Saturday, June 09, 2007

Military police set up a special day for the visually impaired

To celebrate 50 years of the Military Police Fund for Blind Children, base Military Police hosted the Vancouver Island Visually Impaired (VIVI) Activity Day for 55 visually-impaired children.

The children spent last Friday morning at the Naden Athletic Centre running an obstacle course, hurling frisbees, splashing in the pool, and yanking the arms off military police in a tug of war challenge.

The event was also a chance for VIVI to thank military police volunteers for their work with the Military Police Fund for Blind Children.

“They do so much for the kids that we just really want to acknowledge them and say thanks,”says Elaine Todd, teacher at Belmont Secondary School’s Vision Program.

Cpl Thomas Sorbie, MP’s representative for the fund, jumped at the chance to host the activity day on base. “We wanted the 50th anniversary of the fund to be something special. People have to see the results to appreciate what they have done.”

Joining the children from across the Island was Kaitlin, a determined student from Belmont Secondary School. She has made many friends at the annual event since she was five, and relished the chance to do things she rarely gets to try.

“In a public school, I don’t really get to do much sports. Our activity day means I can do something that other kids get to do all the time,”she says.

“Hanging out with people with similar disabilities lets me express myself. We’re the same. When we explain things to each other, we get it,”she adds.

Kaitlin has personally benefited from the Military Police Fund for Blind Children. Funds enabled her to go to the Space Program in Huntsville, Alabama. She spent a week with 200 other visually impaired kids from around the world.

Donations have also purchased computers, brail computers, voice producing software, tandem bicycles and sent children to music camps.

“Five dollars here and five dollars there soon adds up to $200, and that can make such an impact,”says Cpl Sorbie.

The MPFBC reaches out to children beyond the scope of the military.

“At the end of the day, this is our own fund. We’re a very special branch because we are the only unit in the Canadian Forces that has it’s own registered charity. We’re very proud of that,”says Cpl Sorbie.


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