We’re celebrating Volunteer Week! We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our amazing volunteers who dedicate their time to brightening our organization and community!

Michelle Purcell and her family have been spreading joy at the Jack Boschert Center since its doors first opened. Their story is all about the awesome power of giving back to the community and making things brighter for everyone involved.

We asked Michelle about her family’s volunteering journey with Community Living and the memorable times they’ve had.

How did the Purcell family get involved in volunteering with Community Living?

When the Jack Boschert Center opened its doors, the Purcell family started volunteering with the Heritage Girls organization. Michelle was the service coordinator and helped set up the first annual Fall Party, Christmas Party, and Valentine’s Party at the Boschert Center. Though they’re no longer part of the Heritage Girls, they’ve continued the tradition of helping with parties and other fun activities. “Since my younger kids were homeschooled, I could bring them along to the parties, so the whole family could participate. After the first couple of years, my family started volunteering at other times during the year – Thanksgiving meal, Summer crafts/fun days, Craftability Days, playing games, etc.”

What’s most rewarding about volunteering at JBC?

Michelle said, “I have absolutely loved watching my kids grow more comfortable with the clients of JBC. It warms my heart to see them remember names and feel comfortable interacting with the clients, regardless of their disabilities. Since the beginning, the center has been very open and welcoming to educating my kids (whether as part of a group or individually) with the skills and abilities to interact with individuals with disabilities. Anytime we leave the Center, we all have a smile on our faces and spend many hours recounting the fun experiences. My husband has never been able to join us due to his work schedule; he enjoys hearing all about the day’s activities and the friendships formed through our years with JBC.”

Some of their favorite activities and memories include playing UNO and other games with the clients, doing crafts with Joe at the first Christmas party, helping clients tie-dye shirts, coloring with Grace, and hanging out with Maddie before she transitioned to the Young Adult Program.

Michelle also shared some quotes from her children about some things they’ve learned:

“That even at 8 years old, I can help someone else.”

“There are a wide range of adults at the center with different disabilities that I have learned to interact and communicate with.”

“People with disabilities just have a different way of communicating and living.”

“People with disabilities can still have fun.”

From holiday parties to craft days, the Purcell crew has made a ton of memories at JBC. The Purcell family’s dedication to spreading joy embodies what Community Living is all about. They’ve shown us that a little kindness can go a long way!