ABC7 News goes into the community to learn about issues that you care about. We held a “7 Listens” meeting in San Jose recently and learned about a special program that creates playhouses for kids with special needs.
The volunteers from Intel did something special Thursday. At the same time, they’re developing new skills. They’ve divided up into teams focusing on roofing, cut out, and painting and in five hours, they will make a child’s playhouse.
The workshop is operated by Habitat for Humanity Silicon Valley. In the course of a year, teams will make over 120 playhouses for the children of veterans, foster kids and children with disabilities.
“Nothing beats the excitement of parents coming in with the kids to pick it up,” Habitat for Humanity Silicon Valley spokesperson Jennifer Simmons said.
One playhouse is going to a child chosen by the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center, a 3-year-old from San Jose with cerebral palsy. The playhouse needs to be wheelchair accessible.
“It’s just a matter of making sure that the height of the doorway and the width of the doorway and then the interior area of the playhouse are sufficient to allow a child in a wheelchair to gain access and be able to move about and enjoy the playhouse,” Silicon Valley Independent Living Center spokesperson Todd Texeira said.
Five hours later, Amanda Fonte got the surprise of her life — a playhouse that will let her play outside and inside just like any other child.
“I know she’s very excited and she’s happy because she’s moving her feet, and she’s noticing the colors of the drawings,” Amanda’s mother Patricia Rojas said.
It was a magic moment for the Intel volunteers, too. You could see the joy in their faces.
Amanda is already planning a tea party with her cousins in her new playhouse. .
The Silicon Valley Independent Living Center has an interesting phrase about this program. They say they’re making the world more accessible one playhouse at a time.