On Friday, April 29th, twenty-six National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) students from Memorial Junior High visited the Beachwood location of The Gathering Place, a non-profit organization which provides free, non-medical support and resources for patients, caregivers and family members affected by a cancer diagnosis. The visit began with a fun ‘ice-breaker’ activity during which students, teachers and staff from The Gathering Place stood in a circle and tossed a foam soccer ball around to each other. The soccer ball featured fun questions which helped everyone get to know each other better.
Casey Durkin, Director of Children’s Programming and Volunteer Coordinator Liz Krantz then provided a brief overview of the wide variety of programs offered at The Gathering Place, including art and music therapy, yoga and massage, exercise and nutrition classes, as well as a popular youth summer program centered around activities with animals. The presenters also shared about the upcoming Race for The Place, a 5K Walk or Run to raise support for The Gathering Place and celebrate National Cancer Survivor’s Day on Sunday, June 5th at Beachwood Place. The students then watched a short video featuring testimonies from individuals who have found hope, healing and strength at the Beachwood and Westlake locations.
The students’ visit was not only informative, but provided them an opportunity to give back to the community by cleaning and organizing different areas of the facility. Led by teachers Allison Homrock and Supriya Culliton, the students broke into two groups. The outdoor group cleaned and set up patio furniture in the garden area, while the indoor group cleaned the toy and art rooms. The staff at The Gathering Place was very appreciative of the students’ help, as volunteers play an important role in the organization. To conclude their visit, the students took a brief tour of the facility.
The district would like to thank The Gathering Place for providing our students an opportunity to give back to the greater community.