News

March of Dimes helps people with disabilities

By Melissa Mangelsen, Niagara Advance/QMI Agency

If you receive a knock on your door this month it may be from volunteer canvassers with the March of Dimes.

Pam Wilson, captain for the area, said there are about 20 people who have begun going door-to-door looking for donations to help support the March of Dimes.

“This is our fourth year doing this in Niagara-on-the-Lake and it’s been very successful. People here are very generous,” she said.

To date, NOTL has raised about $25,000 toward the cause.

The March of Dimes began in the late 40s to raise money for people suffering from polio. After a vaccine was created in 1955, the March of Dimes shifted its mandate to serve the broader needs of all adults and children with physically disabilities, whether the disability was a result of disability at birth, the polio virus, an accident, aging, strokes or other causes.

The money raised helps with costs associated with disabilities. The March of Dimes mission is to maximize the independence, personal empowerment and community participation of people with disabilities.

There is some government funding available for people with disabilities, but it’s often not enough to ensure they’re getting the equipment they need, such as canes and wheelchairs.

Donations provide essential programs and services for people with physical disabilities such as the assistive devices, education, recreation and integration services.

Wilson got involved with the March of Dimes because she had polio.

“People still seem to think the March of Dimes is for elderly people with polio and it’s not. It’s for all people - those who suffer from MS, Parkinson’s, brain injuries, etc.,” she said.

January is a challenge for volunteers due to the weather and the fact that it’s right after Christmas, which is typically the time when most people think of giving. Despite the challenge, the March of Dimes has had continued success across Ontario, as well as Canada.

Wilson said she could always use more volunteers and encourages people to get involved with the cause.

Laura Howarth is one local volunteer has been wonderful, she says.

"She’s been so successful out canvassing,” said Wilson.

Howarth has been volunteering with the March of Dimes since it began in NOTL and has always has a very successful door-to-door campaign.

Based on the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey conducted in 2001, by Statistics Canada, 12. 4 per cent of Canadians have disabilities, or roughly one in eight. In Ontario, the disability rate is 13.5 per cent. The survey confirms that the disability rate in Canada increases with age. In fact, more than half (53.3 per cent) of people 75 years and over report having a disability.

In the event that the resident is not home at the time of a volunteer visits, a flyer will be left in the mailbox to direct people how to give donations.

Donations given are eligible for a tax receipt.

For questions regarding volunteering or donations contact Wilson at 905-468-8080.

 


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