Making Purim a Giving Experience

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On a day like Purim, the reality of having a child attend a school out of Crown Heights hits hard. While most children have class meet ups, friends popping by, and have the opportunity to show off their costumes and enjoy the Purim spirit, children with special needs, mostly don’t.

Their friends live across the tri state area making it impossible for them to meet up. Their costumes are ready, their faces are painted but their joy is diminished.

Introducing the Friendship Circle’s Purim Uplift program. What started as a collaboration between Friendship Circle and Lamplighters Yeshiva in 2016 with 7 children joining; it has now spread to multiple schools. There are currently 53 mainstream, neurotypical elementary aged children who are taking their time on Purim day to deliver Shalach Manos to a Friendship Circle member.

The feedback last year was tremendous from everyone involved. It was a blessing for the FC members to receive and for the students to deliver. Definitely the highlight of everyone’s day.

“When we participated in the UPLIFT project for FC — we thought we would just be uplifting other people by delivering Shalach Manos with a smile. When we met Perel, she wasn’t the only one smiling, we were all uplifted from the experience as well. Everyone who was there felt the happy, giving, loving and caring energy. This mitzvah was truly transformative.” E.F

In preparation for the program, Rabbi Berel Majesky and volunteer coordinator Sarah Thaler each visited local schools. They spoke about the importance of thinking about others and how to carry out visits in a sensitive and understanding way.