On Tuesday, June 12, 6 members of TWIG #13 (Together With Important Goals), a local chapter of the nearly 500-volunteer strong group of women across northeast Ohio who bring smiles to the faces of Akron Children’s patients, presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to representatives from the Akron Children’s Rehabilitative Services.
According to Christi Phillip, president of TWIG #13, “Our members are delighted to help the Brandon T. Clark Fund which provides invaluable support to families in need of assistance meeting financial burdens (lack of/insufficient insurance coverage, for example) associated with providing the highest quality of rehabilitative care for their children.”
In 2009, Hudson couple Tom and Brenda Clark started the Brandon Thomas Clark fund in memory of their son, to offset the costs of therapy, adaptive equipment, augmentative devices and hearing aids for families in need. Brandon was a frequent therapy patient during his 18 months of life.
“Over the past 5 years TWIG #13 has become one of this fund’s top contributors – raising over $23,000,” said Stephanie Weber, development coordinator, special events. “Due to their generosity, hundreds of patients have received essential therapeutic tools, equipment and treatment services that traditional funding sources would not cover.”
For the Clarks, who receive handwritten notes from the families the fund helps, it’s been a heartwarming experience.
“To read the cards and see photos of these kids communicating or hearing for the first time is very moving,” said Tom.
TWIG members were given a tour of the rehab department, which included visiting the physical, occupational and speech therapy and audiology departments.
“It was very fulfilling to see some of the therapeutic equipment we’ve helped purchase,” said Phillip.
Member Rosanna Koehler, who also happens to be a longtime physical therapy assistant at the hospital, is excited about the new toy lending library that will become a reality after this year’s donation.
“This library lets families borrow and exchange specially modified toys that allow kids the opportunity to learn, interact and play as independently as possible,” she said. “The cost of an adapted toy or switch for adapting other small appliances is quite high. By borrowing and returning items, the children can sample a variety of things to match their capabilities as well as new developing interests without the high price burden.”
To learn more about TWIGS, or how to join a group, call Volunteer Services at 330-543-8424.