For the past two months, eight students at the Striar Hebrew Academy of Sharon stay after school every other Monday to learn about the power of inclusion. We have spent time discussing what disability and inclusion means. The purpose of the club is to begin forming the next generation of leaders in the Jewish community who inherently see the value of creating an open and inclusive community.
During a few of our club meetings we spent time brainstorming ideas for a Thanksgiving chesed, or community service, project. At first there were a lot of ideas, but then we slowed down to think about what the purpose of this project was and what our main goals were. After a good brainstorming session and discussion, the students voted on a chesed project. The community would all come together to make fleece and knit blankets for babies who are born prematurely and are in the neonatal intensive care unit. This project was very important to a few of the students because they said they have a blanket from when they were in the hospital as a baby.
Around 30 people from the Sharon Jewish community came together on Sunday, Nov. 18, to make blankets. A few women brought their sewing machines while others donated fabric or old baby blankets. Everyone came together to learn and create. I overheard my students talking about how this project is giving back to the hospital that helped them when they were a baby. They not only received a warm and comforting blanket, but also so much more, and now that they are able to, they are giving back.
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