Creating a better life at Cori’s Place

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Non-profit helps individuals with disabilities

HANOVER TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Some may only see limitations when it comes to people with intellectual disabilities. But a local non-profit sees possibility. Its mission is to help individuals with disabilities create a better life. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller shows us how.

Who’s up for some lively exercise? Some men and women at Cori’s Place sure are. They are clients of the adult day program founded in 2002 for people with intellectual disabilities.

“We started with five individuals and we’re up to 57 now,” said Tara Gwilliam.

She is more than the CEO of Cori’s Place. She is the sister of the woman for whom the non-profit is named.

“My parents founded it after Cori graduated from high school. They weren’t really a fan of what they saw for Cori,” Ms. Gwilliam said.

Since then, clients from Luzerne and Wyoming Counties participate in structured activities which allow them to build on their existing capabilities.

Ms. Gwilliam explained, “A lot of our individuals need to work on the everyday life skills that you or I might take for granted. So, it could be social skills, how to interact with people appropriately or it could be money skills.”

Many Cori’s Place clients take what they learn and volunteer in the community including at Friedman JCC in Kingston where they help serve meals to seniors and clean up afterwards. 24-year-old Sarah is among the helpers.

“I like the older people to feed them. I think older people are great and it’s real fun,” she said.

They are also filling a real need according to Friedman JCC Adult Cultural Director Barbara Sugarman. “I can’t do it without them,” she said. “I was really short-handed. They jumped in to help me even more so this year.”

To show its appreciation, Friedman JCC held a celebratory pizza and ice cream party on Wednesday for the weekly volunteers. And there’s a lot to celebrate.

Of the various community organizations where clients from Cori’s Place volunteer, their relationship with the JCC is the longest. It’s a partnership of 16 years whose value is hard to put a price on. Now that’s something worth celebrating.

Cori’s Place offers part-time and full-time day program enrollment. Click here to learn more about the non-profit group.

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