EDINBURG - The hall at The Social Club quickly filled Wednesday evening as nearly 200 plus people attended Loteria Night, a fundraiser hosted by the Capable Kids Foundation in the Rio Grande Valley. With an open snack bar, a merchandise table, colorful decorations and prizes lining the back of the room, families and board members gathered for what was sure to be a successful night.
“These little fundraisers help keep our programs free,” President Melanie Watson said. “The more money we raise tonight, the more kids we can have participate in our activities.”
Capable Kids started four years ago when Watson, a pediatric physical therapist who specializes in children living with disabilities, and her co-workers noticed that there weren’t enough resources in the area for their patients. There were no sports leagues, dance teams, game nights, prom - nothing fun them to participate. Soon enough, that small concern sparked into a bigger idea: a non-profit organization that allows children with disabilities and their families to participate in events while in a safe environment.
“That was our inspiration,” Watson continued. “Being able to provide different activities where parents can bring their kids. They know that when they come to our activities, it’s all families that understand. People are going to be helpful.”
However, for most families Capable Kids is a blessing. Mary Jane Lopez and her daughter Viva Lopez have been with the organization for four years now, and while they allowed Viva to join a traveling cheerleading team (which she claims to absolutely love), they have shown up in desperate life situations as well. Lopez recalls the time she couldn’t get her stove to work. She informed Capable Kids, who then connected her with someone who could fix it - all free of charge.
“They’re not an organization that just cares about money.” Lopez said. “They’re there to support you 100 percent.”
To stay updated on events and activities available, follow the Capable Kids Foundation Facebook page or check their website, http://ckrgv.org/ , for more information.