Harry's HK Helpers
Hello Family and Friends:
A few months ago, my mom picked my friend and I up from our coding class and told us a story. That story is the reason I am writing this letter today.
She told us about a girl in Washington DC who had her bat-mitzvah. I just started preparing for my bar-mitzvah too. This girl was blind and used braille to help her prepare for her bat-mitzvah. She took this in stride but the real challenge for her was that there were no tropes for her to read in braille to help her with the tunes. A computer programmer in Israel came to the rescue and coded a whole system to help her with the tropes practically overnight. I thought this was absolutely amazing.
When we got home, my mom showed me the article from the Washington Post and when we clicked the link and saw Batya, I really started thinking about this. My mom told me that Batya’s cousins live right here in Port Washington and even go our temple. This made the whole story even more real to me. You can copy the link below if you want to read the article. https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2019/01/14/bat-mitzvah-girl-debuts-new-way-blind-jews-participate-an-ancient-tradition/?fbclid=IwAR1tly-5XFnNheZzoP7afPfEBNc0Hlyk0Cld8BX_9Rcae4pJVgXN2CFicBc&noredirect=on&utm_term=.f7e4d7a35965
A few days later, we learned about the Helen Keller Youth Club, and I decided I would look into it for my mitzvah project. I rounded up some friends and we started going to monthly meetings at the Helen Keller Center in Sands Point. We meet interesting people and participate in activities. We have learned some sign language, attended performances of blind or deaf people, tried to butter a piece of bread blindfolded and much more. Attending the meetings always makes me think of the challenges that some people face every day.
I am participating in the Helen’s Run/Walk on Sunday, May 5th in order to raise awareness (and funds) for people like Batya, who are determined to succeed in spite of their challenges.
I hope this story makes you think as much as it made me think about things. It would be great if you could find a few minutes to support me in the walk.
Continue reading below to find out more about the Helen Keller Center and how donations will be used.
YOU can make a difference in the life of a person who is deaf-blind by joining me in supporting the annual Helen's Run/Walk on May 5, 2019, as one of my sponsors or by registering to run or walk.
Located in Sands Point, New York, the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf- Blind Youths & Adults (HKNC) offers individualized evaluation, vocational and training programs designed to assist people who have a combined hearing and vision loss to live, work and thrive in their community of choice.
The funds raised by Helen’s Run/Walk 2019 will be dedicated to providing essential Support Service Provider (SSP) assistance for the staff and students at HKNC who are deaf-blind. SSPs are specially trained individuals who enable people who are deaf-blind to access their environments and make informed decisions by providing them with visual and environmental information, human guide services and communication facilitation. A few examples of SSP services include reading a menu; describing facial expressions of people in a room; providing access to transportation; orientation to a doctor’s office explaining who is in the room and what activities are going on in that room and more.
HKNC is the only national, non-profit agency providing vital outreach, training and support exclusively to individuals who are deaf-blind, their families and professionals in the field. Now more than ever, they need our help!
More than 2.4 million people have combined vision and hearing loss in the United States. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, friends and co-workers who struggle every day just to live and work in their community.
For more information about HKNC, go to www.helenkeller.org/hknc