Students and faculty from East Tennessee State University joined with AdaptoPlay to host its annual “Breakfast with Santa” for children with mobility impairments Saturday, Dec. 14 at the ETSU Eastman Valleybrook campus.
AdaptoPlay is a nonprofit organization of volunteers who are passionate about helping children who are differently abled. The organization focuses on creating and using mobility devices and toys to create opportunities for play for children who have a primary diagnosis of physical disability.
Project EARTH, which is part of ETSU’s College of Public Health, partners with AdaptoPlay to creatively adapt cars, toys and games for children who have mobility differences. Milligan College’s Engineering Program also is an integral partner with AdaptoPlay.
Community physical therapist volunteers, along with student and faculty volunteers from ETSU’s College of Public Health and physical therapy students from the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, facilitated the fun and activities at the event, where 25 children and their families enjoyed adapted games, an adapted toy giveaway and breakfast.
In addition, AdaptoPlay fitted eight children for motorized toy cars, which will be specially adapted and outfitted for their mobility needs.
“AdaptoPlay is a special part of Project EARTH because it brings together students from public health and physical therapy to work alongside physical and occupational therapists from the community, as well as an array of other volunteers,” said Dr. Mike Stoots, director of operations for Project EARTH.
“Students not only learn to adapt cars and toys, they work in interprofessional teams and learn community organization and logistical skills.”