I like to think of a cappella as achieving music where you thought there was none.
In other words, creating incredible, beautiful, toe-tapping music without all of the usual instruments and tools necessary to achieve a similar beat and harmony.
How befitting that the Benjamin & Vanda Treiser Maison Shalom would choose Pella, an incredibly talented a cappella group, to provide the entertainment at their annual fundraising event on April 27th.
Maison Shalom is a home that offers exceptional and compassionate care, quality of life, and purpose for intellectually, physically and emotionally disabled individuals who do not have the ability to provide it for themselves.
I recently had the privilege of visiting Maison Shalom, and prior to arriving, I did not know what to expect.
I experienced a warm welcome into a home, with several people around the table playing games while dinner was getting prepared in the kitchen.
I visited bedrooms that were neat & tidy & decorated to the reflect the personalities of the various residents.
Having just met these individuals only a few minutes prior, a glimpse into what hung on their walls or sat on their nightstands told me so much.
Maison Shalom is literally a HOME that does not feel institutional in any way shape or form. It is filled with bedrooms for the residents to sleep in, as well as various areas where they can hang out, exercise, be entertained, eat and / or play. It goes without saying that the washrooms are super-clean, and equipped to make bathing, etc easier for them.
In essence, much like your home or mine
As I walked through Maison Shalom I felt:
There is LOVE in this home.
There is CARE in this home.
There is HAPPINESS in this home.
And as I observed the residents playing their games, I observed that:
There is a sense of INDEPENDENCE in this home (albeit not complete, there is a certain degree that is admirable).
There is LAUGHTER in this home – Even I could see which of the residents are the jokesters of the bunch!
There are RELATIONSHIPS in this home – Clear as day, I could observe the various dynamics between the residents.
What Maison Shalom is, above all other things that it is…is a HOME: A nurturing environment that not only provides care for its residents but also provides some much-needed independence.
It is a HOME, filled with love & laughter, relationships & happiness.
There is a beat to how things move and they seem to move in perfect harmony.
While most people would agree that intellectually, physically and/or emotionally disabled individuals may be lacking some of the necessary tools to march to the beat of life in the same way that so many of us take for granted, I believe that the miracle of Maison Shalom is its ability to create a beautiful, healthy & happy lifestyle for its residents in its unique a cappella way.
Despite the fact that the usual instruments may not be available, the beat and the harmony are beautiful to experience and bring joy not only to those involved in the band but to the observer who can feel the music as well.
I would be remiss not to mention the families of the residents. For any of us who have had to play the role of caregiver at one point or another in our lives, we know how all-consuming it can be. We are quick to advise loved ones playing this role that they need to take some time for themselves, but many do not.
It is important to realize that as much as Maison Shalom provides for its residents, it provides just as much for the families of its residents. It provides comfort and peace of mind knowing that their loved one is not only safe and cared-for but HAPPY.
Worthy of note is that individuals can come for shorter-term stays as well, providing a break and some respite to their family and caregivers.
You can read more about the Benjamin & Vanda Treiser Maison Shalom by visiting their website.
You can also support Maison Shalom by:
- Purchasing tickets to the Pella Event on April 27th (My hubby & I will be there!) – click here
- Volunteering ( Teens can volunteer too- it counts towards their community service hours!)
- Making a donation– no matter how big or small, every little bit helps
Curious about Pella? Check out this sample video :
I hope to see you there on April 27th!
Wishing you a day where everything flows in perfect harmony