Los Angeles Angels baseball superstar, Albert Pujols, along with his wife Deidre made a historic visit to the new Shalva National Children’s Center on Sunday, November 20 during the course of his maiden trip to Israel. This was the first time a major American baseball icon had ever visited Shalva and was arranged by Shimrit Goldberg’s “Experiencing Israel.”
Shalva is renowned all over the world for providing state-of-the-art care and community outreach services to thousands of families with special needs children in Israel, including those with Down syndrome. Mr. & Mrs. Pujols’ oldest child, Isabella, has Down syndrome. Since 2005, The Albert Pujols Foundation has also provided a wide array variety of activities to both special needs andDown syndrome children in five different cities across the USA.
Mr. and Mrs. Pujols were given an eye-opening VIP tour of Shalva’s brand new $55 million dollar facility by Avi Samuels, the organization’s CEO.
“I feel blessed that through my own life experience with my daughter, she has taught me to give back to people with disabilities so that they can develop their full potential in life and give back to society,” said Albert. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to visit Shalva and to see what is done in Israel to assist youngsters with disabilities and was impressed with their unique facilities which don’t exist anywhere else.”
Avi Samuels added, ”We were privileged to host Albert and Deidre Pujols who do so much all over the world for people with disabilities. Albert maintained that this was not a one-time visit to Shalva, but rather the beginning of a long term friendship, where we will work together to do great things for special needs people of all ages in the near future. Shalva is excited about forging this important relationship with Albert, Deidre and their worthy foundation.”