Meet Gavin

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When we met Gavin, he almost couldn’t go to summer camp. He was a nonverbal 9-year-old boy with Down Syndrome rejected by programs his mother, Lynne, wanted him to attend; they couldn’t accommodate his significant developmental delays. But, communities like ours make sure people like Gavin have a place where they belong. He qualified for a scholarship to a Jewish summer camp and according to his mom, “The camp staff treated Gavin as a blessing.” They went out of their way to create an inclusive environment, hand-crafting picture symbols to represent his camp experiences, including Hebrew words like teva (nature) and seder, so that he could communicate about his day. “It is far too common to look at children with special needs as a burden,” said Lynne. “It takes faith to see a child with special needs as a gift. And Gavin is truly a gift.”

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