Sharing Freedom Through Boating for Special Children

September 29, 2010

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“Special needs basically means the Loss of Freedom: Loss of the senses… smell, taste, hearing, feel/touch, sight. Freedom Waters Foundation gives our blind, deaf, and paralyzed child his senses back,” wrote John Buck, Father of Riley Buck, age 8. “The smell and taste of the salt water air; the vibration (hearing) of the motor or gentle rocking of the waves; the touch of the sun and wind in his hair. As for sight, the organization gives us something to look forward to every time we participate. For a moment in time, our son/family, are “normal” and a part of something very special.”


(Photo above, John and son, Riley Buck, Age 8 )

Zach, 7, who is on the most part non-verbal, sometimes has a hard time adjusting to new places or situations and although he has been boating before with FWF, his last trip was on a different boat, from a different marina and he approached with great trepidation and many tears. With a great deal of affection, comfort and support, Zach slowly adjusted to his new surroundings and we left the dock. Soon there after, he wanted and did explore the vessel, helped at the helm, and he was smiling with the joy of his boating experience.

By the time the boat returned to the dock, Zach was so relaxed that he nearly fell asleep.

“Freedom Waters Foundation allows children, whose lives are full of therapy and work to be free. The water allows them to just be a kid for a day, not a kid with special needs ormultiple problems. Just a kid, who can set sail and relax in the sun. To see them laugh and feel the wind on their faces is such a wonderful sight. As a mom I take great joy in seeing my son sail on the open sea! His joy brings me joy and for that I am thankful!” stated Rebekah Aldridge, Zach’s Mom. She even wrote a little poem:

Water is so much fun,
then you add a little sun,
A little sail and special friends,
and the fun just never ends!


(Photo Above – Zachary Aldridge, 7 and Volunteer, Donn Schulte)

Today’s discovery:

Christmas Cards from About the Small Stuff

Christmas cards featuring disabled children: Janet Harrold of Painting for Hailey

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