Teens helping hand out Passover meals, a change from their routine
OTTAWA -- A youth led organization dedicated to bringing happiness to families with special needs are delivering more than 100 meals around the community.
Ripple Effect is a teen led initiative. The members volunteer their time to support families with special needs, spending time with children to bring them friendship and warmth.
COVID-19 has made that impossible. So the teens along with Rabbi Chaim Mendelsohn are delivering ready-made meals for the Seder, a symbolic Jewish dinner commemorating the Hebrews' liberation from slavery.
“These are Passover meals," says Rabbi Chaim Mendelsohn. "Some of the necessities like the mahtza and the wine or grape juice."
Barbara Sherman and her daughters Alora and Ella would normally travel to Montreal to spend time with family, but this year, they're staying home. Unable to visit, the group has brought the meal to her.
“They’re really incredible. What a support system they are for me and my girls,” said Sherman.
Over the next two days, the group will deliver more than 100 meals to families during a difficult time.
The group is walking up to Michelle Hutchinson's house, her daughter Sarah is playing in the yard and has a big smile on her face when she sees her big sister, 17-year-old Sabrina Smith, who has brought her a gift. You can light up their day says Smith, who also has a smile.
The two have been doing crafts and exercises over video lately, but for Sarah, it's a big surprise and she loves her new toy, a Barbie play car.
“Sarah’s life is mostly schoolwork or therapy," says mother Michelle Hutchinson, who received kosher meals for the week-long Passover.
Ripple Effect president Temima Silver, also 17 years old, enjoys spending time with the kids and making a difference in their life.
"We’re just playing with them like any big brother, big sister would," she says. "I think it makes them feel like I’m just a kid."
The group currently volunteers their time with 26 families in the area, and that number keeps growing. Rabbi Mendelsohn hopes they can continue to grow to help as many families as they can and applauds the teens for the amazing work they do.
"Their doing this out of the kindness of their hearts," he says. "So when you see them coming at a time like this and wanting to give back it tells us so much about the bright future that the city of Ottawa has."