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Speech by Natalie Bentel

End of Year Dinner - Volunteer Speech

By Natalie Bentel 


"I Do Talk To You"

I know you can’t hear me....but I do talk to you.

And I hear everything you say to me too.

I hear when you laugh, when I do something funny.

I hear you yell "Hooray" when I try so hard.

I hear you tell others how you’d never trade me for the world even with all the trials I came with.

I hear you thank God for what a blessing you have been given.

I hear you encourage me when I can almost do it.

I hear you cry, too, when it gets a little harder

And when you ask God "Why?!" your baby.

And I know you know I understand somehow.

And you know I listen when you talk to me too.

But, I want you to know,.......... 

I do talk to you

Friendship circle is an organization, not just any organization its one which strives to make a difference in the lives of so many.  How ? you may ask.  By giving volunteers the opportunity to selflessly give of themselves and to bring happiness not only through this relationship to themselves but to another child, another adult and their families. So many lives are touched, bonds forged and lessons learnt through Friendship circle.

However I am not standing here today to tell you solely about friendship circle, instead I would like to share with you, my experience of being a volunteer with this unique organization.

Close to a year ago after my move from JHB to CT I decided to join friendship circle.  I was privileged to become part of he Silbowitz family and to spend time with a very special little girl, Liora.  Liora and I connected from the first time we met and our relationship has grown and continues to grow every time I go visit her.  When we get together, its Liora time – we walk together around the complex she lives in, we visit her favourite spots, like the bench next to the pool, we draw, colour in, match colours or sometimes we just sit and enjoy each others company. 

I have learnt so much from Liora and her family, the positive energy I feel when I am around the family gives me such purpose.  Its no coincidence that Lioras name is from the Hebrew word Ohr which means light as Liora has put so much light into my life .I have learnt that things may not always seem perfect, yet its how you see them, how you interpret them and how you reflect them that is important and can make the difference.  I have learnt that happiness is contagious!  For all these lessons and for opening my eyes to life, I thank you Liora Sharen and Norman.

 I am a special needs child you see,
I am your teacher if you allow me, 
I will teach you how important it is to live,

But more importantly how to give.

How precious life is, you will learn to see

We all need to learn it’s not about me,

We need to reach out and learn to share

And show each other that we really care

You need to have faith together with hope

And never to think that you can’t cope,

Your needs, desires you will learn to forget

I will teach you how to never regret.


Unconditional love is what you will learn

my innocent trust you don’t have to earn

I will teach you whatever you need to know

So that you will continue to grow.


I would just like to thank Sara and the whole friendship circle team for giving us this opportunity. The work you are doing brings so much happiness to so many people and I hope you never underestimate that and for this we are eternally grateful.

Thank you 


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