Holiday Express - Norman A. Bleshman Regional Day School
I've always heard great things about this event, though I've never been. I still almost barely made it today after getting pretty ridiculously lost. But all the driving around and frustrated GPS searching was well worth it to spend some time with the wonderful kids of the Norman A. Bleshman Regional Day School. The students at the school range from ages 5 to 21 and have various physical and emotional disabilities, but that certainly didn't stop the party.
One thing that was very apparent to me as the dance floor filled with wheelchairs and dancing kids was how loved each and every one of these students are. In my time with Holiday Express, I've been to all kinds of places that handle similar situations with facilities ranging from beautiful and scenic to downright depressing. The thread that all these places have in common is the love the staff and volunteers have for their people. That love was visible to me all morning as the staff sang and danced with their students and encouraged them to participate in the fun. Even if it meant taking the microphone and crooning "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" in the style of Frank Sinatra...which happened and he was quite good! Although, I admit it's much more fun when they stink...
So many great memories were made today, including my first "Disco Santa" experience of 2016 (I'll just hyperlink this text and let you experience it for yourself). But for me, the highlight was meeting Abby, a young student at the school who, despite not having any use of her hands and feet, still manages to create custom greeting cards with original artwork. Abby explained to me that she uses her chin to draw the pictures on the computer. The school had them printed out and packaged them up in gift bags. Abby was very generously giving away her art to us as a thank you for coming to see them.
People thank us all the time after the events. And don't get me wrong, we really appreciate it. But we get so much from meeting so many amazing people and hearing inspiring stories like Abby's, it's really us who should be thanking them.
So thank YOU, Abby. I love my greeting cards.
Got a double header today so I will heading to another event in just a little bit. An old favorite of mine. And on to the next...