WBZ Cares: How SNAP Was Founded

Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc. (Photo Credit: Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc./Facebook)

Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc. (Photo Credit: Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc./Facebook)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc. (SNAP) which provides people with disabilities opportunities that celebrate each person's unique abilities while cultivating creative expression, building peer relationships, and fostering self-esteem through life-enhancing activities in the arts.

The beginning of Special Needs Arts Programs, SNAP, goes back more than 35-years when two Lexington teachers, and friends, both musicians, decided those with disabilities needed a program offering educational, vocational and social opportunities. So Marilyn Abel developed a chorus program.

“These special needs participants didn’t have to have any musical training or ability. Everybody was welcome no matter what. We were going to provide a recreational activity for them that was very warm and welcoming,” said Abel.

And her friend and fellow teacher, Judy Goldner, helped out.

“Music is an activity in which people can participate on almost any level and have it be successful,” Goldner stated.

Together, Marilyn and Judy formed SNAP, which has helped those with disabilities for more than three-decades.

“They’re a sharing group and a community group. They’ve had very few opportunities in their lives to do community service and we provided, and they love it,” Abel commented.

Ron Rosenbaum is a board member of SNAP, and parent of a chorus member. He says those in the chorus really enjoy the concerts they perform.

“Just to see the enthusiasm that they have and the way they really go at it. Any of the concerts that they go out and sing and they are all out,” Rosenbaum concluded.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Doug Cope Reports

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