Lincoln’s Place has joined the Giving Tuesday movement in an effort to finish its fundraising campaign to bring an all-inclusive playground to Newton, Illinois. Having already raised $135,000 in money and in-kind donations, the fundraising committee needs $40,000 to reach its goal and organizers are hopeful that Giving Tuesday (December 3) will be the final push needed to help them cross the finish line.
Giving Tuesday contributions can be made online (https://donate.enrichingourcommunity.org/Lincolns-Place-2019), over the phone (217.342.5983), or in-person on December 3 at Life Café (106 W Washington, Newton), or by mail (mail checks to Lincoln’s Place, PO Box 1211, Effingham, IL 62401). Follow Lincoln’s Place on Facebook for more announcements as the giving day approaches.
“Our community has been generous in their support of this project and we are incredibly grateful,” comments Chad Miller, chair of the Lincoln’s Place fundraising committee. “We’re asking for support from Newton and the surrounding communities one more time on Giving Tuesday to meet our fundraising goal and break ground in early spring.”
Once completed, Lincoln’s Place will provide children of all abilities with the opportunity to fully engage in play. The City of Newton has partnered with All-Inclusive Rec in Farmington, Missouri to develop a playground that goes beyond basic ADA requirements in order to give children an opportunity to interact with every piece of equipment at the playground.
Lincoln’s Place is inspired by Chad and Jaci Miller’s son, Lincoln. Lincoln was placed on the autism spectrum a few months prior to his third birthday. Through many hours of therapy and special schooling, Lincoln has come a long way. However, he still has difficulties understanding his limitations and safety, like many children on the autism spectrum. Taking Lincoln and his siblings to the park is very different for his family when compared to others. Unfortunately for the Millers and many other special needs families, this means going to a park is typically not an option. While there are all-inclusive playgrounds in surrounding communities, traveling to these parks is often inconvenient for families. By building an all-inclusive playground in Newton, more families in Jasper County will thrive.
The benefits of all-inclusive playgrounds extend beyond physical access to playground equipment. Lincoln’s Place is open to everyone, regardless of their limitations. Because of this, children will learn how to accept differences in others and learn to successfully play together. All-inclusive playgrounds promote disability awareness and provide children with the tools to ask questions, get accurate information, explore their feelings, and learn how to positively interact with their peers.
Children have been at the forefront of the planning process, however, Lincoln’s Place will have benefits for those parents and grandparents with limited ability who also find playgrounds to be inaccessible.
Giving Tuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving following the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday kicks off the holiday giving season and inspires people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support. This year, Giving Tuesday is December 3.