Welcoming Hearts and the DeLand Lion’s Club hosted the hunt at Buschman Park in Port Orange.
Port Orange families became a part of the first-annual Easter Eggstravaganza, a sensory-friendly Easter Egg hunt hosted by Welcoming Hearts on Saturday, April 6.
Chasity Hanners started Welcoming Hearts because there were no Down Syndrome support groups in the Port Orange area. Before Welcoming Hearts, Hanners and her son Jacob had to travel to Lakeland for activities and support groups specific to his needs. Starting Welcoming Hearts was a way to make an impact for local families, as well as their own.
“My husband and I decided we had to do something in order to include everybody,” Hanners said.
Hanners realized that families with special needs children can often experience discomfort in areas with a lot of people and noise. So, she chose to give local families a viable option for entertainment.
“We started as a parent support group, and expanded by adding parent’s night out, teen social groups, and now we have our first-annual-sensory friendly Easter egg hunt,” Hanners said.
The Florida Braille and Talking Books Library provided education and learning materials at the event to further promote reading solutions for children who have a learning disability or are visually impaired. This service is provided for free by the Library of Congress.
Kathy Acevedo, representative of the Florida Braille and Talking Books Library, has seen numerous cases of how the library has provided education and entertainment for people with disabilities that make it difficult to read.
“I want families to be able to come out, knowing there is no judgement and that we are all in this together,” Hanners said.