Our “My Voice” Program and the impact it can have continues to amaze us all, and we want everyone to share in Jacob’s joy and that of his mother and brother on Valentine’s Day. The three of them joined us last week at a Press Conference to find more eligible kids.
Eilleen sent the following update to our CEO last night:
I was listening to your story about Mia and her brother using her iPad to ask Alexa to play Baby Shark. It took me 2 days to think how that could help Jacob.
Well, today I figured it out! We have a voice remote for our T.V. Jacob tries, very unsuccessfully most of the time, to tell our remote what he wants to watch. I thought of an idea. Why don’t we program Touchchat with pictures of all his favorite shows. Now he can use his iPad to ask the remote to turn on his favorite shows. Evan was able to help with finding pictures of all of his favorites.
When we sat with him to teach him how to do it, he was so excited. The first thing he wanted to try was the Penguins logo! Sure enough, he got what he wanted. Now he is watching the Pens beat Edmonton!!!
Thank you for all you do for our kids.
Then, she e-mailed this 20-second video, which shows Jacob using his communication device for the first time to get the Penguins game on TV independently!
Jacob’s JOY at being able to do this himself is a reminder for all of us that this is very special work that we’re engaged in. We are giving kids the opportunity to do for themselves, the very things we take for granted.
P.S. On this Valentine’s Day, a day of love for one another, Eileen shines as an example of the love all our moms have in their hearts for these extraordinary children and youth.
Talk about a night of impact for kids with disabilities at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ “Hockey is for Everyone” event on Monday, March 5th!
The true highlight of the event was Jacob Buchheit, a Variety Ambassador who has truly helped to elevate the work of Variety in extraordinary ways. His time and involvement to our organization has acted as a ripple to us impacting the lives of so many more children.
At the event on March 5th, Jacob was at the center of it all, as Variety was presented with a check for $18,000 by the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Foundation to sponsor 10 more adaptive bikes, as part of Leo Gerard’s campaign last year to raise $500,000 to sponsor more adaptive equipment for kids.
Variety and Jacob were joined by Pittsburgh Penguins’ CEO, David Morehouse and other Penguins’ executives, who shared in Jacob’s joy, as he showed them (with such pride) videos of him with the Mighty Pens sled hockey team on his communication device.
You probably remember that Jacob was featured in Highmark’s Living Proof spot on his adaptive bike, and then he was featured in a Highmark advertisement in the Ice Time program booklet throughout last year’s Penguins season.
Well, Jacob brought a handful of these booklets, and he handed them out (with his autograph) to the entire group!
Additionally, Jacob was featured throughout the game riding his adaptive bike on the jumbo-tron (a video produced by the Penguins), in the Highmark Living Proof spot, and then on the ice riding his sled hockey between periods with a handful of other kids – talk about a celebrity!
Here’s a clip of what was shared at the game – don’t miss Jacob’s reaction at the end in seeing himself on the big screen!
Jacob’s journey has been nothing short of a miracle, and I’m sure you will smile as you read more about him and the impact that Variety has had on his life in this piece that was written by the Penguins and featured on their site.
Prior to Monday’s hockey game, Jacob received the 2018 Bob O’Connor Spirit of Pittsburgh Award from the Bob O’Connor Foundation on Saturday, March 3rd!
The entire community is part of this incredible team that we have built at Variety, and the impact that we have had on so many kids like Jacob and their families. This is only the beginning for the impact that we will create for kids, and we are excited about what we will do together in the years to come!