Tri-State organization helps visually impaired, disabled kids go hiking

Published: Jun. 10, 2021 at 5:02 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Tri-State organization with specialized hiking equipment, volunteers and Great Parks teamed up with the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired to help some of its members enjoy the trails at Winton Woods.

All of the hikers are visually impaired and some have other disabilities as well.

Luke MacBrair is 19 years old and has never gone hiking in the woods. That is, until Thursday.

“We do take Luke on walks all the time, but when we’re in a park, like Winton Woods or Sharon Woods, it’s like, ‘oh we can’t go down that path because his wheelchair’s not going to go down that path,’” Luke’s mom, Janice MacBrair, said. “So, to have the ability with these carriers as well as the people to support him to take him, we’re excited.”

Luke 5 Adventures has been hosting these hikes for more than a year now.

“Our mission is to create community,” Luke 5 Adventures Co-Director Whitney Blackston said. “Bring people impacted by disability closer to Christ and make the impossible possible.”

Blackston says her daughter has special needs and she wanted to bring other families together that deal with the same struggles.

“We were a family that was living in isolation, and so we value community,” Blackston said. “And so, we had a ministry that loved on us and brought us out of our shell, and so we just want to give back in the same way.”

This may be the first hike for some of these kids and teens, but it might not be the last.

“The more people see what these young adults are wanting to do, I think they are going to come up with more ideas to support us to do that,” MacBrair said. “That’s my expectation and my goal actually.”

If you would like to learn more about Luke 5 Adventures and how you can help, follow this link.

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