April 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

A little over six years ago I was approached by someone who recommended I apply for a job at Camp HASC. At first I thought it was an odd suggestion; at that point, none of my friends worked there. I had been working with the special needs population but on a much different level from what goes on in HASC. I took the advice and have never looked back. Anyone who has ever even visited Camp HASC has seen the magic that occurs; the relationships you build there last a lifetime.

Back in the summer of 2013 I was working in the office and had some free time during the day. Since I lived in a bunkhouse with campers I took the opportunity to get to know the campers in the bunk in which I was living; that’s when I met Rivka. Rivka was in a bunk of four who were between the ages of 6 and 8. When I met Rivka she had just started walking without a walker, though she still needed someone to hold her hands for balance.

Rivka was born with a neurological condition that was expected to affect her sense of balance, and walking was not something that we thought she’d be able to do. Thanks to the great efforts of Rivka’s dedicated school and camp teachers, counselors and therapists (along with the help of Hashem), Rivka began walking at around 6. First with a walker and now independently.

Watching Rivka’s growth has been life changing. The amount of work and effort she puts in to every step in order to increase her strength is extraordinary. Camp HASC is a miraculous place where children like Rivka are given a fun-filled environment in which to thrive. The laughs, fun, warmth and love showered on Rivka for seven weeks create a fantastic breeding ground for happiness, confidence and incredible growth.

Every summer in Camp HASC, after a year of intense effort and therapy, Rivka brings the progress that was emerging out to the forefront. One summer she was sent to camp insecurely taking a few steps and she came home walking with great confidence. The love and encouragement that runs viral in HASC makes miracles happen every day.

This will be my fourth time participating in a marathon with Team HASC, though I have always done it on my own and there has been something missing. Planning to run with a camper has given this race more meaning for me; I realize that I have the ability to show the world the inspiring light in Rivka with every step she takes and I wouldn’t want to pass that up for anything.

It has been Rivka’s strength and endurance that I think of with every passing day while I train for the race. I hope that Rivka’s story has inspired you to help her and others like her. There is no end to the wonders of Camp HASC.

If you want to help Rivka and the other campers of HASC please visit go.camphasc.org/TeamRivka.

By Leora Zomick

 

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