A hero is defined as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Through my 39 years of being an occupational therapist I have had the privilege of working with some amazing heroes, but none more so than when I created The Wellsongs Project through the not-for-profit Touching Humanity (www.touchinghumanityinc.org). I created Touching Humanity when between theatre gigs in 2007 (I became an Equity actor in 2010). It combined the two careers I love, "occupational therapy and the performing arts" and it gave me a different and meaningful purpose in life. We started by creating performing arts classes for children with special needs, where in just 6 sessions, the children made enormous gains in self-esteem, confidence, motor, social and emotional skills.
The Wellsongs Project sprang from my work with these children with special needs and their families. Those children and families are the Heroes among us. The process is simple: I search for families interested in being a part of the project, we schedule a time together, we visit, interview and write a song for the child and family.
The process started that simply, however, the project eventually took on a life of its own. The children and families deserved more than that and the children and families deserved to be honored in a greater way. All the families hope that increased awareness of their child's ability and not DISability would be recognized by this project, and that their stories would inspire more advocacy.
With each set of Wellsongs, we do the following:
- Send the composed song to the child and family
- Compile the songs and create a concert honoring the children and families
- Create a theatrical event to highlight the joys, struggles, hopes and dreams of the families
This has been and is the privilege of my life, and I hope you enjoy exploring the lives of these children and families and work towards occupational and social justice and advocacy for those with disabilities and who are differently abled.
Should our work inspire you to the extent you wish to help us, any donation or sponsorship of the Project is welcome.Â All donations are tax deductible. You can send a donation via:
- Checks made payable to Touching Humanity, Inc. and mailed to 20 W 64th St. Suite 17L, NY, NY 10023
- By credit card by clicking the donate button on this site
We can also bring the project to your city. Please contact me at email@example.com
ALL donations go to The Wellsongs Project programming.
Michael A. Pizzi, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Founder, The Wellsongs Project