Student’s event to bring residents together

Josh Trumbull is a student at Miami Middletown University, who decided that bringing people together in a world full of adversity is a good thing to do.

Trumbull, who is serving the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities (BCBDD) as a service learning student, has organized “The Instrumental Initiative.” His hope, he said, is to bring people together through music and social interaction.

“Being a youth director who is involved with the music within the church, I see the impact that music can create within people,” Trumbull said. “I really believe it is the universal language that people so often attribute to it. I also know that youth, adults, really everyone can have a hard time moving past preconceived notions, or stereotypes they have for another group of people.”

He added, “So through music, musical interaction, food, and conversation, I hope I can start a template for a program that other organizations, churches, and groups can use to keep alive physically and in spirit. I hope that The Instrumental Initiative is just the beginning and this meeting this Wednesday is the start of bigger and better programs to come.”

The Instrumental Initiative will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Park Avenue Methodist Church, 801 Park Ave. in Hamilton.

Scott Osterfeld, community connections coordinator for the BCBDD, said Trumbull, as part of his coursework, was required to choose a non-profit organization to do a service learning project.

“Josh chose the BCBDD as his organization and is planning a gathering that brings together individuals with disabilities and those without disabilities to enjoy activities, music, and dinner,” Osterfeld said. “These gatherings are sometimes referred to as a ‘party with a purpose’ and the purpose is to bring people together that might otherwise not get the opportunity to meet and develop friendships.”

Bri Combs of the BCBDD said Trumbull’s idea will allow people from all walks of life — whether they live with a disability or not — to connect in ways they never thought possible.

“Sometimes even words are not enough to express how we feel, and for people with developmental disabilities who may already struggle with verbal communication, music can provide an alternative form of expression,” Combs said. “No matter our abilities, we all love, we all feel, we all want, we all need, and we might just be able to understand that a little better through the common language of music.”

Trumbull is a musician and wants to utilize music, fun and informal activities to bring down stereotypes and connect people.

Students like Trumbull and Miami University’s Office of Community Engagement assist the BCBDD in meeting a variety of needs of individuals with disabilities and their families.

Recently, several students have won scholarships and awards for their service learning projects with the BCBDD.

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