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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is an event sponsor of a new community nonprofit in Central Texas, the Raising Wheels Foundation, focused on aiding families raising differently abled children to become empowered and enabled through better access – to their homes, their community and the world.
The Raising Wheels Foundation provides resources to parents of differently abled children and works to raise the public’s understanding of the need for accessibility.
"When a child’s mobility is solely on wheels, it is imperative that we get children the access they deserve and remove as many barriers to living life as possible,” says Founder and Executive Director Melissa Copp, who is the parent of two boys on wheels.
Three programs are core to the foundation’s community outreach:
In March 2019, BCBSTX was a High Roller level sponsor of the organization’s first Wash-n-Roll event. At this free community event, the wheelchairs of the children in Central Texas get washed and cleaned, parents get pampered, and kids get to roll out in style. BCBSTX employees also participated in the event.
The Raising Wheels Foundation is a 100% volunteer-based and 100% donation-supported organization. Money raised at their events and by community partners goes toward helping families.
“We were able to give out several grants this year to families in the Central Texas area,” says Melissa Copp. “This is something we are most proud of. We want to help families that are raising differently abled children get items in their home that would increase access for their child or provide better access to their daily care.”
"The lift assist table made possible by the Raising Wheels Foundation is an instant relief for our family! It’s a feeling I never thought we’d experience. It’s true that the right tools make life easier. Thank you! This is life changing for us!” – Terri, 2019 Grant Recipient
The Raising Wheels Foundation serves families raising differently abled children (ages 3-18) who reside in the Central Texas area. Not only do we focus on our three core initiatives, we have amazing free events that we put on throughout the year. One of our most beloved events is the Raising Wheels Wash ‘N Roll held every Spring. This event is where we get wheelchairs washed, parents get pampered and kiddos of Central Texas get to roll out in style. At our last Wash ‘N Roll event held in March 2019, we washed 50 wheelchairs, and had over 150 participants enjoyed complimentary food trucks, music, accessible playground, head/neck massages for parents, photo bomb keepsake and so much more. We are looking forward to hosting our next Wash ‘N Roll event.
There are many resources out there and we strive to get the right help to the parents that need it the most. The Raising Wheels Foundation was founded on the desire to help other parents raising differently abled children feel independent and empowered after we were given the gift of accessibility for our boys for the first time in their own home. After we saw our boys wash their hands at their own sink and play in their own accessible backyard, we knew we wanted the gift of accessibility to be given to as many families as possible. The feeling of watching your child access their world pushing through every barrier imaginable is the most rewarding experience. The journey of finally seeing their children access their home on wheels was captured on Season 5 of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” show which originally aired January 30, 2018. The home was made possible by Chip and Joanna Gaines, the Magnolia Foundation, Tim Tebow, the Tim Tebow Foundation, Make-a-Wish and countless volunteers and fans.
“We were so grateful and excited to see our boys finally accessing their world because of our new home and wanted to pay it forward, making accessibility a reality for everyone who needs it. Accessibility is not a Luxury, it Should be for Everyone, Everywhere!” - Jody Copp, Board Member and father of two on wheels
Just recently, Melissa and Jody Copp was selected to receive the Impact Award by Variety, The Children’s Charity of Texas, for bringing awareness to the need for better accessibility for the differently abled through the formation of the Raising Wheels Foundation. We are honored to serve the great community of Central Texas and we look forward to meeting new families who are raising differently abled children on wheels along the way.
Help us keep the mission of better accessibility rolling by learning more about the Raising Wheels Foundation at www.RaisingWheelsFoundation.org.
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