OPAF Washington DC Community Initiative

The OPAF Washington DC Community Initiative furthers our mission to raise public awareness of the benefits that individuals with physical disabilities receive from physical activity and assistive technology.

Since March 2002, this initiative has been made possible in part through cooperation with the Hospital Volunteer Program of the Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service of the DC Jewish Community Center.

In November 2002, OPAF received a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service to create a new project within its Washington DC Community Initiative. Read this announcement here, and check this page again soon for updated information about the new shape of the The OPAF Washington DC Community Initiative.

The DCJCC's Community Service Department provides a range of programs addressing critical needs in the DC community. "Every week, every month, every year, [DCJCC] volunteers assist others to become independent, collect and distribute necessities, provide companionship, and physically repair the community."

One day each month, the Fund assists the DCJCC in organizing special events for children staying at The Hospital for Sick Children.

While the DCJCC brings together the volunteers, the staff of the Fund introduces program participants to assistive technology and to the children who are benefiting from it.

Volunteers spend the afternoon interacting directly with the children at the hospital. They provide a fun environment through playing games, offering arts-and-crafts activities, and, most importantly, simply spending time with the kids.

The Fund provides all volunteers with educational materials about assistive technology, including a resource bibliography, which they can take home with them for further learning.

Learn more about assistive technology through resources provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).

The pictures here were taken during our April 21 visit to the hospital. Click here to see more pictures...and some pretty cool artwork!).

OPAF-DCJCC Hospital Visit Program Schedule

Wednesday, November 20 - 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
More visit dates to be announced soon!

Volunteers who pre-register should plan to meet the group promptly in the front lobby of the Hospital for Sick Children. Click here for directions to the hospital.

Click here to learn more about The Hospital for Sick Children, a nonprofit hospital "dedicated exclusively to providing rehabilitation and transitional care to children and adolescents from infancy through twenty-one years of age."

"Joining OPAF at the hospital was a great experience. It was a pleasure spending time with the kids on a weekend when they might otherwise have been down due to the rainy weather. They seemed to enjoy the company a lot and especially appreciated the crafts and games we had brought with us. I had a great time and look forward to volunteering again in the future."

– John Hynes, J.D., OPAF Volunteer
, from the article "OPAF Builds Community Ties in Washington, DC"

Note: You can read "OPAF Builds Community Ties in Washington, DC" in its entirety here. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this article. If you do not have this program installed on your browser, you can download it here for free.

Reproduction of this article is courtesy O&P Almanac, the award-winning monthly magazine for the orthotics and prosthetics profession that offers in-depth coverage of current professional, government, business, and reimbursement activities affecting the orthotics and prosthetics industry.

If you live in (or are visiting) the Washington area, are over the age of 16, and would like to participate in this program, please contact Tamara Bibby, OPAF Program Coordinator, by email at tnb@opfund.org.

For more information about this program, please contact Ms. Bibby.

The Fund is continually looking to expand its community initiatives through new partnerships and programs, both here in DC and around the United States. Please contact us for details through rlb@opfund.org.

More pictures of our April 21 visit to the Hospital for Sick Children

Photos by Jeff Reznick and Tamara Bibby, © OPAF, and reproduced with permission from the hospital.

More pictures of recent visits are available here.

Courtney and Jasmine set out to create an exotic mask!

Don't forget the glitter!

Tailor-made to perfection!

Presto! Courtney in disguise!

Sheri and Latika enjoy a great day of arts, crafts, and laughs!

Uh ho! My fingers are stuck together!

Jackson Pollock watch out!
Art created by the kids!
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