RICHMOND, Va. — Pam Mines came up with the idea for her version of Pharrell’s “Happy” when she noticed few of the Internet’s viral versions featured children with special needs and the organization that serve them.
“Of all the videos I saw, none featured an organization that supported the special needs community or several families affected by special needs,” Mines said. “I wanted people to know about all the great organizations that are out here doing things for this community.”
Mines, who founded the non-profit JP JumPers Foundation and was the inspiration behind “JP’s law” said she helped create the video to help raise awareness. Her son JP has autism.
“If you’re not affected by special needs, you may not know that Special Olympics VA is in the West End and doing great things for individuals with special needs; or the Miracle League which is a special needs baseball league with a specialized field in Chesterfield where everyone hits and everyone scores; or Miracles in Motion that has four locations is a Dance Troupe for individuals with special needs; and many other organizations who support our community. ”
Despite certain daily challenges, Mines said they are a very HAPPY community, but in a special way.
“The individual with special needs is happy, the parent/guardians/caregivers are happy and the community as a whole is happy,” she said. “People should not feel bad for us, they should be as happy as we are. The special needs community is a community that shouldn’t be overlooked or discounted because we are extremely happy in our situation and feel good that God chose us with such an awesome assignment.”