This weekend was filled with firsts!
1) On Friday, my 11 year-old daughter went to Maine with a friend and her family. She will be gone for 10 days. This is the first time she will be away on vacation with a friend without her family. I miss her, but she is having a blast, so I can’t be too sad.
2 )On Saturday, our student home organized its first ever Community Service Bike Ride for the Area M Special Olympics. Although a few of us were involved last year having been invited by a young man who organized the ride for his Senior Project at Central Dauphin East High School, this year, we invited all of the athletes to our student home to ride on the campus of Milton Hershey School. We hosted a 6-mile ride with our Special Olympic guests.
It was a very exciting day spent helping the athletes ride around our beautiful campus. Some of the athletes were nervous about the ride and grew tired riding the hills, but our young men remained patient and encouraged them all along the route, smiling and laughing with the athletes throughout the day. It was wonderful to see our students really care about another person’s safety and well-being.
3) During the afternoon hours, when the ride was over, we had dessert and played some family games. Shortly afterwards, a spontaneous game of football took place. The boys spread out all over the yard, inviting the Special Olympics athletes to play along. Even our little boy, AJ, got into the game, to his obvious delight! The game lasted about 30-minutes, with laughing, tackling and lots of fun. After the game, we bid the athletes farewell, one-by-one.
Later as we cleaned up and reflected on the day, my husband received a text from one of the Special Olympics Coordinators. He told us that one of the athletes was so excited about the football game, because it was the first football game he played in where he WAS NOT MADE FUN OF!
I got choked up when I heard the news. It reminded me once again, of the blessing that comes from working with such wonderful people who are truly Olympians. They are champions in so many more ways than we will ever know.
It also made me immensely proud of our student home guys! They stepped up in a lot of ways on Saturday and went above and beyond anything I could have ever expected. Their kindness to these vulnerable people is something that I will never forget.
I am One Proud Housemom to be in the lives of some of the kindest people on the planet!