Special needs kids live out dream in police officer photoshoot
GRAND RAPIDS, SD (FOX 46 WJZY) - A South Dakota-based photographer teamed up with her local police department to make three special needs kids' dream come true.
Carrie Lewis, owner of Glass Crown Photography, reached out to her community around Halloween to see if there were any special needs children that wanted to dress up in their costumes and live out their dreams.
After receiving an overwhelmingly positive response from the community, she ended up with three young boys in the program that all dreamt of being cops. Lewis decided to make it happen, with the help of the Rapid City Police Department.
Zane, 13, is a nonverbal boy with Down syndrome. Elliott, 7, has Bilateral Club foot, a coloboma in the left eye and four dead spots in his brain. He was also recently diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy in his legs. Owen, 11, has Angelman syndrome, also known sometimes as happy puppet syndrome.
"I reached out to the Rapid City Police Department, told them about these boys and asked if we could have pictures done with the department. They went beyond what I hoped for," Lewis wrote in a Facebook post.
Lewis says the police department sent four officers over. They blocked off an entire road and let the kids live out their dream, sitting in the squad cars, wearing the officers' jackets and taking pictures with all of them.
"I wanted these officers to be recognized for what they did for these kids. For these kids, it meant everything. I am so extremely thankful to work with these kids and to the Rapid City Police Department for making their dreams come true. It's not hard to make a difference, just go for it!"
Lewis says she's inspired to work with special needs children because of her son who has an undiagnosed neurological disorder.
"Their faces just lit up and it was so amazing to watch dreams come to life in front of you. Out of all of this, I hope photographers open their minds to photographing special needs kids more and to not fear them," she wrote.