During the last week in December, many of the schools attended by members of Ohel Bais Ezra had winter break. This left many of the children serviced by Ohel at home with nothing to do. In order to fill this need for parents, the special-projects department of Ohel Bais Ezra has created what is lovingly referred to as winter camp. Each day, over 40 children and young adults, ages 5–21, were able to go on an exciting day trip with the caring staff of Ohel Bais Ezra.
The winter camp program was run by Ohel’s dedicated staff, in addition to over 200 volunteers, consisting of girls from 16 different schools spanning Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island. With the help of the staff and volunteers, over 150 children with disabilities were able to take part of in Ohel’s winter camp program.
They went on incredible trips including the New York Hall of Science, Laser Bounce, Woodmere Lanes, and the Long Island Children’s Museum. Throughout each day’s trips and events, many different people kept coming over the Ohel group, and shared how impressed they were with the staff.
After the day at the New York Hall of Science, the security guard at the entrance informed the Ohel staff that he has a brother with special needs, and when he found out that the majority of the staff on their trip were volunteers, he was extremely impressed and thanked everyone profusely for the incredible work that they do.
The program was a great success. In the words of Kuti Roberg, senior manager of Ohel’s special projects, “At the end of each day both our campers and staff headed home with smiles on their faces and a bounce in their step. Seeing the smile on a child’s face and hearing from the parents how appreciative they are that we are able to run these programs are what make working and volunteering for Ohel Bais Ezra so rewarding.” v