While many of us grew up with a never-ending selection of possible Halloween costumes, when October 31st came rolling around, we often likely forgot about the unfortunate children confined to wheelchairs who likely felt like outcasts on this spooky, candy-oriented holiday.
Every year, from when I was 3 to probably about 14, I recall dressing up for Halloween and going trick-or-treating. In fact, I still usually dress up for Halloween parties in which the candy is replaced with some sort of adult beverage. I never really took a moment to think about those who couldn’t walk door to door, or couldn’t fit into that perfect costume when the day came around.
This is a problem for thousands of disabled children across the nation. In fact, estimates put the number of children confined to wheelchairs in the U.S. at approximately 150,000. One father, named Ryan Weimer, who has three disabled children diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, couldn’t stand by and watch as his kids felt left out during the usual festivities of the holiday. In 2008, he built his wheelchair-bound son, Keaton, what had to have been the coolest Halloween costume in the entire Portland, Oregon region.
Following his 2008 accomplishment, Weimer decided that every wheelchair-bound kid in America, or at least as many of them as possible, should be able to feel the joy that his son Keaton had felt that one day in 2008. Weiner decided to create a nonprofit organization called Magic Wheelchair in order to raise the funding, as well as find the volunteers necessary to help bring incredible costumes to as many disabled children as possible.
“Our vision is to put a smile on the face of every child in a wheelchair by transforming their wheelchairs into awesomeness created by our hands and their imaginations,” explained the website. “Our mission is to give kids in wheelchairs an unforgettable Halloween by creating custom costumes for them at no expense to their families.”
Back in June, Weimer got the brilliant idea to turn to the crowd, via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, to raise as much money as possible for his endeavors. In total, the campaign raised just over $25,000, which was enough money for the creation of numerous costumes which will be ready by Halloween this year. The Kickstarter project may have ended, but Weimer and his organization will continue to churn on, accepting donations, volunteers and feedback from around the world. If you would like to help out, please visit the Magic Wheelchair website and share it with your friends and family. Check out video below from the Weimer family: