Sarah and Gina grew up together at the JCC. Diagnosed with autism at a young age, they both attended Camp Haverim – a summer program at the JCC for children with special needs – and then went on to enjoy a full plate of Sunday Fun Day activities and other programs offered at the “J” through our Guttenberg Center for Special Services. They particularly enjoyed bowling and going to the movies, and learning how to cook in the JCC teaching kitchen. Now young adults, Gina and Sarah have their own JCC memberships and meet at the “J” every Monday night. They work out. They swim. They order snacks in the café. They chat in the upstairs library. They laugh…and most importantly, for a few hours they are part of a community that allows them to enjoy all the simple ordinary moments that most of us take for granted. As Lisa, Gina’s mom, shares: “When I see my daughter and Sarah walk into a café and order a meal, or hear someone say hi to her by name in the hallway, I well up inside because the JCC makes the ordinary possible. It makes friendship possible; and it brings comfort to parents like me who just want to see my child get what everyone else gets – an ordinary life! When people say it takes a village, they are right because the JCC is my village. It’s a warm and welcoming world with a loving staff who are truly vested in making Gina and Sarah members of their community.