We need your help to build wheelchair costumes for kids in walkers and wheelchairs in time for Halloween 2015! So please pledge and spread the word. The more money we raise, the more children we can build for in the future! Our goal is 5 costumes, but we’d love to make more with more donations.
What is Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes?
Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes is a nonprofit organization that turns kids’ walkers and wheelchairs into the best Halloween costume ever! Lon & Anita Davis are the parents of 2 boys, 1 of whom, Reese, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma (a childhood cancer) at the age of 2 months old. The tumor was on his spine and ended up crushing his spinal cord preventing him the full use of his legs and trunk muscles. Together, with the help of now 10-year-old Reese, the family launched Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes with this simple goal in mind: “To provide any child with special needs equipment a unique and custom built costume for them, free of charge to the family.”
How it all started.
When Reese received his first wheelchair around the age of 3, he was really into the movie, “Wall-E.” So for Halloween he wanted to be the title character. We knew there wasn’t a way to purchase a costume that would work for him, so we decided to build it from scratch. The end result featured mechanical arms that Reese could control from within the body and large track treads on the side of his wheelchair. The costume blew people away and it even ended up in the Kansas City Star newspaper.
Each year following, Reese would come up with creative ideas for his costume, and Dad would have to figure out a way to make them work. Year two, Reese wanted to be Buzz Lightyear and wanted his wheelchair to be the Claw Machine from the first “Toy Story” movie. That costume ended up coming in 2nd place for a city wide costume contest and was featured on the home page of the Kansas City Star website.
Fast forward to 2015. We have numerous costumes under our belt, each being more elaborate than the last. We were even featured on the evening news for our Comic Con costume in 2015 when we introduced the debut of Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes.
Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes' mission is “to provide any child with special needs equipment a unique and custom built costume for them, free of charge to the family. There are some great ways you can help.
How you can get involved
There are a few ways you can help Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes.
1) PLEDGE. Any amount is appreciated, but the more you give, the more children we can build for, and the cooler the rewards you'll receive!
2) SHARE. Please let your friends and family know about the Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes campaign! Your support will not only help some great kids, but will also assist in spreading awareness about the challenges faced by kids in wheelchairs. These kids want to dress up just like every other kid, but not every kid gets a costume like these.
3) VOLUNTEER. Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes wants YOU! If you're a designer, costume builder, craftsperson, social media master, or just want to do whatever is needed to help us on this journey, please contact us on the Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes website. There is a form to fill out to become one of our elite “Custom Costume Builders.” (Sign Up Here) We never know what skills we might need until we have a child with a dream.
Where will the Kickstarter funds go?
100% of your pledge money will go to purchasing materials and supplies for these one-of-a-kind wheelchair costumes, and shipping them to the families (if needed). Each costume, depending on the design, can range in price from $100-$250. Any additional funds beyond our $1,000 goal, will be used to build even more costumes for more kids! The more kids we can help, the better! Please consider donating.
How do kids get a costume from Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes?
Parents can fill out our form on our website, www.WalkinRollin.org, to request a costume. We work with the family to design the costume based on what the child wants. We provide sketches and design concepts for the family to approve.
If they are outside of the Kansas City Metro area, we then pair them up with a Custom Costume Builder in their area. That way, the builder can meet with the family and can take precise measurements of the chair or equipment. Since every wheelchair is different, it is important to do this to make sure the costume fits properly for Halloween. We would love to build a costume for every family that contacts us. However, if we are unable to locate a Custom Costume Builder in their area, we will still work with the family to help produce what we can from a distance. Some costume parts can easily be built with simple measurements provided by the family and then shipped to the family. Others, we may have to be more creative. It all depends on the costume that the child would like.
Our first Custom Costume for Halloween 2015
For Halloween this year, we already have a 5 year old girl in a wheelchair who is very interested in dressing up as R2-D2. Her whole family is dressing up as “Star Wars” characters and we want to make sure that her costume will make for an awesome night. Here is an early concept drawing of that costume.
How many kids will get a costume from Walkin’ & Rollin’ Costumes?
This year our goal is to build wheelchair costumes for 5 kids in time for Halloween 2015. But the number of children we can build for in the future is only limited by the funds we're able to raise and the number of Custom Costume Builders we can locate. So please pledge! We hope to eventually have a full network of Custom Costume Builders around the nation so we can create these awesome costumes for every child with special needs equipment, and ALWAYS, make them free of charge to the family.
The Best Halloween for these kids.
Being in a wheelchair is very tough, especially for a child who just wants to run and play with their friends. My son recently told me that he doesn’t think of his wheelchair as a wheelchair. He thinks of it as part of him. Where ever he goes, the wheelchair goes. So when Halloween comes, he wants all of him to dress up, including his wheelchair. I don't think my son is the only kid who thinks that way, do you?
Risks and challenges
The main challenges of this project is creating the costumes to accommodate the individual child's needs and equipment. They need to be light weight, compact, easily transportable, but most of all fun for the child and make it exactly what they were hoping for. Because every wheelchair or walker is different, the Custom Costume Builder has to take precise measurements and conduct test fittings to make sure the costume fits and functions correctly on Halloween. Every costume we have made so far has had stumbles and setbacks while trying to make it fit without hindering any functionality of the equipment. But those challenges are what make each costume better than the last. We learn from our past costumes and improve for the next one.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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