Because No Child Should Ever Feel Alone…

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Abhijeet, in orange, stands outside his home in Pune, India with his mother Vimal, his grandmother and his youngest brother.

Every afternoon, 30-year-old Vimal picks up her three boys from school. Her 12-year-old son Abhijeet climbs on her back, and she carries him up, up, up …

Up three flights of steep, rickety stairs — so narrow, you have to turn sideways at places to fit. She ducks under electric wires, and is careful to avoid the sharp, cutting edges of serrated tin.

Three flights up, and the family arrives — exhausted — to their single-room house in a slum community in India.

Abhijeet, the oldest son, has always struggled to walk because of a leg deformity. He also has a learning disability, and rarely speaks. The children in his neighborhood exclude him from games and festivals. Already struggling financially, Vimal and her husband couldn’t afford his school fees — much less resources to care for the specialized therapies he would need to help his legs and communication.

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Vimal and her mother climb down the stairs from their home. Vimal has to carry her 12-year-old son up and down these dangerous stairs each day.

Vimal said she doesn’t mind carrying her child up the stairs, but it breaks her heart to see him teased and harassed. Vimal’s youngest son dreams of being a doctor, but she feared that Abhijeet would never dare to dream because of his learning disability.

That’s why Holt’s regional partner came to Vimal, offering help from the Molly Holt Fund for Children with Special Needs. Holt sponsors helped enroll the children in school — including Abhijeet. Abhijeet’s teachers worked to educate the community about special needs, and more resources from the Molly Holt Fund helped Abhijeet access therapies to help him learn to express himself.

“It is very hard to support a son with disabilities,” Vimal says, “but now, we have help. Abhijeet is able to have fun and learn.”

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A view of neighborhood children from the stairs leading up to Vimal and Abhijeet’s home. Often isolated and alone, Abhijeet is often teased or excluded because he has special needs.

Because of gifts to the Molly Holt Fund, Abhijeet can access the resources he needs to feel like a regular child — school, friends, medical care.

But so many struggling families around the world are waiting for the same help. Today, with a gift to the Molly Holt Fund, you can help a child with special needs access the resources he or she needs to thrive — whether that’s emergency surgeries, special equipment or specialized therapies.

Just like that, a small gift can transform the life of a child with special needs — because EVERY child deserves the same opportunities to succeed.

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