Volunteer on the Slopes with Disabled Skiers

Photo: Sean Waterman/Dodge Ridge

My high school friend, Marci, used to work tirelessly with Habitat for Humanity in and around my home town, and she then moved on to a position with the Society for Handicapped Children and Adults. One of the programs I know she loves being part of, and through which I get to live vicariously via facebook and online updates, is the annual Winter Skiing Unlimited program that runs each winter Saturday, from now through March, at the Dodge Ridge ski slopes in California. For the past 25 years, skiing volunteers, and non-skiers (you needn’t be an expert or even ski to help) have facilitated the ski program for paraplegic, quadriplegic, deaf, blind, and developmentally disabled clients (more than 150 have signed up this winter). Non skiers help with access, lifting skiers in and out of wheelchairs, transport vans, ski lifts, adaptive devices, helping be sure everyone is having a great time, maybe even making a hot cocoa run to the lodge. Intermediate ski volunteers hold and steady sit-skis so clients can shush down the hill, more advanced skiers who can ski backward lead blind skiers down the runs, and snowboarding volunteers run interference to be sure other recreational skiers enjoying the slopes don’t crash through a group.

The organization also has water ski and golf programs in other seasons, giving the differently-abled community access to lots of joy and inclusion and ways to make fun work for everyone. Look them up, support them, if you are in the area, give a Saturday. Can you imagine how incredible that weekend would be if this is the way you spend a day of it? Find out details here.

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