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Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Portledge School’s Inclusive Volunteering at AHRC Nassau

Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Portledge School’s Inclusive Volunteering at AHRC Nassau

Categories: Blog, Community Partner, Featured News

Students, teachers, and administrative staff from the Portledge School visited AHRC’s Brookville campus on March 7, for a full day of inclusive volunteering projects.

The group of 80 consisted of the school’s entire eleventh-grade class, excited and eager to learn and lend a hand.A Portledge student helps someone during inclusive volunteering

Students started the day in the Brookville mansion, where AHRC Nassau CEO Stanfort J. Perry, Volunteer Coordinator Jerri Walker, and Community relations Liaison Lynne Brewer greeted them with welcoming speeches.

All three emphasized the importance of community engagement efforts and what is possible when people work toward common goals.

Alongside day services volunteers, the students tackled a range of projects, each designed to meet specific needs within the community.

Students rotated projects every hour working and socializing with people of all abilities. In the Wheatley Farms Farmhouse, they assembled 50 meal kits, enough to feed 200 people. AHRC Nassau volunteers supported with day services donated the kits to NOSH Delivers!, a local hunger relief organization.

They also prepared 75 birthday swag bags given to the Boys and Girls Club of Glen Cove, ensuring that every child feels celebrated and valued on their birthday.

In the mansion, they created 40 bags of dog threats for Last Hope Animal Rescue with long time agency self-advocates Noah Probert and April Kloepfer.

Between lively conversations and friendly jokes, Noah shared the essence of inclusive volunteer projects and heartfelt words with the students.

“Today’s a very important day for the agency because you are our future leaders,” said Noah. “Equality hurts no one and that’s what I want you guys to take away from today. It’s about being inclusive and having fun.”

Additionally, the students took a hands-on approach assisting in the greenhouse and farm, deep cleaning the barn, planting in the greenhouse, and restoring the brickwork to prepare for spring.

Jerri shared, “The dedication and energy of these students is contagious, there is nothing they can’t do. Witnessing these students take on these projects while understanding the broader implications of their efforts, was deeply moving.”

As the day winded down, students acknowledged this as a treasured experience, where they learned about themselves and their shared community.

If you are looking for meaningful volunteer opportunities or your company has a “Day of Service,” please email Jerri Walker of Volunteer Services at jwalker@ahrc.org