It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas with the 44th annual Touch, Smell, Hear event kickstarting the holiday season at The Health Museum.
Children with special needs filed through the doors Monday morning, Dec. 4, for a joyous time of carols, food and drinks and a special performance, all of which was hosted by the Harris County Medical Society (HCMS) Alliance.
For many of the children that attend the event, it is their first time participating in Christmas festivities and even having the opportunity to meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. This is impactful for the children since some of them have only heard, or dreamed, of the moment. In addition, the children get more than taking pictures with Santa at Touch, Smell, Hear. They also leave holding a new pal, a teddy bear provided by the HCMS Alliance.
“We like to come so the kids have an opportunity [to experience Christmas]. It motivates them,” Melody Barroga, Field Elementary School’s Special Education Department Chair, said. “They don’t have anyone giving them anything, so the bear means a lot to them.”
This year, the HCMS Alliance made the event even more memorable by providing a magic show, filling The Health Museum with laughter.
“We’ve been coming for 17 years and it’s been such a wonderful experience,” Maria Delong, a special education teacher from Cunningham Elementary School, said. “All the volunteers welcome them and make them really experience Christmas.”
Touch, Smell, Hear brings together children of all ages with physical and learning challenges and presents a Christmas they’ll never forget.
“Some of these children only get one field trip and this is it,” Barbara Butler, HCMS Alliance member, said. “They love coming and we love having them.”