A Young Girl with a Big Heart...
SYDNEY GELLER ...
.... is a 13 year old girl who attends 8th grade at Harry B. Thompson Middle School in Syosset. She is no typical 8th grader. She has a brother with autism who attends the Ascent School in Deer Park. Sydney wanted to create a Mitzvah Project that would not only benefit her brother but all the other children he goes to school with.
Sydney reached out to Ascent and asked if she could get a “wish list” from each teacher of some items they could use as rewards for the children in the classroom. Rewards are used throughout the school day as positive re-enforcers for each child as an incentive to complete their school work. This is a common teaching tool often used by special education teachers with autistic children. The teachers came up with a short but varied list including items as simple as crayons and headphones, to one hesitant request for a Nintendo Switch.
Sydney got to work putting together a fundraising project that enlisted her and her mother’s Instagram accounts, as well as her mother’s Facebook page. After her initial goal was quickly met, she increased it with the hope that the additional funds could purchase even more items from the “wish lists”. She also found some items on Amazon and created an Amazon Wish List that she could forward on to more family and friends. In less than one week, all the items on the wish lists had been purchased. That included not only the original Nintendo Switch, but 2 additional Nintendo Switches for two other classrooms, including 2 games for each. Since additional funds were pledged that would more than cover all the items, the additional amount will be donated directly to Ascent.
Sydney has demonstrated such a selfless act of generosity and love for all the children at Ascent. On Wednesday, November 6, 2019, Sydney came to Ascent to deliver all the wonderful gifts to the school, the staff and most importantly, to the students. Everyone’s reactions were truly awestruck and grateful. To see the children look into the box of new items, the joy and excitement on their faces. I hope Sydney will look back and realize what a wonderful thing she has done. Her time and efforts have reminded us how generous people can be when shown a need.
From all the students, their families and the staff at Ascent,
Thank you Sydney!