scrambled to pull together tools of their trade~toys~and get back to “their special kids.”
We all can help their ongoing efforts. Playworks has launched a year long recovery effort, Project Carry On, and invited early interventionists and related disciplines to contact us. This includes occupational, physical, and speech therapists, vision specialists, ABA therapists, psychologists, and social workers. Having sustained ruinous damage to their sites and monumental loss of toys, supplies and books, early childhood centers throughout the Rockaways are also eligible.
Here’s how Project Carry On works. Participants create Wish Lists on our website, http://www.playworks.net. Donors place orders from the Wish List(s) of their choosing. Playworks waives shipping charges on eligible Wish List orders. (Shipping charges appearing at check-out will be deducted before we process payment and a receipt showing the revised charge will be emailed to each donor.)
Donors are also entered in our monthly drawing for a $30 e-certificate from Playworks. Kevin Kim, of Manhattan, and Bloggers for Health, based in Los Angeles, won the
gift certificates in December and January.