The Orokawa Foundation has been a long-time supporter of Tangram, our Maryland school for students with autism. They’ve provided funds to: build a wonderful playground, upgrade the school’s technology, and make a variety of enhancements over the past several years. Like other foundations, they provide funds to many non-profit organizations who apply for grants. But recently, The Orokawa Foundation reversed the process when they reached out to Tangram. Knowing it’s been very difficult on students, their families, and Tangram staff not to be together at school, they wanted to encourage everybody. The staff at the foundation wanted to surprise Tangram families with boxes filled with fun things for the students and items for the whole family, including gift cards to the local restaurants (Orokawa also wanted to support local businesses at the same time).
The Tangram staff were tasked to ask their families about needs, likes, preferences without letting on about the surprise to come. Items were purchased, boxes were filled with items specifically chosen for each family. On the outside of the boxes, Tangram staff wrote message to students. Then Tangram staff delivered the boxes! The impact was incredible, and the families were so appreciative.
Parent Jennifer Bishop shares how her son Nate was impacted, “Nate looked at his box this morning. He was so excited by it!!! He went for the ball first, and threw it all around the house before returning to look at the other stuff. Each time he took something out, he played with it for a long time, so he only got halfway through the box today before his speech therapy by zoom. He showed several things to Christina on zoom. He will open the rest tomorrow. He was absolutely delighted with everything he saw and it gave me so much joy to see! I was also grateful for the gift card and touched by all the messages written on the box.”