Reposted from a 5-star review received on the SMILE Mass Facebook page:
Deb Fowler Dunn reviewed SMILE Mass – 5 stars
This organization is doing so much for so many families. I used their beach chair loaner program to get down to the beach with my family for the first time in over a decade. I didn’t really realize how much I missed spending time st”rolling” at low tide and swimming in the ocean. There aren’t enough words of gratitude to express how this organization has changed my life.
Thanks again Lotte for all of your hard work.
John and Samantha King
I am a wheelchair user for 28 years. I’m 61 and love going to the beach. My husband and I spend a few weeks twice a year on the Cape and because of special people like you who have made it wheelchair accessible I am very greatful. I saw that there are a few new mats in PTown and I want to say thank you a million times for making my life that much richer.
With Warm Regards,
Mary Ellen Pataro
From a Parent That Purchased a Chair
ITS HERE!!!!!! OMG – it is sooooooo cool! My PCA and I put it together. So incredibly easy and well thought out! Kudos on the design.
Can’t wait to use it this weekend!
THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!
Beth and James
Thanks for letting us use the beach wheelchair. Here is a picture of Tyler at the beach in it. Because of the rougher surf and cold water, he didn’t venture out into the water with the chair, but he loved getting down to the beach and playing in the sand.
I just made a donation via your website.
We were also wondering if you’d have a chair available this weekend, July 19 and 20, that we’d like to take back to Scituate (Humarock Beach).
Thank you so much for lending us your beach wheelchair to take on our family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. My 83-year-old mother’s limited mobility would have precluded our beach excursions without the assistance of your chair. She had not been to the beach in 5 years and it was such a joy to see her enjoying it again. I am attaching a couple of photos that my husband took.
I am mailing you the assembly instructions (which had become separated from the chair and were not returned to you) along with a donation to your worthy organization. Good luck with your future endeavors and thank you for your yeoman’s work.
My jaw dropped when I read an article about your organization in the Family Circle newsletter I receive. I have a 14-year-old son with CP and requires a power w/c for mobility. We have been on a few vacations in his life time that would make anyone’s head spin – damaged wheelchairs, lifts that didn’t work, rental vans that were supposedly accessible, yikes I could go on.
What people interpret to be accessible is accessibility for the general public. Anyway, I am wondering where your project stands for the vacation home on the Cape. What I would do to have a vacation with all the amenities for my son without the burden of lifting him and his chair into and out of places. He is very active and so anywhere we go, we have to pre-plan as you probably know. I am so very excited to hear about this project. Please send me any information available.
Thank you for thinking outside of the box, you are truly an angel.
Thank you. Barbara
Dear SMILE Team:
Please accept the enclosed donation to the SMILE Mass organization. It is in memory of my friend’s parents. They died about a year apart from one another – her mom this past August of colon cancer. Their daughter is a very good friend of mine, and needless to say the last few years have been an emotional ride for the entire family. One of the things on her mom’s “bucket list” was to go to the beach, which of course her daughters made happen by taking her to Old Silver in Falmouth. They had no idea how they were going to get her wheelchair down in the sand. Those small feats can feel herculean! The lifeguard told them about your chairs the beach had on hand. So, thanks to you & your amazing work, she not only got her wish to “go” to the beach, she put her toes in the water! She died just one week later.
My dad died in 1993 of a brain tumor. It was impossible back then to take him anywhere. What I would’ve given to get him to the beach! There’s something about the ocean that makes everything better. You are making it possible for so many and it’s just such an amazing & wonderful thing you are doing.
Best of luck with your organization. It’s such a wonderful idea!
Dear Susan & Lotte,
I want to share a story that will warm your heart.
Prior to Easter a woman contacted the Town with hopes of borrowing a SMILE chair so she could share some time at the beach with her family, which has not happened for years for her. Her son-in-law picked up the chair on Friday before Easter and returned it that following Monday.
She then called this past week in tears to share how very grateful she was to be able to share a beautiful Easter Sunday with her family at the beach. She was out there just really enjoying her day with her grandchildren & children. She asked if I would make sure I would thank all those who helped make this happen. She was so choked up she could barely talk.
This obviously made her quality of life better.
So on behalf of the Town of Barnstable I am expressing our deepest thanks and appreciation for all that you have done to make life better to live here in Barnstable.
Leisure Services Director, Town of Barnstable Recreation
Hyannis Youth and Community Center
What a wonderful cause and I would be proud to donate to sponsor your participation in it! I had a cousin who was two weeks older than I who died of MS in 2002, and we always were inseparable at the beach at Ocean Park when growing up. When she got so bad and was confined to a wheel chair, her family would bring her to a rental in Kinney Shores but there was no way to get her near the beach or ocean, all she could do was sit on the deck and feel the sea breeze on her face. To think of so many children who are missing out on the beach experience is heartbreaking. We’ll donate on line and wish you the best on the day of the fundraiser!
Love, Ellen & Steve
Dear Lotte and Susan,
My apologies for this late note of thanks for letting us borrow one of your beach wheelchairs this summer. As you know, we borrowed it in August when we were in Wellfleet for 2 weeks. The chair allowed my sister to go to the beach several times and she enjoyed it very much. As I mentioned, she had Stage 4 Cancer which had spread to her brain, resulting in loss of mobility. Sadly, she passed away only 5 days after coming back from Wellfleet. She had been living for the Cape vacation and you made her last trip to the beach as enjoyable as possible.
Thank you for your generosity.
Your organization is terrific.