CTF gives opportunities to volunteers

Janet Pernell, Multicultural Reporter

After a successful last semester, the Charleston Transitional Facility is coming back to Eastern in the fall.

The CTF provides programs to adults in the Charleston community who have mental disabilities. Volunteers can work with these adults at Eastern every Thursday starting Sept. 15.

Members of the CTF will bring eight to 10 participants from their program.

Participants from CTF will spend time with volunteers doing activities such as walking around campus and eating lunch.

If the weather permits, participants will walk around the quad if not, they will walk around in the McAfee Gymnasium.

Beth Gillespie, the interim director of civic engagement and volunteerism, is looking for six to eight individuals to volunteer with the CTF participants.

Students can volunteer and spend 90 minutes with people from the CTF or be a part of a group that will plan the activities.

CTF first came to Eastern last spring.

“I am really excited that the campus embraced this program in the spring so that we can continue it on through the fall,” Gillespie said. “I think it’s a great way for different student groups to get involved.”

This semester, the CTF will be longer than six weeks. It will begin Sept. 15 and end in the beginning of December. Gillespie said she hopes the CTF can have a repeat of last year’s success.

“I think this is a great way to bring students together to support the individuals at CTF,” Gillespie said. “If you’ve got 90 minutes, it’s a great way to give back and help make somebody’s day a little bit brighter.”

Gillespie said being with the people from the CTF is less intimidating than it seems because they are happy people.

“It can feel like an intimidating population if you haven’t spent much time with them, but they are, 95 percent of the time, super excited about what we’re doing and just being here on campus and spending time with our students,” Gillespie said. “The individuals that are coming and the staff that comes from CTF are cheerful and happy to be here and glad to be doing something different than what their typical days look like.”

Gillespie said it is important to do activities as a community.

“It’s important to take care of each other, and this a great way to support the individuals who participate at CTF, give them a chance to come and see how beautiful our campus is, how awesome our students are, and do something different than what they normally get to experience,” Gillespie said.

Janet Pernell can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]