Home Is Where The Special Needs Heart Is
Our family loves going to hotels. Any will do, but it’s a major treat when it’s one like the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel in California. We splurged on a stay after our trip to Disneyland. I expected it to be gorgeous; I never expected to find special needs awesome-ness there.
Our room (before the kids invaded it)
Every morning, the beach was filled with surfers
The main outdoor pool
Drinks around the fire pit at the 180blu lounge
So, yes, we were happy to hang out at the hotel. But what made me especially happy was this sight:
The lobby was full of surfboards. As it turns out, the Ritz Carlton was hosting its sixth annual Surfers Healing Auction. The nonprofit enables children with autism to surf at day camp programs. Last year, volunteers helped over 4500 kids hit the waves.
Surfers Healing was founded by parents Izzy and Danielle Paskowitz; their son, Isaiah, has autism and sensory issues. Izzy was a former competitive surfer who’d take Isaiah surfing by seating him on the front of the surfboard and steering from the back. Surf camps have taken place in Hawaii, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico and Toronto.
The boards included ones created by artists, one by designer Marc Jacobs, boards formerly owned by famous surfer pros and even one signed by the crew of The Voice. I especially loved the Red Hot Chili Peppers design:
Every single time I walked by a board, I got the warm fuzzies and it wasn’t the balmy California weather. It felt amazing to see a ritzy hotel doing good for kids with special needs. In fact, the auction raised $24,601 for Surfers Healing.
Being the parent of a child with special needs can feel lonely at times, especially when you are traveling and surrounded by families with so-called typical children. It’s comforting to be reminded that people out there care. Home may be where the heart is, but hotels with heart most definitely feel like home.
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