Volunteering at Janet Pomeroy Center
Erin Fergus '15
A huge struggle for every SI student is finding a place to volunteer that simultaneously challenges and motivates the individual. Many students have found enjoyment at the Pomeroy Recreation and Rehabilitation Center (PRRC), also known as the Janet Pomeroy Center (JPC). Volunteering here offers a new, intimate perspective into the lives of the men- tally and physically disabled. To clarify, the Pomeroy Center is an institution for disabled children, teens, adults, and seniors that teaches them how to find jobs, fill their time during the day, and sup- port themselves. The Center provides various games, activities, and special events for everyone, abled or disabled, to enjoy.
“I had very little experience with the disabled community before my core project at the JPC. My experience working with the kids was truly trans- formative,” declares Pomeroy Club President, Maddy McNamara.
“I agree,” chimes in one of McNamara’s three co-presidents Brenna Smith, “The disabled community has probably morally enlightened me more than any class or book could have.”
When discussing the goals of the Pomeroy Club, co-president Julia Brunner states, “The Pomeroy Center is a wonderful resource for so many people, but it is too frequently forgotten. The Pomeroy Club strives to provide students with a method of interacting with the clients of the Center that are often marginalized by our society. They hope to create lasting bonds of support and promote the Center itself.” The club’s moderator Mr. DeBenedetti adds, “I think it is a humbling and empowering experience at the same time. It is humbling because students see how much they take for granted in their own lives, and empowering be- cause students can see how just a few hours of their time can have such a big impact in the life of someone else.”
Over the past years, SI has incorporated our local disabled community through the SI versus Pomeroy Center Basketball Game. This year on April 9th, clients of all ages will gear up to play and dance with SI students and faculty in McCullough Gymnasium.
Another way to get involved is to volunteer on April 17th and 18th for the Center’s Special Olympics. (Sign-ups for both events are in front of Room 221.) Whatever method a student decides to participate at the Pomeroy Center, whether through the club or on their own, will accept any new and serious volunteers who want to have fun and make someone’s day a little bit brighter. The club meets every Wednesday.
Teachers cheer on both sides of the basketball game.
Choose groups to clone to: