Aleteia

What an entire neighborhood did to communicate with a 2-year-old girl

SAMANTHA SAVITZ
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These neighbors’ efforts demonstrate what it means to be a community.

Two-year-old Samantha Savitz is like many toddlers, eager to communicate with the world around her. When she’s out and about she loves to chat with her neighbors. Yet being deaf stops young Sam from fully interacting with those in her community. While she ends up feeling sad that she can’t join in regular conversation, her neighbors feel frustrated that they too can’t fully engage with their delightful young neighbor.

From wanting to have a regular conversation to just being able to ask how her day has been, Sam’s neighbors in Newton, Massachusetts, decided to come up with a solution. Together they arranged to organize classes in American Sign Language, a move that amazed their instructor Rhys McGovern, who says that even parents of hearing-impaired kids don’t always learn to sign.

In the heart-warming video, you’ll see the neighbors of all ages gather together to learn to communicate with Sam. And the result has made for very delighted parents — who find it impossible to put their gratitude into words — a very content toddler, and neighbors whose hearts have melted for this little girl.

While this level of inclusion is rare, it highlights the need to reach out to the more vulnerable in our communities, and to remember how beautiful it is to truly love thy neighbor.

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