SINAI Schools
Empowerment Program at Work

June 2013 - As part of their Bear Givers Empowerment project, students from SINAI Schools demonstrated their love and support for victims of Hurricane Sandy by donating customized teddy bears. 

Abigail Hepner Gross, Director of Communications at SINAI Schools said, "During group therapy sessions, the students worked to custom design shirts for the bears and wrote heartfelt letters to the children who would be receiving our donations. It was a phenomenal opportunity for the students to practice their pragmatic language and occupational therapy goals while learning about the importance of giving to those who may be less fortunate than they are." 


“Children from the school who give one of these bears away also get to keep one for themselves. It is a great way for students to feel good about making a difference in someone’s life.”
“Children can also be ‘benefactors.’ The program teaches children that when they do an act of kindness, they receive something in return. When children give away a teddy bear, they receive a teddy bear to take home. The principle seems quite simple, but the result is truly amazing. Children at SLCD identified charitable organizations in other states and countries. They wrote letters to the children in these other programs and sent teddy bears to ‘make other children feel better.’ Despite severe developmental disabilities, each child had something to say about giving a gift. ‘I sent my teddy bear to a little boy in Mexico. He doesn’t have parents. I have a mommy and a daddy. He must be very sad.’ Children’s insights are precious. Letters were then received from the children who received the teddy bears.”
-Long Island Press
“I was proud to make someone happy. It made me feel good inside to help someone else.” -Taylor, Student, South Florida Jewish Academy
“This is a unique opportunity, where the clients who are often the recipients of goodwill, are now empowered to enhance the lives of others.” -Derek Saker, Director of Communications, OHEL
“The feeling the children get when they take that physical bear and that card they created to someone else is very empowering.” -Joseph Sprung, Founder and CEO, Bear Givers