For the past seven months, Chris W. and Jerome R. have been spending their Tuesday afternoons at the Urban Ecology Center located within Milwaukee’s Washington Park. At the Urban Ecology Center, Chris and Jerome are preparing themselves for jobs in the community by gaining experience volunteering through Goodwill’s Community Access Program. Jerome likes to focus on office work and customer service while Chris enjoys keeping the Urban Ecology Center nice and tidy by helping out with various cleaning tasks throughout the afternoon.
Outside of their typical volunteer days, Chris and Jerome have also attended some of Urban Ecology Center’s Special events that are held throughout the year. For instance, both were a part of the Earth Day event and Autumn Celebration. During these events, Chris and Jerome help out wherever they’re needed and are always willing to lend an extra hand. Jerome states that he attends the special events and keeps going back to the Urban Ecology Center on a weekly basis because of the people. He said, “It kind of feels like a second home to me when I’m there because they’re so welcoming; they’re like a second family.” News of the relationship that these two men have created with the Urban Ecology Center, combined with their hard work and dedication, has been spreading throughout Goodwill.
Chris and Jerome were asked by Goodwill’s Development Department to share their story at the Urban Ecology Center in front of those who donate to Goodwill. This meeting was held to better inform donors on Goodwill’s mission and gave the men an opportunity to present the steps they’ve taken throughout Goodwill’s Community Access Program to prepare for employment in the community. When asked about Chris and Jerome’s presentation, Emily Capelle (Senior Development Manager) said, “Their presentation was an eye-opening experience for those in attendance.” Even though Chris and Jerome will be completing the Community Access Program in December, their relationship with Urban Ecology Center will continue to grow as they plan to continue volunteering whenever they can.
In the photo above:
From left to right, Kelly Horrell , Jerome R., Chris W. and Emily Capelle pose for a picture at the Urban Ecology Center for Chris
and Jerome’s presentation.