Thanks to Friendship Circle of Brooklyn’s ‘Uplift Program’, special needs children across Crown Heights got to experience a joyous Purim, with visitors and shaloch manos, just like their siblings.
As told by a Friendship Circle mother.
“Applesauce. That’s what I want.”
It was a week before Purim when we received a call asking what our son would enjoy in his Shalach Manos. For many mothers, this would have been an unusual call to receive. After all, who calls to find out what your child would enjoy in his peckel?
But for me, that call was the most loving, heartfelt one. You see, my child has special needs and does not necessarily receive Shalach Manos on Purim day. He watches as his many siblings are busy with deliveries and friends visiting, he sees and feels the hustle and bustle on the streets in Crown Heights. That phone call meant something incredible to me. It meant that this year Purim, my son would be part of the festivities too. Throughout Purim day he was b-u-s-y with visitors! Mainstream children, his age, who had been paired up with him through Friendship Circle’s Uplift Program; volunteers that visit him during the year; and Bochurim and staff of the Friendship Circle; came to dance with him and bring joy.
At the end of the day, as my son was going through his large box where he was keeping all his bags that he had received, his face suddenly lit up. He pulled out an applesauce and held it up to me. “They got me my favorite thing!”
This dedicated mother had taken the time to call and ask what my son would enjoy. And at the end of the day, when his box was filled with candy, nosh, and ‘stuff’ galore, the applesauce was what brought him the most joy.
This year, our Uplift Program doubled in numbers. It is all thanks to our local mainstream children who opted-in to deliver Shalach Manos to our Friendship Circle members. We know that this program brought equal amounts of joy to all the participants!