Having a disability can be hard for both the disabled and their family. So, on April 27th, Happy Village and other local groups and organizations came together to provide festivities for those going through the hardship of disabilities. This all day festival at Wilshire Narrows Recreation Park was 100% free for all participants, family members, friends, and volunteers in celebration and relief for those dealing with disability.
Happy Village, a student volunteer group and non-profit organization helped steer the festivities, but there were nearly 40 booths from other organizations and churches. Many donations were collected and volunteers spent their time interacting and helping to provide enjoyment for all participants and themselves.
Participants were able to hear inspiration religion-bases speeches, watch different performances including Korean Percussion and ballet, play carnival type games, and also enjoy making their own balloon bracelets and crowns.
As a volunteer myself at the festival, it was clear that this event wasn’t meant for just the participants and their families and friends. It was obvious that the event was meant for all: volunteers, participants, and families. The greatest enjoyment was being able to help those around have fun without worrying about the social prejudices against them.
The festival’s main purpose, as it is every year, is to have all the disabled – mentally, developmentally, and physically – and their loved ones a day to just simply enjoy themselves. Many times, the disabled and their loved ones have difficulty enjoying themselves out in public places because of both a lack of respect and kindness towards the disabled. So, providing respite for all who attended was the greatest highlight of the festival.
As this festival is an ongoing and annual festival, it can be hoped that through it many can feel the joy of community and the enjoyment of rest and leisure despite difficulties.
Minseo Park, Grade 10
Crescenta Valley High School