BROOKLYN, N.Y., June 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- You can hear empathy as Tom Gambaro describes the pandemic.
"When I saw what was happening during this crisis, it felt really bad," Gambaro says. "Most of the patients in the hospital could be relatives of other people or even old friends. I saw how hard doctors and nurses were working to make things better. So that's when it hit me: I decided to take matters into my hands."
The 27-year-old Marine Park artist, inspired by Museum of Modern Art Educators and the AHRC New York City art staff, molded 20 clay figurines of doctors and nurses. He has sold them on his Instagram page: @thomastheamazingartist. He plans to donate half the proceeds to support front-line workers at Mount Sinai Hospital.
The pandemic has been difficult for all New Yorkers, but especially so for individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities who benefit from regularly scheduled supports. In March of 2020, AHRC NYC's in-person programs, including day, employment, ArTech services and schools, had to pivot to virtual options. This marked a first in AHRC NYC's 72-year history. Join AHRC NYC in helping thousands of people with disabilities realize their potential.
'I Just Knew I Made a Difference.' "At first, it was a hard time," Tom says. "But after I made the hospital staff [figurines] I just knew I made a difference."
Art provides Tom with a creative outlet, which allows him to express his feelings.
"Through his art, Tom has brought smiles to the faces of many over the past year. Not only has Tom brought people joy through his art, but he also has thought of ways he could positively impact his community," says Pola-Ana Mora, AHRC NYC's ArTech Manager."
Tom's family is proud, too. "He's such a good person," Tom's father, Frank, says. "He cares about people."
Book Boosts Confidence The 12-year-old Bushwick boy has autism and has been drawing "for a long time," he says. Drawing is something his mother Susann Sanders instilled in all four of her children. His mother, Susann Sanders, says he's "a man of small and not many words." He did not use words to communicate for a few years, but his language skills are improving. He's more at ease expressing himself through drawing.
Cylas is a student at AHRC New York City's Middle High School. His book has increased his confidence. "I want to see how far he can go," his mom says.
"Cylas represents all that we strive for at the MHS," says Christopher Uccellini, Principal at AHRC NYC's Middle High School. "His growth is another example of how the sky is the limit."