About The Polus Center
Founded in 1979, The Polus Center
began by contributing to the development of innovative alternative residential and employment models to support people with developmental disabilities. In 1997, the Polus Center expanded its work in Massachusetts to begin international humanitarian efforts aimed at addressing the long-term needs of people with disabilities, particularly those individuals who lost limbs due to acts of war, landmines and diseases. In Latin America, several prosthetic clinics and rehabilitation outreach services were established, as well as a wheelchair manufacturing facility.
The Polus Center has since supported vulnerable people throughout the world, including landmine victims in Nicaragua, Peru, Honduras, and Colombia; people living in leprosy communities in Ethiopia, and child war refugees now living in Jordan who have experienced the horrors of the Syrian civil war. In addition to providing trauma services and rehabilitation in Jordan, Polus is currently supporting coffee farmers and their families in Colombia who have been displaced and injured by landmines, and will be beginning work with victims of violence, especially women, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In Massachusetts, the Polus Center offers support for people living in the North Central region (Athol, Petersham, Barre and surrounding towns) by providing Adult Family Care services to help senior citizens and people with disabilities remain in their own homes. Polus also works with the Leominster Career Center (the Disabilities Employment Initiative) and the MA Commission for the Blind to provide internships, college career pathways, and employment opportunities throughout the North Central MA region.
In the spring of 2017, the Polus Center will begin offering a Career Exploration After School program and summer internships for high school students who are legally blind living in the North Central and Metro West regions of Massachusetts, and will continue Project SEARCH with the MA Commission for the Blind to provide internships and professional development programs in Boston.
This fundraiser will raise funds to support the Polus Center’s work, especially with farmers in Colombia who have stepped on landmines (through a matching grant, contributions will be doubled), and for the North Central MA employment programs through the Disabilities Employment Initiative and the MA Commission for the Blind.