Posted on November 26, 2013
Two warnings before you continue reading this post: first, this is my first ever blog post so please bear with me, and second, this may come off as cliche but it is simply just the truth. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Shoshana, and I am the new Development Associate here at Areyvut. I am a recent graduate from the University of Maryland (go Terps!) with a BA in sociology. Throughout all my sociology classes, internships, and work experiences, the importance of human connection and interaction became glaringly clear. We are social beings and human contact and emotional bonds are necessary for us to survive. Studies have shown that loneliness is linked with our physical and mental health. Simply spending a few minutes with someone who is sick or isolated is enough to brighten their day in ways deep below the obvious smile or laughter.
I witnessed this phenomenon first hand last year when my grandfather spent almost a month in an area senior home. Coming off of a bad fall, my grandfather could barely walk around in the beginning- make visitors all the important. I saw the positive effects even a 5 minute conversation could have on his spirits.
This is why I absolutely love Areyvut’s Mitzvah Clown program. Once the clowns are trained in clown etiquette, (a frequently used term here at the office referring to make-up application, balloon animal making, and the tricks of speaking to and getting along with someone who is different from you) they begin making their monthly site visits to senior citizens, patients, and children with special needs. In my mind, this beautiful mitzvah of bikkur cholim (visiting the sick) that they are participating in is one of the most important mitzvot in the Torah. Taking care of those in need is one of the most noble acts a person can perform- these are our brothers and sisters who are in need of our support and attention. On this week of Thanksgiving, I think it only appropriate to thank the Mitzvah Clowns for all they do and all they bring to this world- they are true inspirations to us all.