Building on the Harrington Family Foundation’s core belief that every child has a right to receive proper health care in a safe and nurturing community, a partnership with Shriners Hospital in Portland, Oregon began more than 5 years ago. With the generous support from the Harrington Family Foundation, patients served by the Shriners Hospital in Portland have had opportunities to enjoy a variety of rehabilitation therapies at no charge. These therapies range in their scope; from a new Assistive Technology room, an expanded program serving Occupational Therapy needs to continued funding to support the Movement Therapy and Arts program.

Since 2003, over $80,000 has been specifically directed to the help the Movement Therapy and Arts program. The Movement Arts and Therapy program is a wonderful example of community partnerships, foundation support and the involvement of dedicated volunteers over the past several years. The mission of this program is to enrich the lives of patients through outdoor adventure, creative movement, art and social enrichment. Associated with the hospital’s rehabilitation department and managed by the recreation therapist, the program provides year round opportunities to patients and families to meet the needs of the individual patients.

“The program provides unique, community based adaptive recreation opportunities to children who would not have the change to explore these fulfilling and self determining activities” says Sonia Bouchard OTR-L, MPH, Rehabilitation Department Manager.

With the foundation’s support, the programs offered are free to patients including instruction, adaptive and other equipment, volunteer assistance, and related materials. Year-round offerings includes a variety of indoor and outdoor activities such as skiing and snowboarding, bicycling, horseback riding, art activities, sea kayaking, yoga and swimming, to name a few. Each of these activities is specialized to meet the physical challenges that the participant faces. The program offers many choices to make certain that there is something for each of the children no matter what their physical or cognitive ability.

Along with the Harrington Family Foundation’s support, this program is supported by dedicated volunteers who bring their time, talent and treasure to the program. Over fifty volunteers are at the heart of the Movement Therapy and Arts program. These committed volunteers act as mentors; provide instruction, companionship to patients, assistance with equipment and help with other areas where needed.

Helping children defy the odds and get involved in activities that mark the thrills of childhood, such as riding a bike or taking to the slopes, is at the heart of the partnership between the Harrington Family Foundation and Shriners Hospital Portland.