Hacking for the Holidays

September 25, 2023

#HackingForTheHolidays 2023: Making Play Accessible for Everyone

We Need Your Help to Adapt Toys for Kids With Disabilities!

We are excited to launch our second annual #HackingForTheHolidays (new window) campaign.

Last year, we raised $28,000 and delivered over 600 toys and 900 switches to children with disabilities across Canada. For 2023, we are shooting even higher. With a fundraising goal of $100,000, we are aiming to build 2,000 toys, switches, and video game joysticks, host over 100 events across all 10 provinces, and make sure that play is accessible to all kids with disabilities this holiday season.

Why is this so important? Commercially available assistive switches and switch-accessible toys are expensive, and easily exceed $100 each. That high cost leaves many families and therapists supporting kids with disabilities without the interactive toys and access methods that are crucial to childhood development.

A donation of $50 can purchase a toy and provide the parts to make a switch, giving a child everything they need to play with a new toy this year.

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A woman does some soldering at a build event.

Neil Squire’s Makers Making Change program are experts at hacking battery operated toys, taking them apart, and adding in the switch jacks. Often, the cost to adapt the toy is $5 of parts or less, and the adaptation is done by students, community makers, and corporate volunteers at our events.

Over the course of the campaign, we’ll share stories from families, therapists, and our volunteers that are closing this access gap. We are planning toy hackathon events where students, volunteers, and corporate partners will build adapt toys for kids with disabilities. Your donation and support can help us fund the toys and parts, make the adaptations, and close this access gap this holiday season.

If you have any questions about the campaign, reach out to us at info@makersmakingchange.com.

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Neil Squire’s Makers Making Change program is made possible thanks to the support of generous donors and funding from the Government of Canada.

Assistive devices built for our Hacking for the Holidays campaign will be distributed across Canada to families and clinicians working with children with disabilities. All donations and toys made for this campaign will support kids in Canada, however, our international partners and network of chapters and volunteers can help support requests from outside of Canada.

Hacking for the Holidays Major Donors include Canada Life (Gold), HDR (Gold), Full Circle (Gold), HSBC Bank Canada (Silver), SaskPower (Silver), and Workday (Silver).