Jack Heiberger

Daily Point of Light # 3607 Nov 30, 2007

The mission of the Therapeutic Recreation Program (TRP) is to provide opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities to acquire skills which enable them to participate in leisure experiences of their choice and enhance their abilities to function within a community setting. The program often relies on volunteers so that more people can be served and have the opportunity to succeed in the community. Jack has been most instrumental in assisting with the program’s mission by volunteering for aquatics classes and outdoor adventure trips.

Jack has been a volunteer with the TRP since 1997. He approached us to see if he could volunteer during the daytime hours—a much needed time block for volunteers! Jack elected to assist with two separate aquatics classes that the TRP implements on a consistent basis August-May each year: the Aqua-Rehab class which is designed for adults with physical disabilities, and the Aqua-Fitness class which is designed for adults with developmental disabilities. He volunteers two day per week for a total of approximately 20 hours/month. The Aqua-Rehab class utilizes multiple volunteers to ensure the participants actively participate as independently as possible. For this class, he specifically assists a gentleman who sustained a stroke several years ago and has difficulty using his left side for walking and moving in general. Jack assists the participant with completing he general exercises as well as with walking activities in the pool. Without Jack’s assistance, this participant would be unable to take the class of which he values as his “weekly therapy.” Jack has also assisted with the second class, focusing on the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. He has specifically assisted individuals with autism…He helped simplify exercises and gave extra one on one attention to help ensure the class’ success for the participants.

Jack truly enjoys his volunteering and has also been involved in assisting on two separate ski trips: cross-country and downhill as well as dog sledding and rafting trips. He is not afraid to ask what he needs to do and initiates assisting others. He also is sure to communicate any concerns he may have about participants’ well-being to staff.

He demonstrates a willingness to serve persons with disabilities. Not only has he made valuable contributions to the TRP, but because male volunteers are difficult to find during daytime hours, he especially has made a difference for the male participants in the program. His dedication is exemplary!