They are the backbone of goodness in our society, sharing their time and talents with so many! These folks come from all walks of life and have varied experiences. They are kind-hearted and wish to make a positive difference in the lives of the children that they serve. They are the fabulous volunteers, and without them, many social and recreational activities would cease to exist. Three cheers for the volunteers!!!
The alternative of sitting home is a frightening prospect to consider… Brian’s “default setting” would be to sit home and play on the i-pad all day, literally, if we let him, and that is neither good for him or ourselves.
Extracurricular activities enable Brian to engage with the community, practice social skills, and develop hobbies. I love meeting up with other parents to socialize with and to exchange information to help our kids. The reality is, I need the recreational activities as much as Brian does. No man is an island, and it is too easy to isolate on the special needs journey. We need each other for friendship and support. When our own tank is full, we can in turn give more freely to our kids, while taking care of ourselves and having fun while doing it.
I am so impressed by the large number of high school and college students who choose to spend their free time giving to those who can use a helping hand. Sometimes young people get a bad rap for their apathy and self-absoption, but not the volunteers that we’ve encountered! It is clear that their families have raised them well and they are truly upstanding citizens and in some cases, they become long-term friends.
With all of the crazy things that go on in the world and the constant/negative news reports, it is so refreshing to hear the GREAT news that the volunteer movement is alive and well! Long may it live and prosper! And thank God our kids have these social and recreational opportunities.
Pictured here is one such volunteer, a young man from Princeton University, who gave his time and attention to Brian yesterday during the Princeton Disability Awareness Carnival, a bi-annual event that allows children with special needs to experience a whole host of fun recreational activities for 5 hours . Each child is assigned to a student, who is their buddy, teacher, and friend. As you can see, Brian had a great time, and so did his wonderful mentor! This picture is definitely worth a thousand words…
It is an extraordinary example of why volunteers are so very important to our kids, to the families, and to the world are large.
Until we meet again…thanks for reading! 🙂