Emily O’Donnell – Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children - 8/18/16
Today I awarded Emily O’Donnell, Camp Director of the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children, as my 42nd New Jersey Hero! Emily O’Donnell is the 3rd Hero to be named in 2016, and I am pleased to honor someone who is dedicated to helping visually impaired youth in Cape May County.
The Helen L. Diller Vacation Home operates for eight weeks, during the summer months, providing a week long, expense free seashore vacation for visually impaired and blind children with supervision from experienced and certified counselors and administrators. Emily started at the Helen Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children as a Camp Counselor in 2009. She moved on to serve as an Assistant Director for two years before assuming her current position as Camp Director. As a teacher for the visually impaired, the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home holds a very close place in her heart.
Up to 20 children, ages seven through 15 years old, reside in the home for a one-week period. The guests of the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home take part in camp activities including arts and crafts, a learning series with the Bay Atlantic Symphony, crabbing, boardwalk excursions, and trips to a local water park and the Cape May County Zoo. Emily hosted over 160 kids this past summer!
I am proud to name Emily O’Donnell a New Jersey Hero for her efforts in keeping the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children, a sacred place for children and teenagers to relax and have fun with others who also face the challenges of visual impairment. It is so inspiring to see Emily’s commitment to hosting a fun-filled week for the guests of the Helen Diller Vacation Home.
For additional information about the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children, please visit their website; http://www.dillerblindhome.org