I chose to complete my service learning hours at the Quantum House. It is an organization located on 45th street behind St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, FL. The Quantum House is a supportive home where families can stay while a member of their family is being treated nearby. The Quantum House offers all meals, housing, and entertainment during the entire stay. The families are asked to pay thirty-five dollars per day, but it is never forced if the family is unable to pay. At the center they have a play room, a family laundry room, double kitchen, dining area, living room, a back porch, a garden and an outdoor playground. Each room is furnished just as a hotel is with a private bathroom in each. They are expanding to add more rooms and a larger kitchen and dining, but for now they are able to accommodate ten families.
During my service there were nine families staying at the house. All toiletries and kitchen supplies are offered, each room is labeled by different names, such as ‘Hibiscus’ and corresponds with their own kitchen cabinet for their personal kitchen/pantry items, and their own shelf labeled in the refrigerator. All of their meals they provide are either donated by restaurants or made by individuals in the kitchen or at their own kitchen and brought into the Quantum House to serve to the families staying. While I was doing my service, they were having leftovers from the previous night (turkey, sweet potato mash, ham with grilled pineapple, and rice with red beans) donated from Cafe Boulud.
The Quantum House is an amazing organization. The feeling inside the home was so warm and welcoming. The families staying there were very nice and it felt as if they were a big family because they all have a similar situation.
What I did at the Quantum House while volunteering is after arriving at 10:30am, I met Megan Lewis, volunteer director, and she gave me a tour of the Quantum House and even let me tour the only unoccupied room. She then brought me into the supply room and handed me a large dry erase board to check off chores to complete for the day. A few cleaning activities I completed today were vacuuming, sweeping, cleaning the kitchen/dining/playroom, windows, etc. While cleaning, the kids came up to me and insisted on ‘helping’ me by trying to vacuum and hold the cord for me. All of the children I saw today had an external fixator device on their leg so I was nervous about them helping because I did not want them to get hurt.
The Quantum House is an excellent resource available to the community and I believe there should be more houses in different areas. I think Quantum House is vital to the community. There is a website for the Quantum House: http://www.quantumhouse.org/. At this website there is information about the mission of the Quantum House, success stories, a referral form to sign up to stay at the house, an e-card sender available for the public to send pick me ups to the families, events, volunteer information/sign up/ activities, donation information, and contact information. This resource can help families in need of more information about the Quantum House or for others who would like to contribute to the Quantum House.
This agency is a great impact on the community by helping out families in need during hard times. On the website they make it clear that a family will never be turned away if they are unable to give the thirty-five dollars per night fee. Having cooked meals ready for the families, entertainment for children and adults and a place to stay nearby treatment facilities help families immensely. If a family needed treatment at St. Mary’s Medical Center, for example, and lives in Stuart, FL if they had to travel that far daily, it would put a serious strain on time and expenses