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Habanero part of successful campaign to make Vancouver school playground accessible

On September 4, Simon Fraser Elementary marked the beginning of the school year by opening a playground that is accessible to all students—including those with disabilities. Habanero was thrilled to have been a part of making this happen by making a $4,657.00 donation to the cause earlier in the year.

In December 2012, Habanero used our employee portal to allow employees to submit ideas and then vote on the cause the company would support for our December giving campaign. It was a tight race, but in the end, Habanero decided to support an initiative submitted by Mallory O’Connor to make the playground at Simon Fraser Elementary School accessible to disabled students.

Simon Fraser Elementary is one of the few schools in the district that was built with the purpose of being accessible to disabled students. However, the playground was built like others and filled with woodchips, which prevented students with limited mobility from using it. The solution was to rubberize the playground, but there was no funding available from the district to make this expensive change possible. The school’s parents advisory council, along with the school administration, started a campaign to find the funding and support to create a playground that every student could play on. Habanero was one of the first private organizations to donate to the successful campaign. 

“I am overwhelmed and extremely proud of my son’s first time running around with his friends on the new accessible play surface on the playground,” said Dina Smallman, whose eight-year-old son Sidney Smallman has cerebral palsy and uses a walker.

“Without the help of all these community businesses like Habanero Consulting Group, this care-free outside play would not have happened for my son. And now it will happen for all future children that attend Simon Fraser Elementary school. That is something we can all be very proud of making happen. It is a life changer for our children.”

Habanero’s corporate giving philosophy is based around our purpose, which is to help people and organizations thrive. We also want our donations to have a real and meaningful impact on the causes we support and to be based on relationships we have with our communities and employees.

To see BC-CTV’s coverage of the playground opening, click here.

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