Dear City of Kingston,
This thank you has been a long time coming.
Exactly four years ago my family & I moved here. Two weeks later our little girl was born and unknown to us she happen to have Down syndrome. Add in Congenital Cataracts, Heart defects, Type 1 Diabetes, Celiac Disease and a handful of other challenges and somehow you still end up with the sassiest-most-influential 4 year old I've ever met in my life.
My daughter Pip, not only has changed my life. But she is changing the lives of Kingstonians every chance she can. In simple ways like acknowledging the lady who slept on a bench downtown or bringing a smile to the hospital receptionist. To powerful ways like changing perspectives & influencing inclusion & acceptance.
She has inspired me to strive for a world, a city, a community where change is possible. Where differences are celebrated and all people are valued.
Yesterday, I pulled my five year old from school so he could be there. I bravely decided to skip my one year old's nap and I knew Pip needed to come as she was the inspiration behind it all. Yesterday I was humbly honoured with a Celebrating Accessibility Award for making a significant contribution to improving access for persons of disabilities in Kingston.
"Tara from Happy Soul Project uses her voice to inspire people to celebrate those with Down Syndrome and the beauty of people of all abilities and gifts through her blog and projects like the “Difference is Beautiful” calendar."
Even though my kids are young, were way more interested in the refreshment table & my son thought that Mayor Goodway from Paw Patrol would be there instead of Mayor Paterson, it was beyond important that they came.
I wanted them to see and feel the importance of change.
Thank you for acknowledging my ideas and my contributions.
Thank you for recognizing people trying to do good.
Thank you for supporting important decisions that in turn provide inclusion.
Thank you for gifting me this award & validating my efforts.
“I started Happy Soul Project with the intent of informing family and friends about our journey with special needs — and since then it’s soared into this beautiful movement — this extraordinary community and i’m so honoured to be the voice behind it and have this platform to create change.”
Thank you for showing my children that one voice can make a difference.
Proud Founder of Happy Soul Project