Geeks for Kids strives to change the way kids with movement disabilities experience their world. Rather than experience life as passive observers from strollers and wheelchairs, we want to give these kids a chance to move about and explore their world freely. Plus, we want to make these kids “the cool kids” on their blocks by giving them vehicles that excite and engage other kids. This year, we helped eighteen kids meet these goals - bringing our total number of cars delivered up to 31.
This Year’s Stats
- 9 months
- 42 strategy, design, build and delivery sessions
- 94 builders
- 6 corporate sponsors plus dozens of individual donors
- Over 6,700 labor hours
- Over $23,000
- 18 cars
- 9 hand-driven cars for kids with lower-body movement disabilities
- 2 joystick-driven cars for kids with limited upper and lower body strength
- 5 joystick-driven and remote-control driven cars
- 2 steering-assisted and remote-control driven cars
- Endless joy and new opportunities for our kids
For pictures of this year’s car Build Events, see our Build Event album on Facebook.
This Year’s Stories
Every kid we meet in every one of our programs lights our fire. Their joy, imagination and dreams inspire us to work harder, to give more, to strive for higher goals. And, the kids we meet through Geeks vs. Geeks double down on that inspiration. They are not only lovable, smart, interesting and fun. They also remind us that life can be so much harder than it should be for anyone – much less a kid. And, that’s why we work so hard to give these kids a hand up.
Our kids’ challenges vary. Some cannot walk. Others can stand and walk with aids. Some cannot use their hands effectively or at all. Some can only move their heads and necks. We customize a car for each child’s needs. The following are just a few, short highlights of their stories. We hope they inspire you as much as they inspire us.
- Our daughter's muscles are weaker on the left side. She has to focus hard to make her left side do what she wants it to do. As a result, her balance is poor. She can stand with support, but she cannot and doesn't want to try to stand or walk on her own. It is hard for her to use her feet and hands at the same time. It would be great for her to be able to get where she wants to go on her own. It would give her independence that she doesn’t have right now..
- Our daughter would benefit greatly from an adaptive car because she is very behind in gross motor skills due to her Downs Diagnosis, but mostly because of her past medical complications. You can't learn to walk when you are in a coma in the PICU. She WILL eventually walk with her cute little one and a half feet, but it will take much longer than if they were both still intact. She is very high functioning: sassy, smart and VERY social. The car would allow her to engage and "keep up" with all her little friends and neighbors - of which there is no shortage. She has a SERIOUS fan club wherever she goes. This car would allow her autonomy and independence, and the fact that it is a two-seater means she can bring a friend along on her adventures, which she would LOVE. Thank you for doing this program for so many kids!!
- Our grandson has no mobility from the waist down due to the Spinal Bifida. He is great at doing fine-motor tasks with his hands. He can sit independently. He finds any lower body movement difficult, however. An electric car would allow him to get around with his family and have some fun outside, not just sit and watch. And, he absolutely loves going fast!
- Our daughter was 12 weeks premature and suffers from cerebral palsy. Her left side is weak, and she has little lower-body control. It would mean so much to her if she could play alongside her sister who is always running around and riding her bike ahead of her.
For pictures of our kids enjoying their new cars, see Our Kids album on Facebook.
We are pretty sure that our builders get as much joy from building these cars as our kids get from driving them. Here are some of the reasons why:
- I like solving problems. Geeks let me solve problems, work with smart people, learn new things and – most importantly – help kids. What’s not to love about that?
- I’m an IT consultant. I help huge companies figure out how to solve computer problems…. I don’t build things. But, five minutes after meeting “my kid,” I was hooked. After working all day on her car, I spent the evening shopping for a Moana doll to hide in my kid’s trunk because a little bird told me Moana is her favorite Disney character ever. Watching her drive her car for the first time with Moana by her side was the bomb!
- I’ve been competing in FIRST robotics programs for 14 of my 18 years. I’ve built dozens of robots, traveled all over the world, met amazing people and won (along with my teams) many, many awards. And, none of that compares to the satisfaction of building these cars. I feel like I’m really making a lasting difference in other kids’ lives.
For pictures of our builders, see Our Builders album on Facebook.