Do you take things for granted? Have you complained about having to go to work, to school, or to a practice? If you answered no, you are a liar. Each and every day we take life and its events for granted. We lose sight that being employed, receiving an education, and playing on a sports team are privileges. They are blessings. There are many in this world who have not been given the health, the knowledge, the ability, or the opportunity to perform these functions. They have been faced with challenges that keep them from living a life like you and me. Physical disabilities keep them out of the workplace, out of a school, and off of the court. This week, I spent time with an organization who is creating possibilities for those with disabilities. Turnstone is Northeast Indiana’s only free-standing rehabilitation non-profit that provides comprehensive services that address the unique needs of people with physical disabilities. The mission is to provide therapeutic, educational, recreational, and wellness programs to empower individuals with disabilities. Turnstone strives to help individuals with disabilities reach their full potential in all aspects of life. They are guided by the vision that one day, all people will live, learn, work, and play in a community based on abilities, not disabilities.
I volunteered during Turnstone’s 2nd annual Cruise-In. The event featured awesome cars, great food, and fun games. All of the proceeds from the event benefit the adaptive sports and recreation programs. Turnstone is a Paralympic Sports Club that offers sports such as wheelchair basketball, power soccer, wheelchair tennis, and sled hockey. I spent my time playing games with children of families who were in attendance. We tossed bags in cornhole and birdies in birdie golf. We took our swings at the baseball game and our frames at the bowling lane. Some painted their face (not me) while others won prizes at ring toss. The idea was to entertain the kids while the parents enjoyed the car show outside. For four hours, I played games with children. It was an easy, yet rewarding, volunteer experience. It exposed me to a great organization, a great mission, and great people with whom I had no exposure. It gave me a chance to learn about the services provided and what they mean to those with disabilities and their families. It was another example of just how easy it is to make an impact. All you have to do is invest a little time. When you do, you can help others, help yourself, and have a good time doing so.
Turnstone is empowering individuals to reach their potential. These individuals are learning that the impossible is possible. A wheelchair will not keep them from playing their favorite sport. Their disability will not keep them from living a successful life. The vision that all people will live, learn, work, and play in a community based on abilities, not disabilities, is alive. With your help, the day will come where all are treated equally. Please visit www.turnstone.org and find a way to get involved. You can help someone reach their potential by creating possibilities.