Anonymous donation aids disabled student

Published 8:18 am Saturday, May 30, 2015

Contributed Photo  Makayla Burrow, at left, is seen here with her speech therapist Julie O'Conner using the new iPad and headphones donated to her.

Contributed Photo
Makayla Burrow, at left, is seen here with her speech therapist Julie O’Conner using the new iPad and headphones donated to her.

A Happy Valley High School student received some special equipment to help with her school work thanks the generosity of a man who wanted to remain anonymous.
Makayla Burrow, 19, who has both developmental and physical disabilities, sometimes needs different equipment than her fellow students to help her learn and participate in class. One day, shortly before school ended for the summer, a visitor to the school saw Makayla and said he felt led to do something for her.
“He saw her and wanted to know what he could give that maybe the school couldn’t afford,” said Jennifer Ellis, counselor at Happy Valley High School. “He said ‘Whatever she needs, let me know and I’ll buy it.’”
The man is an alumni of the school and frequently donates money to support school programs, Ellis said, adding the man didn’t want anyone to know his name and didn’t want any thanks for what he had done.
“He said he had prayed about it and he just felt led to give the money,” Ellis said. “He doesn’t know this little girl or her family.”
“It restores your faith in humanity and the world,” Ellis added. “It has showed me there are good people out there.”
After the man approached her about the donation, Ellis said she worked with Makayla’s speech therapist Julie O’Conner to see what would help Makayla the best with her school work. O’Conner recommended a special type of iPad with headphones which could help Makayla with not only her school work, but her therapies as well.
The school also purchased a wireless projector that can hook into the iPad to help Makayla participate in class. “They can integrate her therapies with the rest of the class,” Ellis said.
Once Ellis and O’Conner decided what Makayla needed, the donor wrote them a check to cover the costs of the items, which totaled about $1,300.
And, these new aids are not just for Makayla to use at school, they are hers thanks to the anonymous donor.
“He wanted her to be able to take it home and work with it and for it to be hers,” Ellis said.
Makayla’s parents – Roger and Lisa Burrow – were touched the generosity of someone they have never met.
“We couldn’t believe it at first,” Roger Burrow said. “Those things are quite expensive.”
“When they told us, I just sat their with my mouth open,” he added. “It just took us by surprise.”
Makayla loves her new iPad, Roger Burrow said, adding she and her mother have been working with it already on summer vacation.
While he doesn’t know the name of the man who gave his daughter this exceptional gift, Roger Burrow said he would like to thank him if he ever got the chance to speak to him.
“Somebody’s got an awful big heart,” he said. “It lifts your spirit up in humanity a bit.”

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