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Hatzolah Takes Special-Needs Children On A Lag BaOmer Trip To Remember [VIDEOS & PHOTOS]

The great Abie Rotenberg immortalized the importance of the annual Lag Ba’Omer Yeshiva and Beis Yaakov trips of our youth with his song The Ninth Man. After all, it was the bases loaded homerun hit by their Rebbe that changed the lives of those “Bums from the East Side” forever. For most, that trip was last week, but for a select group of special children, they finally had their opportunity to experience their trip earlier today. You see, the children that we speak of are not regular Yeshiva kids, rather these are the children of the Ditmas Children’s Center. Most of them have never seen the outside of their adopted home, other than for medical appointments and Chas V’Shalom hospital visits.

With the incredible success of last years Tashlich event fresh in their mind, the Administration of the Center decided that a Lag Ba’Omer trip would be the perfect respite needed by the patients and their families. After searching high and low while trying to find the right venue, they realized that the answer was practically right in front of them. They reached out to the New York City Parks Department with an unusual request. Would the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens be willing to host a group of approximately 20 special needs children and their families for a few hours? The request was approved and the planning began in earnest.

The logistics involved were enormous. Many of the children were dependent on ventilators and other medical devices. Additional facility staffing would need to be brought in to ensure that all of the children would be properly cared for outside of the facility. Extra equipment would be needed in case of a device failure. Transportation would need to be arranged for all the patients and the staff. Medical personal would be required to operate the equipment and be there in case of an emergency. One by one, items on the list were checked off and the plan began to fall in place.

There was one minor detail, however, that seemed beyond anyone’s control, and that was the weather. Early on, it appeared that there was a possibility of rain. As the event approached, the slight chance of rain grew into an almost certainty of morning of showers. One after another, alternate venues were considered and discarded and the mood turned somber. With no other choice, a decision was made to stick to the original plan and hope for the best. Those involved davened with extra Kavanah for a little Siyata DiShmaya.

Morning broke with rain and clouds throughout the area. As the time arrived to assemble the situation looked bleak. But as we know, HaKadosh Baruch Hu takes cares of His children, especially the special ones, and clearly, He had other plans. Suddenly the rain stopped and the clouds began to disperse. The excitement in the air was palpable as the care providers assisted in loading their little charges into their rides for the day. In a procession befitting of visiting dignitaries, they were off!

By the time children arrived at the Gardens there was nary a cloud to be seen. With well-choregraphed precision, the children were transferred to their special strollers and wheel chairs. And what a sight it was. Parents, alongside caregivers, walked their strollers through the park and settled down to spend time with their children. Blankets were placed on the ground as the children were held and entertained in the stunning environment. There were cameras everywhere as the memories of the day were recorded to be cherished for eternity. After spending close to two hours in the sweltering heat, it was time to return the children to their home. There was not a dry eye as parents bade their children farewell knowing that it may be months before they have the opportunity to spend time with their children outside once again.

As the children returned to their home the incredible staff of Ditmas Children’s thanked all of those that participated for the roles they had played. They were amazed by the absolute dedication of the community in coming together for their children.

We hope, with the upcoming Yom Tov of Shavous, that all of those that need it will quickly experience a complete Refuah Sheleima.

We would like to thank the following organizations for their participation in today’s event and making it the huge success that it was.

Hatzoloh of Boro Park
Hatzoloh of Canarsie
Hatzoloh of Catskills
Hatzoloh of Crown Heights
Hatzoloh of Flatbush
Hatzoloh of Williamsburg
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
Flatbush Shomrim
Boro Park Shomrim
Lakewood Bikur Cholim
New York City Parks Department
New York City Police Department

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

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