Sarah Kollender Shares Her Bat Mitzvah Project

and Her Experience with the Special Olympics

Brought to us by www.themitzvahbowl.com 

I found my Bat Mitzvah Project idea when I was browsing through selections on themitzvahbowl.com. I have always been interested in helping people who have special needs because of my next-door neighbor.  She has Down’s Syndrome, and for as long as I can remember, I have been exposed to the challenges that come with having this disability.  I knew that I would be able to connect to the athletes that are a part of the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics gives kids and adults with intellectual disabilities the chance to participate in sports training and competitions. I chose to help out with the basketball program because basketball is my favorite sport. Every Sunday leading up to my Bat Mitzvah, I would go for a couple of hours and do simple drills with the athletes. Immediately I connected with each athlete that I was paired with. They were so sweet to me and I felt so welcomed. Each week when I left, I came away feeling like I had really made a difference in each of the athletes’ days. I learned so many things through these amazing people. I learned that you can find friends when you don’t expect to, and that you should celebrate each small accomplishment in life. These athletes had to work harder for things that would be so simple to anyone else, and when they learned to do them, you could tell it felt like a blessing to them. Having two hours to do something you love, like play basketball, is so important and I will remember that forever. I never expected my Bat Mitzvah project to have such an effect on me, but as you can see, it definitely did.

You can find ideas for Bat Mitzvah projects at www.TheMitzvahBowl.com

 

Sarah Kollender with Special Olympics Athletes