It’s hard to believe that it has been two decades since the WDSRA Foundation was established. For 20 years, the foundation has been working quietly, yet diligently, to make life better for families with special needs.
The mission of the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) is to provide community-based programming opportunities that allow children, teens and adults with special needs the ability to grow and thrive while recreating. The sole purpose of the foundation was, and still is, to develop long-term programs of giving to support that mission.
While there is a Board of Trustees to guide the foundation in its efforts, it is an army of individuals who have attended events, volunteered in our name, secured a sponsorship, or made a donation in the name of the foundation over the past 20 years that we celebrate. After 20 years, we are grateful for the thousands of people that have shown their support.
With the help of the foundation, WDSRA has focused efforts on making high quality programs and services available to all who need it. Over the years, we have seen the cost of providing services rise. At the same time, with the tenuous job market and uncertain economic times, we have experienced an increasingly steady rise in demand for scholarship assistance for families. Through it all, the foundation has been there to assist in funding program supplies and scholarships, as well as bigger ticket items such as vehicles and uniforms.
Now, more than ever, we find ourselves relying on the steadfast work of the foundation and those that show their support for WDSRA through it. With the numbers of people being diagnosed with disabilities increasing, the latest numbers indicate that Autism affects one in every 50 U.S. children, we expect the need for services to also increase.
With the help of the WDSRA Foundation, we hope to grow that small army of support so that every child, teen and adult who can benefit from our programs will have access to them. After all, our vision of Equal Fun for Everyone is to create a better quality of life for all.
Sandy Gbur is the Executive Director of Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA).