Holiday Heroes: Place to Be Me Children's Dispensary

Holiday Heroes: Place to Be Me Children’s Dispensary

SOUTH BEND - For more than 100 years, Place to Be Me Children’s Dispensary Programs has worked with clients facing unique, personal challenges.

First founded in 1909 to serve undernourished children, now the Children's Dispensary provides programming for people with physical, developmental, or cognitive disabilities.

The nonprofit has playrooms, sensory-sensitive rooms, and year-round activities for children and adults to work on emotional, physical, and social development.

The most common diagnoses for clients participating in the School Year and Summer Programs include conditions like down syndrome, autism, and cerebral palsy.

“A lot of them have shared that they don't feel seen when they're at school or something," Program and Office Assistant Mamie Van Goey said. "So when they come here, they feel that these are really their friends. They create this bond with individuals who are just like them, and they don't feel different.”

Clients spend a couple days a week surrounded by people facing their own challenges in a supportive, understanding environment.

Place to Be Me Executive Director Cindy Butt says the biggest challenge is finding volunteers. The nonprofit keeps a four-to-one staff-to-client ratio.

"I don't think that everyone realizes that there's such a need for this in the community," Butt said.

Along with volunteers, Place to Be Me is always looking for donations, which you can find information on HERE.

Enrollment for the next School Year Program starts in January.

Share this article: