The WeHUB (West Hartford Unified Business) Holiday party brought together 2 high schools in a perfect storm of hunger, pizza, presents, the occasional high pitched yell and laughter.
At such a busy time of year it was so nice to shed our hats, gloves, scarves and to-do lists and sit around a long wooden table in cozy Luna's with the smell of garlic and pizza in the air.
This group has a genuine interest in each other and a certain calm contentment settled in the group. We have a lot of little victories and achievements to celebrate. We are an after school club where teens both with and without disabilities work together to create businesses that will follow the students into adulthood.
We got together because we heard that 90% of adults with autism are unemployed. We decided we could do better for our fellow human beings because we believe THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS TO LIVE A LIFE OF PURPOSE. We've created a website, a product line and a growing community of supporters.
While waiting for the pizza, we pulled numbers, threw our "gently used/rejected" presents in the mix and began the potentially ruthless but (Spoiler!) ultimately heartwarming yankee swap.
While W eyed the snow cone maker, Q seemed happy with his fart noise gun until he spotted the Bob Ross chia pet.
After a brief reiteration of the rules (low number going first, each person picks a present and unwraps it, deciding whether to keep or swap), gifts were unwrapped and swapped. The gloves were off.
Just when it started to get intense, H, in a very sweet gesture, swapped his present to someone who wanted it more and then gave away his remaining present altogether. Of course, no fuss was made, no grand gesture. I would have missed it if I didn't look over at that second.
You wouldn't know it reading the news, but there are wonderful human beings in the world spreading their awesomeness around wherever they go.
When I spend time with this group of teens, I have so much hope for the future. We are so lucky to have the most creative, kind and fun-to-be-around club members in the universe. Here's to 2019 and the adventures we will have together. <3