The Baer School
Giving back not only impacts the people we strive to help, but it impacts us as well. We are equally as touched by the hearts and minds of those we help as they are by us.
One major event we had was at the Baer School in Baltimore. This Baltimore City Public School has served children with severe disabilities for over 75 years. During Southway’s service day, we engaged in everything from assisting teachers in a variety of classrooms, to helping organize supplies for staff, and building maintenance.It was enlightening to learn that they not only teach the students, but they provide various types of therapy, social work, medical assistance and are a M.O.V.E (Mobility Opportunities Via Education) International Model Site.
Below is a testimonial from Matt Bolyard, one of Southway’s Vice Presidents who volunteers at the Baer school regularly after his first experience:
“My experience at the Baer School started when Southway hosted one of its “sweat equity” give-back events. I was admittedly a little worried at first; the setting of the school can be pretty overwhelming with the level of disabilities amongst the students. However, almost immediately, upon meeting some of the students in the classroom that I was assigned, any fear or inhibitions went out the window. Specifically, two students, Tyshawn and Justin (both wheelchair-bound), took to me right away. Given how excited they were to meet a new friend, you would have thought I was a long-lost brother or something. It was just wonderful to hang out with them and help them learn. What was really great is that I quickly steered away from seeing them as persons with disabilities and just began to see them as any other friend. Since that visit, I regularly visit the school and have made many more friends along the way in other classrooms, but I ALWAYS make it a point to stop by Justin and Tyshawn’s classroom to say hello (the “long lost brother” response never changes!).”
The connections made with these students have stuck for multiple employees, and we are happy to be a part of helping them grow. For more information on the Baer School and how to volunteer, visit https://www.thebaerschool.org/school/.