Just for Smiles

by Attila Bekker September. 16, 2011 10760 views

My employer encourages every employee to take one day per year for various charity activities, such as cleaning the forest, renovating orphanage buildings or helping old people to visit the circus. I chose to help polyhandicapped persons to take a trip to the mountains, pushing them in special bikes called joëlettes on the trekking paths. The activity was organized by the foundation Just for Smiles [just4smiles.ch], who are also organizing sailing and skiing excursions for the handicapped.

We met in the small mountain town of Villars-sur-Ollon, where we received our instructions. Our group of almost 20 volunteers walked to the train station, where we met the four handicapped persons and rode the train up to the top of the mountain. Moving the joëlette forward required a well coordinated effort of two persons, one in the front, one in the back, and we also had one person on each sides, making sure that our passenger was comfortable and well entertained. We stopped for a small picnic on the mountain, with the fantastic view on Les Diablerets across the valley. We had a great time, feeling a special sort of pride and happiness for making a little difference, helping others who are less fortunate and otherwise could not enjoy such simple things as a hike in the mountains.

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