CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - “At Easterseals, we honor our legacy.”
That life-changing legacy began a century ago, right here in Northeast, Ohio.
Melissa Kocher is the local director of Easterseals, Northern Ohio:
“We’re very proud to be the very first Easterseals affiliate. So, what is really a worldwide organization was founded right here in Elyria, Ohio.”
As is often the case, necessity is the mother of invention.
Edgar Allen founded the predecessor of Easterseals after his son died in a tragic traffic car accident.
Kocher said answered a need in response to the death of his son:
“Two cars had collided, his son passed away and he realized at that point that there was not adequate medical care.”
Allen sold his business in order to help fund his dream of helping children.
He opened a hospital. But Kocher said few people came because in those days people with disabilities were kept at home out-of-sight.
People were often ashamed to have them be seen in public.
Allen was not to be deterred:
“He enlisted the help of local rotaries to go our and spread the word and they founded the Crippled Children’s Society.”
From a video produced to promote easterseals this line, “We celebrate all abilities. Limitless possibilities.”
Again Melissa Kocher, “I had mentioned our adult day centers for them it might be learning some daily living skills. Simple things like laundry, cooking that will allow them to live independently. Here in Northern Ohio, Easterseals helps children and adults with disabilities by providing speech therapy, so we do a lot of early intervention services. We also have some summer camp programs. We actually have two adults day centers in Medina and Cuyahoga Falls."
Kocher continued, “as I had mentioned, our adult day centers for them it might be learning some daily living skills. Simple things like laundry, cooking that will allow them to live independently. Really birth to death our services cover.”
In order to help Easterseals celebrate its 100th Anniversary, they lit up Cleveland City Hall downtown, Terminal Tower and the Rock Hall here, orange. They also lit up the Elyria City Hall orange because that is where Easterseals was founded.