I’ve been a long time advocate for using social media for more than just poking and tweeting. Nonprofit organizations can harness these power of the social web to garner support and advocacy as never before. Equally true, it’s never been easier for individuals to support these causes. So please join me in taking a moment to learn about a Minnesota charity trying to make a difference.
Madison Clarie Foundation was started with a simple goal. They want to build a fully accessible playground in Woodbury, Minnesota (it would be the first in the Twin Cities).
Why? To enhance the lives of children and families living with physical and developmental disabilities by giving them the opportunity to play alongside others. They feel, and I agree, that playgrounds should be for everyone.
There’s more to the “why” of course. The foundation was initially established through the generous donations of Dana and Dave Millington’s friends and colleagues after the death of their two year-old daughter Madison due to complications from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Though the Millington’s didn’t know what they would use the money for, Dana knew she wanted to do something special for all families. That something special has become Madison’s Place Playground.
Every playground claims to be handicap accessible. But any parent of a disabled child, or a disabled parent will tell you that accessible and inclusive can be entirely different. Madison’s Place will be the first fully inclusive playground built in the Twin Cities. Slated for the perimeter of the Bielenberg Sports Complex in Woodbury, this 15,000 square foot playground will provide families with the unique experience of being able to access every level and feature of this fully inclusive playground.
Families with disabilities often carry the expense and burden of additional costs associated with health care. Many families living with disabilities struggle to find activities to do as a family. Madison’s Place will be a play destination for families to enjoy what many of us take for granted: a day at the park.
My own kids are still firmly in the playground demographic, so this is something they would LOVE. But if yours are not or even if you don’t have any kids, it’s not hard to see that this could change the way people think about play. By setting a new standard of accessibility and innovation this special playground will surely serve as a model for future projects in other communities in Minnesota.
I’ve been honored to be named a social media ambassador for their disco fundraising event this Saturday at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis. The evening includes cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres, a live auction and a performance by Boogie Wonderland.
Tickets are still available — buy some and join me in a tight, Saturday Night Fever-style, white suit on the dance floor. Everyone who buys a ticket as the result of this post gets a dance. Act fast! There’s no telling how long that polyester will hold with me stuffed into it.
Win a pair of tickets!
Comment on this post or contacting me before 6pm CT, Friday October 19 for a chance to win.
Other ways to help right this minute:
- Make an online donation to MCF in any amount
- Like their Facebook page, then tell your friends why in a status update
- Tweet something nice about them (@MadisonClaireNP).
Need inspiration? Use this:
Madison’s Place will be the first fully inclusive playground built in #MSP thanks to @MadisonClaireNP http://buff.ly/QjTSuZ
Whatever you do, thank you.