Jennifer Kulka Program Coordinator, REM Hennepin
Grant Recipient, Our Dance Place
Jennifer Kulka has been volunteering with Our Dance Place in Minnesota for the past year. The organization’s vision is to offer a safe enjoyable social environment for individuals with disabilities. The club partners with local VFW Halls and Banquets of Minnesota to have a space to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to get together with friends in a safe hassle free social environment, dancing, dining, talking and having fun with their friends.
Jennifer became invested in the mission of Our Dance Place when she was seeking a social experience for her cousin and has been volunteering weekly ever since. At the dances she welcomes and checks attendees in at the door, and socializes and dances to ensure everyone has fun. She also helps organize special events such as the monthly birthday celebration and the spring formal where they crown a king and queen, an experience many who come to Our Dance Place did not have in high school.
“I have seen photos and heard her tales of volunteering, dancing the night away, and helping everyone who is at the dances enjoy every moment,” said Cailan Sockness, HR Coordinator at REM Hennepin. “Jennifer is truly an inspiration and has and will continue to positively shape the community around her.”
Our Dance Place is run solely by volunteers who believe in spreading the mission of offering a place where everyone belongs. Jennifer’s commitment to the organization has helped Our Dance Place grow to four weekly dances, and counting, that welcomes nearly 300 people in total. “My motivation for volunteering there is knowing how much individuals look forward to the dance each week, watching them build friendships, and see their face light up when they walk through the door,” said Jennifer. “After a night at Our Dance Place my jaw hurts from smiling and laughing and that is a wonderful feeling.”
To learn more about Our Dance Place, please visit www.ourdanceplace.org.