BB4K Raises Money for Disabled

Building Blocks for Kids, a nonprofit organization for children with disabilities, raised about $15,000 at the Walk of Hope fundraiser this Saturday morning. $4,200 was raised by Mason High School algebra teacher Nicole Paxton.
“The Hope Club and I got big donations from running and sports businesses,” Paxton said. “For two years now [the club] has volunteered to help set up and prepare a picnic for [the Walk of Hope].”
The event was held at Corwin M. Nixon Park, and according to Mason resident and Building Blocks founder Dynette Clark, over 200 runners attended. Clark also said that Paxton will be able to benefit not one but two children with special needs for the first time with her large donation this year.
“Mrs. Paxton’s group will help give [hearing-impaired] children FM systems which allow them to single out a teacher’s voice [in the classroom],” Clark said.
Paxton’s focus on helping the hearing-impaired began when her seven-year-old daughter Malia was diagnosed with hearing loss and she couldn’t afford hearing aids and therapy programs.
“Insurance doesn’t pay for kids’ hearing aids, so I applied to get help from Building Blocks,” Paxton said. “They helped us buy hearing aids and pay tuition at a special school [for those with hearing disabilities], Ohio Valley Voices. Right now Malia goes to St. Rita’s School and she’ll go to Western Row for third grade next year.”
Although Paxton said Malia is making progress and no longer needs support from Building Blocks, she tries to enable similar children to achieve Malia’s current independence.
“I helped a child named Daniel [get a hearing aid] the first year [my family] ran [at this event] and now he doesn’t need any extra help but his family still helps out every year,” Paxton said.
According to Clark, Building Blocks primarily supports children like Daniel within a 100-mile radius of Mason, although it also provides lodging to families traveling to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital from farther away. She also said gathering the supported children all in one place for the Walk of Hope is key.
“This event is the sole opportunity [for donors] to meet our families because it’s hard for some of the kids to get out in the winter due to their weaker immune systems,” Clark said. “I put tags on the kids so donors know [who they’re supporting]. Their stories are very compelling.”
Paxton said she has heard many captivating stories from children appearing at the event, and hopes they inspire herself and others to support those with disabilities.
“When [donors] see families like us, they see how much they lower our burdens,” Paxton said. “Most people don’t realize how much insurance doesn’t [cover]. Some [children with disabilities] need to receive therapy or wear diapers until they’re seven years old, and insurance companies don’t deem those needs to be medical. Even though Malia doesn’t need money this year, seeing [other families in need]  motivates us to keep helping [Building Blocks for Kids].”
The Paxton family isn’t alone in their willingness to help. Through spreading the word, Paxton said support for Building Blocks will only continue to grow.
“I talk about [Building Blocks] as much as I can at school and church,” Paxton said. “Just this Friday at school I showed my students a video about it and I told them how they can volunteer. It’s [inspiring] that even some of my students who aren’t in Hope Club want to [help these families].”