This March I will be running, for my third consecutive year, as part of Team Shalva in the Jerusalem Marathon. This year I have decided to run in honor of my beloved grandfather, Dr. Ira Weinstein.
Over the past years, from training to the race, I have realized how hard it truly is. Running through the steep hills of Jerusalem is one of the most challenging races, so why am I doing it? The reason is Shalva.
Shalva is an incredible place that has been providing transformative care to individuals with disabilities and their family members for nearly 30 years. It is all done in the warmest and most loving environment. From infancy through adulthood, this amazing organization provides leading-edge therapies, inclusive educational frameworks, social and recreational activities, employment training, independent living, respite programs regardless of religion, ethnic background or financial capability. Beginning in a small house with few kids, having grown to what it is today, and looking forward to what the future will bring, shows you that nothing is impossible and Shalva is truly an inspiration. Not only does this organization have the ability to achieve all they put their mind to, the children of Shalva define the saying: "The sky is the limit."
Shalva is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The staff is so loving and kind and go above and beyond to make the center a home away from home.
Recently, my grandfather passed away. I, along with my family, feel the void very clearly. I have decided to run the Jerusalem Marathon in his honor. I have decided this to honor not only the outstanding man he was and will always be to me, but also because he always inspired me to do for others. He would always say, "The best gift is when you make someone else smile." Seeing all the children of Shalva makes me smile. They are a great gift to me, and I hope I can make them smile. Their passion gives me an undeniable joy. I wish I could have shown my grandfather the organization that so inspires me because I know he would be in awe of its amazing accomplishments. Although he can't be there in person, I know that as I run through the vigorous hills of Jerusalem, he will be with me and with all of the kids of Shalva.
You don't have to worry about the training or the achy feet, but I hope you'll help me by donating to this worthy cause. Anything you can give would help me reach my goal, but not only that, it will help the children of Shalva have the ability to reach for the stars, as we know they can. Together we'll be supporting this truly special place.
*and thank you in advance for your help and generosity.*