The non-profit organization Gift of Life USA held its annual gala this past weekend of April 24, 2022, with the theme “Memberless Wings” followed by the unique message of “Celebrate Life”.
Gift of Life USA was founded by Paresh, Flora, and Dr. Harshil Parekh, with the goal of helping “people with special disabilities and fostering acceptance and empathy, bridging the gap between the different communities that make up our society,” the organization said in a press release.
The gala highlighted the organization’s work over the years – championing, supporting and raising awareness of the exceptional talent and drive of several distinguished individuals of varying abilities with various disorders – autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, Spraying, visual and auditory Impaired, etc.
“Their different abilities didn’t stop them from achieving the impossible,” the press release reads. The Gala allows sponsors, donors and supporters to meet the beneficiaries they will support and see their talents for themselves.
Hosted by Dr. Harshil Parekh and Heeta Thakkar, the gala championed, raised awareness and honored the support of their very own Suffolk County Police Officer, Double Amputee, Matias Ferreira and 14 World Records plus 3 Guinness Books Records Maker Amputee Athlete Amy Palmiero-Winters” who are true role models with the message that “Life Without Limbs Is Limitless”.
Sheila Carpenter, honored for epileptic kidney donation, delivered a confident message about donating a kidney and saving lives.
The event began with a patriotic national anthem by FREE Ensemble followed by a kick-off to “Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav” tribute to India’s 75 years of independence by Jagdish Sewhani.
The live performance of the young and energetic dancer Angel, as well as the vocals of Varsha Joshi and Group shook the ground. Trustees Shashi Malik, Kamlesh & Mrudula Parekh, Amarish Kachhy, Neela Pandya and with the blessings of Purnima and Tejal Desai, welcomed and thanked several presidents of organizations, community leaders, sponsors, supporters for their continued support year after year . Directors Kalpana Patel and Mayur Dalal have shared their distant wishes. Kaul Photography has created memories with their photographs.
The organizers thanked everyone who helped make this event a success.
The organization conducts various programs and activities, namely, “Save a Child” Support, “We are Special” Talent & Skill Recognition, “Health & Education”, “Awareness”, “College Scholarships for “Differently-Abled” and ” Service Dog Support Program’. The organization awards scholarships to students with autism who attend college, promotes and showcases the talents of people with disabilities, and generally helps the community with special needs in health and education and much more.
Besides fighting social stigma by raising awareness of different disorders, the real strength of Gift of Life USA lies in the funding and support it gives to people with these various physical and mental disorders, the founders said and urged the Indian-American community to embrace and share the organization’s vision of acceptance and compassion for people with disabilities.
For donations and more information, visit our website at www.giftoflifeus.org.