Ability First Day, Long Beach, CA
On September 2017, Young Adults of SSIO Southern California, with the help of over 20 volunteers, coordinated the annual day trip to Mother’s Beach in Long Beach CA. The event was organized for thirty developmentally delayed children and adults, aged 10-20 years old, from Ability First, a day program serving individuals with special needs.
It was a beautiful sunny day which brought great joy to the participants involved. It served to provide a day of respite to the parents of the special needs individuals who usually have to provide their wards round-the-clock care. Each participant was paired with a Sai volunteer and enjoyed many games including beach volleyball, splashing in the cool ocean water and face painting. The participants enjoyed pizza for lunch and a musical program offered by Sai musicians.
The day was filled with laughter and love. Sai volunteers were especially moved by the selfless service provided by Ability First staff on a daily basis. One of the Sai volunteers noted, “The Ability First staff showed such love and attention to the needs of the clients and made sure that they had a fun day. What was even more inspiring was that the staff had come on their day off to support the clients and Sai volunteers.” The day was an embodiment of Sai Baba’s teaching that service does not only benefit those who are served but also teaches those who serve to become more expansive in their love and to be humbled in the face of the kindness and the humanity of others.