In May 2011, Portage hired Karen Thomas to head up the new Community Engagement and Volunteer Program at the Elora centre. As Volunteer Coordinator, Karen has been seeking out volunteer opportunities for the youth in therapy, as well as establishing a system to welcome volunteers to the rehabilitation centre.
Karen and the residents made the most of the summer by getting involved in community events, festivals, and shows. This volunteer time is not only helping Portage residents put into practice the competencies that they have been learning in the therapeutic community, but it is also helping them to complete the community service hours they need in order to graduate from high school.
Karen has extensive experience working in fundraising and special events management. She has strong community ties in Elora, Fergus, and Guelph, which will greatly facilitate her ability to identify potential volunteers and seek volunteer placements for the residents at Portage Elora. She joins Portage after several years as the Executive Director of Sensational Elora Festival.
The Volunteer Coordinator position was made possible by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.