Letter: The Gathering Place is a gem

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Editor of the Reformer

There is a white house on Terrace Street in Brattleboro that is creating magic! In this house are folks with many different disabilities, both young and old, from all walks of life. They come to spend the say where they are loved, cared for, treated as individuals, and most importantly respected. It is filled with talk, music, activates, and laughter. It is filled with hope. It is The Gathering Place.

This is a love letter to all the people there. The staff who are skilled and some of the most intuitive and compassionate people I have had the privilege to know, around me. And the clients reflect that compassion as they spend their days together. The kindness and care they show to each other is a tribute to the staff's belief that each individual is unique and worthwhile. Differences here are not just "tolerated," they are truly embraced. And it creates the magic.

One simply can see and feel the sense of belonging as people go about their day. Even if my husband's dementia has him doing laps around the rooms, I am met with smiles and greeting from both staff and clients. When I drop him off it is to gracious and welcoming words of encouragement, physical help if I need it, empathy and a deep understanding, and I know, really know, that he is being treated as a whole person and that the qualities that make Dan, Dan, are appreciated.

We in Brattleboro are so fortunate to have this gem in our town. I want to thank all who participate and keep flourishing. The Gathering Place has made it possible to keep my husband at home. It is an extraordinary gift!

If you are interested in The Gathering Place or the Caregiver Support Group meetings held at The Gathering Place each month, call Jane Smith or Maggie Lewis at 802-254-6559.

Wendy Pauloo

Guilford, June 28

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