What is THYME and Play?
THYME and Play is a service-connected disabled veteran non-profit organization that provides truly inclusive events and experiences for the atypical community.
Our vision is to ultimately remove the barriers that atypical families and disabled veterans often face when going out. By creating social opportunity and bringing disability awareness to cities across the nation, we advocate for and encourage community leaders to create real change in the hospitality industry. By embracing more inclusive and realistic solutions we help families Rediscover Hospitality the way it was always meant to be, Where every family is accepted, celebrated and respected.
The Inclusion Dilemma
In 2013, Our founders Henry and Eva Vega took their 3-year-old son Alex out to eat for his birthday. After a long wait time, the family was finally seated. About 15 minutes later a manager approached the family and stated that other guests were uncomfortable and that it would be best if they left. Alex, their beautiful child with Autism, had begun to stim, a self-regulating behavior that uses repetitious movements. Instead of accepting Alex’s differences, the restaurant and its guest chose to remove him from the dinner experience altogether. No food, no birthday cake, and no justice.
This sounds like a scene from a movie but this is a sad reality that so many face in our area. 15% of South Carolina’s total population is recorded to have a disability or impairment. In the United States, that number increases to 18-20% and this number is expected to continue to increase. For families that experience this type of exclusion and mistreatment, it can be truly devastating and lead to anxiety, depression, and isolation.
As this population gets bigger, the restaurant and entertainment industry still seems unwilling or unable to accommodate the various disabilities like physical, cognitive or mental impairments. With 117,000 people living with impairments in the Greenville and Spartanburg area, now is the best time to really bring about change
Thyme and Play is the only organization in South Carolina, that is exclusive to creating social opportunity for the disabled community. We connect veterans, adults, and children with disabilities through a social integration platform that helps them feel like they are a part of a community again. Our social integration platform utilizes four Strategies to connect and encourage a feeling of community that we call C.A.F.E.
We encourage people to have fun and just be themselves in an environment that says it's ok to be you!
We tailor each event to our guests by providing truly inclusive events that enable each individual to Rediscover Hospitality.
Through partnerships with businesses and organizations in our community, we create a social inclusion movement that fosters real change.
We believe the best way to learn is through experiences. To that end, all of our events and programs serve to educate our community to be more accepting and aware of different abilities.
Check out how truly inclusive our C.A.F.E approach is by navigating to our programs page! If you would like to get involved, please feel free to contact us any time or donate to our organization if you are looking for a quicker and more effective way of helping us make a difference in our community.