The news cycle can make cynics of the best of us, so it’s good to see stories like this every so often.
It’s a story about a deaf little girl who loved people, ane the neighborhood that loved her right back.
Have your tissues handy, just in case ‘the person beside you’ might have need of one.
What happens when a super-friendly deaf toddler loves people, but can’t talk to them? If they know and understand sign language, they can talk and she lights up like Christmas.
If not, she gets sad that she can’t chat with them.
Two-year-old Samantha Savitz, of Newton Massachusetts, found her way into the hearts of her neighbors, and they took an unusual step.
Her desire for engagement has been painfully obvious to everyone in the neighborhood. Whenever they see her on a walk or in her yard — and Sam tries to be neighborly — they find themselves at frustrating loss for words.
“I didn’t know what to say back. Wouldn’t you like to talk to her?” said one neighbor.
“Basic conversation that one would have with a child,” said another.
“Asking her about her day,” said a third.
“And make her feel that she is part of the neighborhood,” said another neighbor.
“Just be her friend,” another neighbor added.
…On their own, Sam’s neighbors got together, hired an instructor, and are now fully immersed in an American Sign Language class. The teacher, Rhys McGovern, says this is remarkable because a lot of times even the parents of deaf children don’t bother to learn sign language.
“But here Sam has a full community that’s signing and communicating with her and her family, and it is a beautiful story,” Rhys said.
In a real and meaningful sense, they have become Samantha’s NEIGHBORS.
It’s a good reminder to the rest of us… about the opportunities to do REAL good that are just outside our own front door.
Blink, and you could miss them.
And everyone would be the poorer for it.
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