Don’t underestimate the power of Bryson Ponstein or the power of a penny.
“I have nine jars full of them!” exclaims Bryson.
At just five years old, his thoughtfulness and generosity go beyond his years.
“Bryson has been collecting coins to donate for the Fallenstein Playground,” explains his mom Beth. “He’s been collecting all summer and we’ll donate it all when the Fall baseball season ends in September.”
The Fallenstein Playground, a playground adapted to meet the needs of children with disabilities, is important to Bryson. He was born with Spina Bifida, a birth defect diagnosed by an incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. It can’t be “fixed” and even though the condition leaves Bryson in need of aids to help him walk and get around, it sure doesn’t slow him down.
“I like hitting the ball!” exclaims Bryson. He just finished his second summer of playing baseball for the Miracle League at Fallenstein Field. Like the playground with the same name, Fallenstein Field is specially designed for individuals with disabilities.
Bryson is able to enjoy baseball and other community activities, in part, thanks to a CSG grant managed by MRCI WorkSource. Under the grant, Beth is able to be stay home and be the paid parent caregiver. The grant also reimburses the family for some of the medical supplies Bryson needs.
“We didn’t know about MRCI at first,“ says Beth. “And we didn’t really think we would qualify for CSG because my husband works outside the home and we thought that might put us in the wrong pay bracket. But other parents we knew encouraged us to look into it and we finally found MRCI who helped us!”
MRCI takes care of the payroll and reimbursements for the busy family, which also includes Bryson’s three year old sister Brooke.
“It’s nice that I don’t have to figure out the payroll stuff,” says Beth. “Our rep, Joel, came in and had it all laid out for us and made it so easy to understand. They’ve just been wonderful. It allows me to focus on taking care of Bryson’s needs.”
Bryson, though, is focused on taking care of others, “I want everyone to have a playground!”
This information is available in other forms to individuals with disabilities or other languages by calling us locally at 507-386-5600 or toll free at 800-829-7110, TTY users can also call us through Minnesota Relay at 711 or (800) 627-3529