Five-year-old Steven Hoese had what, to some, would seem to be a far-fetched dream – to slide down a rainbow into a pot of gold. But, his big idea inspired a joint effort between Southwire’s Project GIFT® and the Make-A-Wish Foundation to not only build him this rainbow, but to develop a play space that inspired partnership, creativity and hope – for Steven, for his family and for a community.
Steven, who lives in Bremen, Indiana, has a degenerative neurological disorder that’s rare in the United States: Autosomal Recessive Spastic Ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay, or ARSACS. In simpler terms, it limits his abilities to move normally, and he could eventually lose the ability for his brain to communicate with his muscles.
His family reached out to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, looking for Steven’s rainbow. Upon hearing his story, Southwire jumped in to begin a partnership with the organization. Project GIFT volunteers from the company’s Bremen plant leapt into action and talked with Steven’s therapists, building contractors and others to ensure that Steven’s play space would exceed even the biggest dreams of his imagination.
“Southwire’s spirit of Giving Back is at the core of our collective efforts,” said Bob Miller, Project GIFT volunteer and process engineer at Southwire’s Bremen Plant. “Once we met Steven and his family, and were able to learn more about the disease that they are struggling with, we were motivated to partner with Make-A-Wish and utilize our strengths and technical skills together to make a difference in the lives of the families in our communities.”
All of the materials and professional labor needed for the project were donated from companies inspired by Steven’s story, and more than 350 volunteer hours were contributed by Southwire’s Project GIFT team to complete the project. When finished, Steven not only got his “rainbow” slide, but also a rock climbing wall and other activities, which, together, create an entire interactive, therapeutic play space where Steven can work to maintain his strength.
“We can’t say thanks enough to Southwire,” said Lori Hoese, Steven’s mom. “Make-A-Wish provided the equipment, but had Southwire not taken on the project, it would never have gotten to this magnitude…Southwire just took it over the top.”
To see video of the reveal of Steven’s play space, check out the following news coverage https://www.abc57.com/news/make-a-wish-granted-for-child-with-neurological-disorder or http://www.wndu.com/content/news/Make-A-Wish-grants-Marshall-County-boy-a-rainbow-to-slide-on-490884651.html. For more on Project GIFT, be sure to check out southwireblog.com.
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