Amid the pandemic, RS&H’s five-year tradition of working with Jacksonville’s Independent Living Resource Center (ILRC) to build wheelchair-accessible Halloween costumes was met with questions. But with a little extra coordination, the tradition has lived on – albeit with a few extra safety measures.
As a recipient of an Elevate Fund grant, the RS&H team was able to fully fund the materials of the Halloween costumes at no cost to Jacksonville’s ILRC or to the families. To build the structure of the costumes, separate volunteers gathered with social distancing measures in place, masks and some even worked from workspaces within their homes. The group of volunteers then gathered outside at a safe distance for the next phase of painting and decoration.
“We decided that this year, more than ever, we could all use a little moment of joy,” said Brandon Pourch, senior architect and leader of the project. “Building five wonderful costumes that rival any from past years was beyond our wildest expectations, but we pulled together to make it happen and the smile on the children’s faces made it all worthwhile.”
A unicorn, a mermaid in her clamshell, Moana in her sailboat, Batman in his Lego Batmobile and Spiderman in his buggy made their reveal at the Riverside Arts Market in Jacksonville to a small, distanced group of close family and volunteers.
With safety precautions, some creativity and a spirit of dedication, the children of Jacksonville were able to enjoy their costumes for another year running – and left with a magical Halloween experience they will never forget.
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