DAWN: “...a comfortable environment in which to celebrate the Good News”
Daniel and his mom, Melissa, were among the special needs families that attended an Easter event at Calvary Lutheran Church in Wood Dale, Illinois. The inclusive celebration was designed to put into practice the REST (Respite Education and Support Tools) training recently received by members of the congregation.
"I witnessed God's love take place as the young people of Calvary quickly made friends with the special needs children who attended,” related Rev. Richard Heller, Calvary’s pastor.
Daniel’s sisters Nicole and Giovanna enjoyed the day because “the people were friendly and welcoming.”
“My favorite part was the Easter egg activity,” shared Nicole. “There was the surprise of what was inside and the fun of learning facts about Easter and Jesus.”
Dawn Leardi, Special Needs Team Member, explained, “One of the reasons for the event’s success is because our preteen Sunday School students participated. They took a modified REST training class and served as buddies for the children with special needs who attended."
She continued, "This allowed the children to feel welcome, relaxed, and participate fully in the events. As a result, everyone had a comfortable environment in which to celebrate the good news of Easter.”