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Through Other Eyes (Posted On: Wednesday, October 12, 2011)

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Breaking Down Barriers Independent Living Resource Centre aims to raise $10,000 through the Annual Fundraising Campaign which started in October and ends with “Through Other Eyes” Independent Living Challenge Event on November 2nd at the Collingwood Legion.  Participants in the Through Other Eyes event are asked to collect pledges from family, friends and colleagues.

They will experience firsthand what it feels like to perform everyday tasks with a disability.  Registration is free to participants who raise a minimum of $100 in pledges – participants who do not raise the minimum will pay a nominal $25 registration fee.

New to the organization, the Consumer Contingency Fund (CCF) was created to assist consumers in emergency situations and to fund consumer expenses that are not covered by other sources.  “When you live on a low, fixed income as most of our consumers do, any extra expenses can be overwhelming. For example, a consumer recently needed to get a Medic Alert bracelet and simply did not have the money. We were able to purchase this for him using donated dollars in the Consumer Contingency Fund,” said Andrea Abbott-Kokosin, Executive Director. 

This year, donors can choose to direct their donations to either the Consumer Contingency Fund or General Operating Funds. Donations to General Operating Funds help to fund program costs for example:  $50 will cover a yoga class for 20 consumers; $100 will pay for movie night for 20 consumers; $250 will pay for assistive software and training for one consumer with a visual impairment; $1000 will cover the cost of a trip to the AGO or the ROM and lunch for 45 consumers.

Jack Merwin is the Campaign Spokesperson this year and currently serves as a Director on the Board. In 2007 Jack Merwin had an accident in his home and became an incomplete quadriplegic. “I encourage you to come out on November 2nd and discover what it is like to perform everyday tasks when you are challenged with various disabilities,” says Jack.

The past four years have been a very challenging journey for Jack physically, emotionally and financially.  Inspired by Terry Fox and Rick Hansen, and supported by his family and friends Jack has connected with his people with disabilities and helps his community better understand their needs. Jack is very involved in the community and stays active through wheelchair curling, Nordic and Alpine sit-skiing.

Since 1985, Breaking Down Barriers has been empowering people with disabilities and enabling them to live independently in our communities through the delivery of programs and services such as Peer Support, Independent Living Skills, Employment Programs and more.

To make a donation or learn more about how Breaking Down Barriers helps people with disabilities in the Southern Georgian Triangle, please visit our website or call the office at 705-445-1543

P.S. you can make your donation by credit card through PayPal by visiting our website.   


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