What do you get when you combine the beautiful nature of Mt. Hood, two buses full of people and more than 25 volunteers? Our annual Wildwood Adventure!
This year, Macdonald Center staff and volunteers put together a fun-filled day for more than 100 of our community members so that they could enjoy the wondrous Oregon summer. For many of our members, who have limited resources and rely on public transportation, a trip up to the Mt. Hood Wildwood Recreation area is like a day at summer camp. Complete with lunch, s’mores, games and a raffle, this special excursion each year gives our members the chance to relax, enjoy each other’s company and breathe in the fresh air, away from the hustle of Downtown Portland.
For our community member Kevin, pictured above, the trip to Mt. Hood was something he was looking forward to for weeks. Having never been before, but hearing great things about the trip, Kevin was most excited to see the nature that was in the area. Once he was finally up there, he said he could hear so many birds on the nature walk he took with our staff and volunteers. When asked if he would go again, Kevin said, “It was a really fun trip, with nice people. It was nice to hear all the nature sounds and to be able to talk and eat with all the people. I am excited to go again next year!”
Pictured with Kevin, is one of our stellar volunteers, Janet Packer. Janet came to Macdonald Center through an internship with Clackamas Community College. Janet has been volunteering with us since January 2015 and provides extra support in our community room, by creating a welcoming atmosphere for members, providing them with a warm cup of coffee and a listening ear.
When asked to describe Macdonald Center in three words, Janet said she would use community, inclusivity and resilience. Janet says one the most special things to see at Macdonald Center is how strong the sense of community is between the members. Every day, she sees our members taking care of each other in the community room, by helping each other to get around in their wheelchairs or listening to each other’s struggles and celebrations. This sense of community has been extended to her as well, as our members have included her in the community from day one. She believes that this is a truly an inclusive community, that respects and accepts everyone, regardless of their past or present. For Janet, the other great part of her volunteer work here is the resilience of our members that she witnesses every day. To her, it is amazing that despite some of the hardships our members face, they still visit the Center and leave with a smile.
Through her volunteering experience with us, Janet plans to pursue a career in working with and advocating for vulnerable populations. It is volunteers like Janet, and members like Kevin, that remind us that we all have more similarities than differences.
If you would like to volunteer in our community room, or become a home visitation volunteer, click here to learn more!