The Children's Institute Blog

Transition Tuesdays: Global Links

Posted: Mar 20, 2018 by The Children's Institute

Noah Hewitt, a student at The Day School at The Children’s Institute, circles the table knowingly with a hand-held bin filled with medical supplies – baby-bottle tops, plastic IV tubing, and paper masks. Spotting the correct match, he reaches a gloved hand into the bin and starts sorting.

“I like sorting and stuff,” said Noah, 18, who this morning is sporting his customary Pittsburgh Pirates gear. “I’ve sorted here a couple of times. It’s easy for me!”

Noah is one of nearly a half-dozen transition-age Day School students who trek to Global Links in Green Tree, Pa. each week to sort supplies. This week, the supplies they’re sorting – donated by area hospitals and doctors’ offices – are being sent to a rural region of Bolivia. More than 20 bins are stretched across the table. The Day School Community Based Instruction coaches place a different donated medical supply item in each bin. Then, students have to scan the table to find the correct match as they sort through a large array of donated medical supplies. Noah describes the task as easy – but this job takes a lot of concentration and attention to detail.

“I sort!” declares Nick Williams, 16, with a wide grin. “It’s a good job.”

This volunteer job at Global Links is a good way to get transition-age students involved in community work. It also teaches students the skills they’ll need after they graduate from The Day School. The impact on both sides of the job is not small.

“For the vast majority of the groups, they come one time a year. The university groups come one time a semester. Some come once a month and some, like The Day School, come one time each week,” said Stacy Bodow, outreach and engagement manager at Global Links. “Very rarely does a group come once and then not come again.”

One out of every eight hours a volunteer gave at Global Links in 2017 came from a group of volunteers with special needs, Stacy said. There were 135 visits by those 10 groups, accounting for nearly 2,100 hours of service.

“It’s great,” Stacy added. “In so many ways, it helps us to slow down – and helps us to appreciate the person.”

The Day School is grateful to have a positive relationship with Global Links, allowing our transition-age students to experience meaningful volunteer work in our community.

For more information on transition and JobSpan services at The Day School, contact enrollment coordinator Ashley Harland at 412-420-2222.

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