Inclusive Easter egg hunt is designed for children with all abilities

Photos by Tevin Stinson and Orlando Davis

Inclusive Easter egg hunt is designed for children with all abilities
April 14
09:50 2022

This weekend the Easter Bunny will make appearances at Easter egg hunts across the Triad, but it made an early appearance last weekend at the Village Inn Event Center in Clemmons for One Love Strong’s first Easter Egg Hunt for special needs children. 

One Love Strong is a local nonprofit that focuses its efforts toward empowering and supporting families with urgent needs due to their child or children being born premature. Founder Ellen Leak-Forbes started the nonprofit to provide an outlet for families like hers. Leak-Forbes’ daughter, Love, was born three months premature and has special needs. 

Around this time last year, the Easter egg hunt was just an idea, but with help from several different volunteers and the generosity of others, Leaks-Forbes said everything started to fall into place. 

“We get invited to events with children my daughter’s age but with different abilities,” Leak-Forbes added. “The people who were inviting her weren’t sensitive to her needs and I cried, but it made me turn that energy into creating something where all children with all abilities could enjoy.”

On the day of the egg hunt, children and their families had several different opportunities to search for eggs with sensory friendly activities. There were kiddie pools filled with balloons and packing peanuts that children had to sift through, tubs of water beads with eggs at the bottom, and eggs that made noise for children who are visually impaired. 

Each of the eggs were filled with tickets that they could redeem for prizes. The event also included free food, face painting, balloon animals, games, and more. 

The goal was to have 50 children at the event, but nearly 90 pre-registered and even more than that attended. Several parents and children talked about how much their children enjoyed the event. While getting her face painted, Valentina Perez-Arriola, who is a fourth grader at Meadowlark Middle School said, “This has been a lot of fun. I’ve really enjoyed myself.” 

“Our three-year-old daughter said she was excited to be with kids like her and she was smiling and having fun,” said one parent during the event. 

Moving forward, Leak-Forbes said she would love to see the event grow in participation and volunteers. “We would love to see this grow but we want to keep it where it’s manageable and we need more volunteers, but I can’t wait ‘til next year …  I’m already excited about next year,” Leak-Forbes continued. 

Throughout the year, One Love Strong hosts several other events for families with children born premature, including a NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) Family Ball scheduled for June 5.  

For more information, visit “One Love Strong” on Facebook. 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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