Each spring and summer Washington D.C.’s calendar is filled with a variety of community-driven family-centered festivals and activities. These annual events bring us together in a fun way to celebrate local culture, creating a sense of community. They give us a sense of belonging and provide social support. Such supports can enable us to better handle the challenges we may face.
Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible for some residents to participate in these community events. Children with special needs and their families are often excluded due to the limited accessibility to convenient transportation, close-by parking, inclusive activities, specially trained activity leaders, and so on. These barriers make it very difficult for children with special needs and their families to interact with the community. Without community engagement, children with special needs and their families can become isolated in their homes. Isolation causes loneliness, hopelessness, and depression. Belonging improves quality of life, health, happiness, and motivation.
That is why Coastal Healthcare Services and DirectlyTo have partnered to host the 1st Annual Move, Play, Speak Community Day. Tentatively scheduled for June 25, this event will provide a fun, exciting, and accessible environment designed just for children with special needs and their families.
This one-of-a-kind community day will celebrate the special families in the greater D.C. area and highlight the resources and support systems available to enhance their day-to-day lives. The event will include a day camp for preregistered children and a variety of field activities for children of all ages and abilities. Parents will be invited to meet, mix, and mingle with one another, therapists, case managers, and other professionals in the area through a full-day softball tournament.
The Move, Play, Speak Community Day is sponsored by two innovative organizations, Coastal Healthcare Services and DirectlyTo. Coastal Healthcare Services is a community-based pediatric practice in Washington D.C. that provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy services to children with special needs. DirectlyTo is a newly launched 501c3 organization that directs funds and services directly to those in need. Both organizations are exceedingly aware of the challenges that area families face due to health, accessibility, and other physical limitations. Together, we are committed to tearing down many of these barriers.
But we need your help
to create a caring community for this underserved population.
We believe this event is unlike any other. It will give children with special needs and their families an opportunity to celebrate the richness of their community. We hope that you too will see value in offering your services to the Move, Play, Speak Community Day. To make this day a success, we are asking that you offer your financial support. Your donations will help support our cause by funding children to participate in a full day camp led by clinicians, a modified kid fun zone, and an adult softball tournament.