Walkin' & Rollin' Turn Childrens' Wheelchairs Into Amazing Halloween Costumes
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If you see a child in a wheelchair wearing a particularly spectacular costume this Halloween, there's a chance the Walkin' & Rollin' Costumes network may have had a hand in helping out.
Launched in 2015 by Lon Davis and based in Kansas, the Walkin' & Rollin' Costumes is a non-profit organization dedicated to building costumes for kids in walkers and wheelchairs, free of charge to the families. The organization uses a network of more than 100 volunteers around the nation and donations to help cover the costs for these often amazingly elaborate costumes.
Davis' son was diagnosed with childhood cancer neuroblastoma at two months old and was wheelchair-bound at age three. When Reese wanted to be the Pixar film character Wall-E for Halloween Davis decided to make it happen.
"I had not seen any Wall-E costumes in stores, nor did I see anything that would work around his wheelchair, so I thought 'I can build one, I can try and see what I can come up with,'" says David in a Walkin' & Rollin' Costumes video.
Davis succeeded and in recent years has also fashioned elaborate Star Wars X-wing fighter, Iron Man, Captain America and Ant-Man costumes for Reese. He also wants to see every other child in a wheelchair experience the same joy, which is where Walkin' & Rollin' Costumes comes in.
"I want to be able to reach more kids and the only way to be able to do that is have more volunteers," says Davis. "I want to be able to pair up any child who contacts us from any city in the United States or possibly in the world and say, 'I've got builders in your city that are ready to go.' And pair them up so they can start getting their costume built.
"I want to see every child that wants one of these costumes to get one."
Right now Walkin' & Rollin' are looking for two things to further their goals — volunteers to build their costumes and donations to help pay for the material costs behind them. Walkin' & Rollin' estimates each decked out costume costs $150-$350 USD ($197-$459 CAD) in materials and up an additional $200 USD ($263 CAD) in shipping costs.
"As a parent of a special needs child, I know how difficult it is at Halloween to find costumes that fit, or are comfortable for a child in a wheelchair," says Davis. "There aren’t any websites that sell them either, so we have always made them ourselves. Reese loved the attention he got from his classmates and for the first time was thought of as just another kid. His self esteem skyrocketed. We decided to share that experience with other families in similar situations and the response and feedback has been both amazing and humbling."
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* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.