Last year I had one of the most rewarding experiences of my life: fundraising for and running as part of Team Shalva. Because of that, I am looking forward to doing it again for a second year. Thom and I learned so much last year and we’re putting into practice every lesson we absorbed to make this worthwhile for everyone – from the donors to the people this benefits. I hope you’ll join us in raising money for a cause I believe in deeply.
There will be a number of ways you can help. One is by direct donation. Another will be participating in a variety of events we’re putting together. All donations are tax deductible. But, please, let me tell you a bit about what your donations and involvement will help support.
Shalva’s mission is to provide transformative care to children with disabilities and their family members in the most warm and loving environment possible. Beyond that they are raising awareness by teaching about acceptance and advocating for inclusion. They’re non-denominational and providing programs free of charge to ensure equal opportunities regardless of religion, background or financial capability. Here’s just one example of how this program is changing the world:
A young child from Iraq, which provides no services at all for people with disabilities, came to Israel with his aunt for life-saving heart surgery. While still in Israel, the aunt brought the child for a day to Shalva, to perhaps learn a few skills and purchase some specialized equipment not available in Iraq. They were so excited about the help they could potentially receive from Me and My Mommy, that they petitioned the Ministry of the Interior, and received permission to extend their stay in Israel for an additional month, so they might continue the therapy at Shalva.
It’s stories like this that led to Shalva receiving official status as a consultant to the UN Economic and Social Council. They are actually bringing together people with different ideologies in the Middle East. Founders Kalman and Malki Samuels said the recognition “marks a new frontier for Shalva to scale up international impact as a leading advocate for inclusion and equality for people with disabilities.” Shalva helps show Israel’s heart, treating those in need, even from neighboring enemy countries.
By running in the Jerusalem Half Marathon, I’ll be a part of a team that stands out amongst the massive crowd. The course itself has been dubbed one of the hardest in the world. So, I’m probably crazy to do it again. However, last year’s experience helped me realize that even though I’m just one person, I can make a difference. I also hope that the events we’re putting together will bring the same education to our part of the world.
All my life I have had a special place in my heart for youth with special needs. My mom started two programs for youth with special needs. One is the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah. She wanted all Jewish youth to have the ability to attend a Jewish sleep-away camp and to identify and embrace their Judaism. She also started Independence Center for young adults with learning disabilities and special needs to learn to live on their own in a safe and educational environment. Because of my mom, I knew some kids were different than me/had special needs, but that didn’t make them less than me or that I was better than them. I was taught that we were all equal in G-d’s eyes. That is what I felt at Shalva while our group listened to their band and danced with the kids. Check out the YouTube video to learn more about why my mom is my role model, hero and inspiration to run as part of Team Shalva
Participation at Team Shalva 2018
Shoshana GordonPlease enter amount, without any symbols.
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