Let's Bring a Sensory Gym to Vancouver, WA

$70 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 2 people in 2 months
My name is Vicky Wirkkala, please allow me to tell you a bit about myself. I work full time as an administrative assistant, and I am an enthusiastic crafter.  Most importantly, I am a wife and mother to an amazing little boy. Last fall my son was diagnosed with high functioning autism, sensory processing disorder, and mild anxiety.  He is also considered high risk for ADHD and depression. After a 3 month wait, we finally were able to start occupational therapy for him. During our second visit, while my husband and I observed his interactions with his therapist in their sensory gym, my husband said to me, “Why don’t they have places like this where anybody can come without a diagnosis or referral? It would benefit so many kids.” At that moment something sparked in me and I knew this was what I was meant to do. I wanted to create that place. I have spent the last few months carefully considering this new path as I wanted to ensure I had all the tools necessary to make it happen.

Local play places for children, such as Kid’s Club and Dizzy Castle, are less than ideal for the disabled, or sensory sensitive, community.  They have loud compressors running, areas that are difficult to climb and are not easily accessible for parents who may need to help their child along if needed.

Children who are sensory sensitive or disabled need a place that fosters their very unique needs.  So, I started investigating what it might take to get a place like this going. After speaking with friends who have run their own businesses, and my brother in law who has been successful as a business owner in Vancouver, I was advised to seek out a well-established business that is similar to what I envision.  To use that business as a resource. So, I went to google to try and find a place where I would be able to get my questions answered. There I found an amazing full sensory gym that focuses on inclusion. You do not have to have special needs, or have a diagnosis, in order to come and play. This means all friends and family of the child with sensitivities can come and play together. Better yet, it is a franchise and we can have one right here in Vancouver.

The hold back at this point is funding. The initial franchise fee is $50,000, plus another $70K-$120K for the construction and building to complete the facility. In order to get the funds to make this business happen for our area, my first move is to fundraise.

Unfortunately, I am faced with the challenge that I cannot use the name or logo of the franchise in my fundraising endeavors since I do not have licensing rights to them until after papers are signed. All fundraising must be free of association with them.

The community of Vancouver, as well as surrounding areas, would greatly benefit from an all-inclusive play space.

Thank you for reading my story and considering donating to this amazing cause. If you'd like to donate $5,000 or more, or are interested in becoming an investor, please contact me directly at Vicky.wirkkala@gmail.com. If you are unable to donate, please share so that the Vancouver and surrounding areas can enjoy this wonderful opportunity.
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$70 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 2 people in 2 months
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2 months ago
Laura Giambalvo
2 months ago
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