Hand In Hand Gala

I recently went to a lovely event for an organization that I have been involved with for a couple years, Hand in Hand.  The guests of honor for the evening were close family friends, Mr. & Mrs. Stamer, who first introduced me to the program.  The evening also honored all of the teen volunteers – including me!

Hand in Hand is an organization that pairs a child with special needs with two teenagers in the area. These three people form a close friendship and share weekly visits where they play, hang out, and just have fun!  My friend, Hannah Stamer, and I partnered to participate in this program and meet with our friend every Sunday.  Going to play with him is the highlight of my week. He always knows how to make me smile! He is the funniest, sweetest, brightest young boy I’ve ever met. He is so warm and friendly.  We have formed such a unique friendship with him and he has truly changed the way I look at things.

The night raised funds for the program and celebrated all we have accomplished.  I feel so honored to be a part of the program and the night.  You should think about getting involved in a program like this. I promise you wont regret it!

Here is a copy of my speech:

Hi! I want to thank you all for coming here tonight to help us celebrate this wonderful organization.

The Hand and Hand Program is very special to me because this is where I met David. David is the sweetest boy you will ever meet. He is one of my best “little people” friends and every Sunday I get to see him and spend time with him.  Not only do I get to spend my time with David, but I also spend it with my one of my best friends Hannah.  Hannah and I go to David as a team.  We are sort of David’s cheerleaders.  We run around, play games, read or pretty anything else that David is in the mood to do that day. We have seen David grow up so much this year.  He has matured and become very comfortable around us.  Somedays, when we arrive, he greets us with his “HELLO LADIES!”.  What a remarkable boy!  One of the best parts of my week is going to David and seeing his huge smile!  When Hannah and I arrive, David is waiting for us smiling, ready to give his hugs.  He gives huge hugs!

David has something that he absolutely adores, and we do this with him often.  He loves to be a burrito. Yes – a burrito. We go outside with a blanket and usually some pretzels, and lay in the blanket.  We wrap him up so he looks like a burrito. Sometimes we even get to be a burrito with him, in which we all huddle together under blanket.

I would like to thank  Mr. and Mrs. Stamer for introducing me to the Hand and Hand Program.  Thank you so much for getting me to the Smith home and making the logistics work for my family.  A special thank you to Hannah.  Thank you for picking me to spend your time with.  I will always cherish our friendship and the bond we have now made together with David.

I also would like to thank Rabbi Shapiro and Pnina for your wonderful work.   You have enriched my life in an immeasurable way.

Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Smith for sharing your son with me.  He is wonderful boy with many gifts.  I feel honored to spend time with him.  David – you are awesome!

Thank you.

There was also a touching video shown during the evening that you can watch here:


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