Written by Medical Focus Program Director, Dr. Arjan Harjani
Shane’s Inspiration is an international non-profit based in Los Angeles, whose mission is to foster social inclusion and a bias-free world for children with disabilities through the vehicle of inclusive playgrounds and educational programs worldwide.
Shane’s Inspiration recently had a Run, Walk, & Roll at Griffith Park to raise awareness and provide funding for the growth of the foundation. Providence High Schol made its first mark at this event with a very healthy representation of 15 students and Ms. Janet Fontaine, Christian Service Hours Coordinator for Providence High School. Our main inspiration came from Gavin McHugh and his family, including his proud siblings, Shea ’22 and Logan ’20. Gavin was a guest speaker for two of our Medical Focus Program grade level students—he is a true joy to be around.
Several students and Mrs. McHugh shared their experience attending Shane's Inspiration Run, Walk,& Roll 2018.
Nayiri K. '22 shared, Shane's Inspiration was truly an eye-opening experience for me. The event gave disabled children the chance to break free and feel safe and confident in their own skin. Those who participated created a welcoming environment for these children to run around, be free, and most importantly have fun and meet others with the same obstacles they experience daily. my volunteering experience inspired me and made me see with my own eyes, that helping and caring for people is far more significant than paying attention to the materialistic facets of society. At the end of the day, I was feeling happy and hopeful that our world is finally working towards finding ways to recognize disabled children. I felt moved and satisfied that I was participating in an event for the betterment of society"
Shea M. '22 shared, "Every time I experience this amazing place I love it more and more every time and one that everyone should get to have. I woke up early Sunday morning as I arrived, I was greeted with so many happy smiles. I've never felt better. I walked one mile while pushing a wheelchair my brother Gavin was in. I was smiling every minute. Shane's inspiration has changed so many lives, including my brother Gavin's, and it will change so many more..."
Avery M. '22 shared," I am so glad I was able to go to the Shane's Inspiration Run. When Gavin came to our class and told us about the run, it was the first time I had ever heard of it, although I live in Burbank. It was a very special experience for me because I used to play at the park in Griffith Park that Shane's Inspiration built. So, for me to have benefitted from the park, and also to have met Gavin, who shared his experience of how his quality of life has been improved by this park was very special. I'm so grateful that my Medical Focus Program class gave me the opportunity to meet Gavin, and going to the run is a memory I will never forget."
Ms. McHugh shared, "As a mom of an 8 yr old with cerebral palsy, playgrounds provided by Shane’s Inspiration have done so much for my family. The playgrounds are designed to be “all inclusive” so kids of all ages and abilities can enjoy playing together. Playing is the way kids socialize and meet and respond to each other, having a playground that allows Gavin to run off safely and independently and play and be in charge of his own social encounters is invaluable to his development. Not only is it great for him, but I found that kids are more honest and inquisitive and more likely to approach him when they are alone so they are more likely to ask him questions and he can respond spontaneously. The playgrounds are really beautiful and fun and they have different types of play so I have found that even my teens will enjoy playing with their little brother! In the meantime, I get to talk to other moms and discuss important mom things like where is the best kid-friendly places to go for lunch or behavioral modification tricks I haven't thought of, or where to find especially cute clothes or coupons! Shane’s Playgrounds are really special to our family, which is why we donate all we are able to support them. I hope we can inspire others to as well! It would be a beautiful world to have these playgrounds available to all kids!"