Sissy Sheridan: On Charity, Kindness, and Equality
Sissy Sheridan of Chicken Girls Season 3 opened up to us about her experience working with special needs kids. Here’s her story:
I have a heart for people with special needs. For the past year and a half I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to volunteer with kids who have special needs and it’s really been an eye opener. When I first began to volunteer it was hard to get some of the kids to open up and trust me, because of the people who had hurt them before. I don’t think everyone understands the serious amount of bullying people with special needs go through, especially those who are in middle school.
In middle school everyone is trying to “fit in”. The more you stand out, the bigger target you have on your back. As a result, kids with special needs end up getting bullied the most. When I was able to connect with these kids, they told me how mean people can be to them, and how it was great to finally have a friend. This truly brought me to tears.
People with special needs are amazing human beings, and the fact that anyone would treat them otherwise is sickening. I’ve worked with kids who are on the autism spectrum, kids with down syndrome, and kids with physical challenges. They honestly don’t have a single mean bone in their bodies, so the fact that there are people who feel the need to attack them for being different, for being born with a special need, is baffling, disturbing, and downright incomprehensible.
One wave, smile, high five, or “hello” can really help someone get through their day. So, the next time you see someone with a special need, treat them like a human being and try to actually get to know them, try to become their friend. Believe me when I say that the friendships I’ve made through volunteering are some of the most loyal friendships I’ll ever have.
Want to make a difference? Here’s what you can do to help!
1. Check with your school advisor about getting involved as a mentor at your school.
2. Best Buddies International - 1+ 305.374.2233. Call this number to get information about your local chapter.
3. Special Olympics- +1 800-700-8585. Call this number to get information about your local chapter.