20 Special Needs Children will be Gifted a Motorized Alternative to a Wheelchair from Variety KC and 12 High School Robotics Teams
Saturday, November 23rd Variety KC will bring 12 High School robotics teams across the Midwest together with 20 special needs families to build, hack, and immediately present customized alternative “wheelchairs” to children with disabilities.
Kansas City, Missouri – Want to see special needs children’s faces light up? And their families watch their kids belong and be included for the first time? Variety KC has brought together High schoolers across the Midwest to change the lives of 20 children with disabilities by hacking toy cars into motorized wheelchairs, allowing the children to move on their own often for the first time. It’s an emotional, heartfelt event just in time for the holidays, as volunteer high school robotics teams are on a mission this holiday season to give every child the chance at self-directed mobility.
Variety KC-GoBabyGo is a grassroots movement that is revolutionizing adaptive technology. Instead of $25,000 for a motorized wheelchair for a child who may outgrow it in a year or two, these Variety KC-GoBabyGo innovations take ride-on, motorized toy cars and hack them into wheelchair alternatives for only about $300 each. Variety Children’s Charity volunteers form The Barstow School Robotics Team in Kansas City has become a global leader in the movement, creating more than 50 Variety KC-GoBabyGo cars through their partnership , and hosting a free global online forum to share their how-to manuals, which has gained international attention.
On Saturday, November 23rd from 11am – 1pm, Variety KC-GoBabyGo! and The Barstow School’s Robotics Team are hosting their largest Community Build and Hack-a-thon competition ever at The Barstow School, 11511 State Line Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114. If you would like to see these children’s faces light up as they take their first ride of independence with out a traditional wheelchair, the giveaway, with children driving in their cars for the first time, will happen from noon until 1pm!
This emotional event is the highlight of the year for these Robotic students, who will be hosting 12 high schools from across the Midwest, teaching them how to use their STEM skills to change lives using adaptive technology. Together, the high schoolers will build 20 cars, and present them (with big red bows!) to families with special needs children just in time for the holidays. In addition, the Hack-a-thon Competition will award teams who build the coolest and most innovative car-turned-wheelchair for children with particularly special needs. These complex projects often involve rewiring, recoding, stripping the vehicle’s control system and building a new one, such as creating a joystick-equipped WildThing, or adapting a car with sensors for a child with visual impairments. EMBARGOED: One team will be making a Variety Kc-GoBabyGo car out of a hoverboard for the first time ever for 13 year old Hunter, who is diagnosed with severe autism, anxiety, focal epilepsy, tic disorder, impulse control disorder!
According to a Variety KC mom, the benefit of this gift is the “cool” factor. A child riding in a Variety KC-GoBabyGo car feels more included than when they are in their wheelchair.
Variety KC and these Robotic’s teams hopes to gain national media attention for the event, as a way to create a ripple-effect so more high school robotics teams will become aware of GoBabyGo and how they can help children in their own communities. As we head into the new year, it is a perfect time to give children with mobility issues a new beginning.
If you would like to help a child’s face light up as they take their first ride of independence, then donate to help Variety KC at
www.varietykc.org/donate/ you can sponsor a child’s car for just $500.
If you have a child who has experienced a Variety KC-Go Baby Go car at therapy or have seen stories about Variety KC-Go Baby Go – and believe your child would benefit from a car – fill out a grant application at VarietyKC.org.