Simcha Layeled turns “pain into smiles” for thousands of children each year. Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, this charitable organization helps children with various illnesses — and their families — find relief through holistic solutions and care, mentorship, and lifelong friendships. With a focus on helping children reach their greatest personal potential, Simcha Layeled staff and volunteers ease the effects of physical limitations or ailments by preparing, strengthening, and opening the future to possibility.
Chronic illnesses and disabilities impact children far more than is immediately apparent. In some cases, a disease is not visible, and the efforts to get adequate support from government agencies, schools, and individuals in the community can be challenging and traumatic for the family. With the intention to create an inclusive environment and experiences, Simcha Layeled’s programs celebrate the uniqueness of members and encourage their full participation in a safe space with the help of peers, professionally trained staff, and hundreds of carefully screened volunteers.
One of Simcha Layeled’s most-beloved programs is mentorship, which matches a child with a “Big Brother” or “Big Sister,” who serves as a life coach and counselor. Program requirements are quite involved, with the “Big” meeting weekly with the “Little” at home — or at the hospital if the child is recovering from or receiving medical treatment — and escorting him or her to parties, fun days, and camps organized by Simcha Layeled. The close friendship that develops between child and mentor increases the child’s self-confidence, accelerates healing, and can also help prepare the child for healthy relationships outside the program.
COVID-19 has created great risks for Simcha Layeled members, many of whom live with compromised immune systems. With lockdowns keeping members confined to their homes, the organization has tapped into creative ideas to safely support and connect them to the right resources to prevent regression and emotional hardship exacerbated by isolation. Outdoor activities, online programs, and entertainment — as well as special visits — have kept the heart of Simcha Layeled beating strong for its members.
With many graduates of Simcha Layeled returning to support the next generation, this organization continues to enrich the community and advocate for those who cannot do so for themselves. And it is an uplifting experience for volunteers whose reward is to see pain turn into radiant, healing smiles.
Rimini Street is a proud financial supporter of Simcha Layeled’s remarkable programs. To learn more and to support an organization that is changing and brightening the lives of thousands of children each year, please visit the Simcha Layeled website today.