Gaithersburg, MD, July 28, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- Equipment Connections for Children (ECFC), a regional non-profit, celebrates its 10th anniversary of giving children living with disabilities the equipment they need free of charge to develop and lead healthier and happier lives.
Based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, ECFC was founded by Physical Therapist Claire Wong in August 2009. Wong sought to address a need she saw in her community: Many of the families she served were having trouble getting essential adaptive equipment – such as strollers, walkers, and other therapy equipment – for their children living with disabilities. These children were at high risk of further developmental delays and other negative health outcomes due to unreasonably long waiting periods, insurance rejections, and/or their families not having the ability to afford the devices. Some items such as adaptive strollers, car seats, and therapy bikes are not covered by insurance at all yet are very expensive and needed items. Wong began taking in equipment from clients who were no longer using the items and donating them to other clients in need of those items. The nonprofit quickly outgrew Wong’s garage, then two storage units, and now resides in a small warehouse space.
ECFC has donated over 2,000 pieces of equipment over the past 10 years to over 1,500 children living with disabilities and has saved their families an estimated $2.5M in equipment costs. In April 2018, ECFC hired Executive Director Jason Herring to oversee their continued growth and expansion of services. New services include networking events for families with children living with disabilities and a popular adaptive toy workshop series where care givers learn to make adaptive toys.
“Our mission has always been twofold: to bring adaptive equipment to children who need it, quickly and for free, and to spread awareness of the difficulties in obtaining the equipment,” remarked Executive Director Jason Herring. “Every year, more and more families in need are finding us so we continue to advocate for the community and expand our reach to serve more children and families in the DMV.”
“We’ve made it this far and we’re able to look forward to another 10 years because of our incredible community of clients, volunteers, donors, staff,” said Board President Yolanda Johnson. “Thank you to everyone who has helped make a difference in this community. We look forward to growing our family as we continue to spread our reach in the coming years.”