Eva Millard is accustomed to helping others. The licensed occupational therapist opened a kid’s sensory-friendly gym nearly three years ago for all children and their families, including those with autism and special needs.
“The big thing that I always heard from families was that there wasn’t enough places,” Millard said. “There weren’t any places they can all go as a family.”
So Millard opened the We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym in Ballston Spa to change that. She says it’s a place where they can feel safe and comfortable with sensory-friendly equipment.
But like most places, the sensory-friendly gym closed in March when the pandemic started, and since it’s a gym, it has not received the green light to reopen.
“We’re all trying to get around this pandemic and try to figure out how we all fit in, and how we can feel comfortable,” Millard said.
With four months of bills piling up and little to no income, Millard says keeping the doors open is becoming a challenge. So now she’s asking for help, starting a GoFundMe with a goal of raising $40,000.
“Asking for help is really, really challenging but I’ve had so many wonderful families who basically forced me to like, ‘this is what you need and we need you,’ ” Millard said.
So far, it has raised more than $5,000. Millard says the support has been overwhelming.
She says she has plans in place to safely reopen with sanitizing, proper spacing, and masks. September marks the gym’s three-year anniversary and Millard hopes doors will be open by then.
“We can provide that clean and safe and disinfected facility for individuals, so hopefully we can kind of provide that and show that,” Millard said.