An accessibility van means freedom for the Winegardner family.

It means being able to easily and safety transport Elliott to appointments.

It means they can visit family.

It means they can go to the zoo or the park or an accessible hiking trail.

It means being able to enjoy the holiday spirit as a family because now they can drive to see their town’s Christmas lights show.

Elliott’s mom, Jonni, cried happy tears when they drove through the Christmas lights display. There they were – the family of four – all together on an outing. No longer do they have to struggle in their old vehicle that didn’t accommodate Elliott’s wheelchair very well. Instead of it taking nearly half an hour to get Elliott into their old van, now it takes three minutes because of the folding ramp and specially designed space.

The family is so grateful for this huge blessing of their new accessibility van. They were also able to pay it forward by giving their old van to their neighbors who did not have a vehicle.

Jonni knows hardship and struggle, but despite it all, she encourages people to keep going.

“Don't give up.  Ever.  I know you're tired and I know you don't know how you're going to make it.  But you are. Find your village and let them help you.  It's okay to accept help.  Myself? I pray.  Sometimes all day long.” ~ Jonni.


A wonderful story about the Winegardners has been published in their area newspaper: Child defies odds, thrives with community's help | News |