Iowa Boy Writes Letter to City, Gets Help For His Visually Impaired Dad
A young boy from Iowa reminds us that you can have an impact at any age.
When you worry about someone you love, many of us will do just that. Worry. However, 9-year-old Ben Smith and his occupational therapist Rachael Barnette decided to take a different approach.
Ben's father, Brad, suffers from a genetic disease that has resulted in visual impairment. The two walk across the intersection of Mortensen Road and South Dakota Avenue in Ames on a daily basis. It's the route to Ben's school and also his occupational therapy appointments.
Ben makes sure his dad crosses safely when he's with him, but it's when Brad is by himself that most concerns Ben. After expressing that to Barnette, she came up with a two-fold idea. Barnette suggested Ben write a letter to the city asking them to make a change in the intersection to assist Ben's dad in crossing. In turn, that letter would help with Ben's handwriting. Ben wrote the letter back in February, requesting a countdown clock.
Brad Becker, Ames' traffic supervisor, told We Are Iowa Local 5 News,
It’s not very often, in fact this is the first time for me, getting a letter like that. Definitely could see and feel the love and compassion he has for his father and the inherent concern that comes along with that.
The city not only listened they went a step further, putting up a crosswalk that counts down audibly and also helps guide pedestrians.
Love and compassion from a son worried about his father. Now, that son won't have to worry as much and he has himself to thank. That has to be one great feeling.