Elissa Montanti’s Dare to Dream house on Staten Island gives life and dreams to children who have been injured in wars and crises around the world. Restrictions on travel during the pandemic, however, had put a stop to the happy bustle of the boarding house, where children brought for treatment to the United States are housed. Since 1997, more than 450 children have been helped by Montanti’s charity, Global Medical Relief Fund, with prosthetics or surgery. But now a new set of challenges has to be overcome to resume the project. Disease prevention protocols have to be adhered to in a post-pandemic world. The latest arrivals are four Tanzanian children with albinism who have lost their arms to machete attacks by their fellow countrymen and will now have prosthetic arms fitted. Comforting them during their vaccinations and providing them with a sense of security is the work Elissa excels in. “When the kids are in that house, it brings me so much joy,” she says. “There, they are not numbers.”

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