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Exploring the Benefits of Therapeutic Recreation with Lincolnway

Double Good

March 28, 2023 • Read 7 Min

At Double Good, creating opportunities and experiences for atypical kids is a pillar of our company culture. This year, we’re doubling down on our commitment to the cause. Which is why we want to shine the spotlight on long-time friend Keith Wallace, Executive Director of Lincolnway Special Recreation Association, and the work he’s doing within the community.

For this community, volunteerism is critically essential. It takes a lot of people to support the LWSRA’s mission. “We started with four full-time employees and are now staffed at 11, plus over 100 part time employees and volunteers,” says Executive Director Keith Wallace. “We work so hard to raise the money that we do, and we are on the ground running, using the money to make things happen and to deliver to the communities.”

According to the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, recreational therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the assessed needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions, as a means to good psychological and physical health, recovery and well-being.

“All Special Recreation Associations are born out of need,” says Wallace. That need is palpable for kids who cannot participate in other recreational activities and for parents who desperately want to recreate with their kids. In Illinois, these SRAs provide exactly that. “We want to give parents a safe environment for them to recreate with their kids and have time to connect.” But making that experience possible is an expensive endeavor. Approximately 70-75% of a Special Recreation Association’s revenue each year is comprised of the tax contributions of their member park districts and communities. This creates an imbalance in the network where some SRAs are well-funded, and others are scraping by. Regardless of revenue, however, the costs remain the same.

“I don’t want to see SRAs working so hard to make money. We are already strapped raising the money to make things happen while delivering for the communities,” Wallace shared. This need to raise funds quickly while serving their mission eventually brought Double Good and LWSRA together. Wallace was matter-of-fact when asked about his introduction to Double Good Virtual Fundraising. “It all sounded too good to be true,” says Wallace, “but once we ran a Virtual Fundraiser, I became a believer and fan.” It soon became evident how closely our missions aligned with LWSRA’s.

“We want to get things done without begging and borrowing,” Wallace expressed. “We just want to help as many people as we can.” This is the challenge that Double Good has risen to tackle: to tilt the playing field so every kid can do more of what they love.

If you want to learn more about Lincolnway Special Recreation Association and how you too can help level the playing field for these kids, please visit https://lwsra.org/

If you want to learn more about Double Good’s investment in the inclusive and adaptive community, email Ali at alison.dyer@doublegood.com

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