Hello everyone, I am Donna Belusar, President and CEO of ADEC. Today I am sharing a special year-end message — a farewell to 2020 and a “hopeful hello and big virtual hug” to 2021.

  • To the individuals and families that put your trust in ADEC, thank you for working with us all year through the pandemic. You have been supportive of the changes we had to make in services and the flexibility we needed from you to meet the needs of those we serve.
  • To the employees of ADEC, thank you with all my heart and words, for all you do, every day. You are champions of our mission.
  • To our community and donors, your generosity and support are a lifeline to all of us.
  • Finally, to the ADEC Board of Directors, thank you for your trust and guidance.

You have heard me say before the “Lights of Aux Chandelles” light our way. This is so true in 2020 and it will be so in 2021. Lights of hope. Lights of love and caring. The lights of ADEC.

Now, what better way to close our 2020 than with a message I just shared with all #teamADEC.

ADEC has been chosen by community members as the “Best of the BEST of Elkhart County Local Non-profit (Charity)” for 2020. To all ADEC employees, this is a fantastic way to recognize your value, your contributions to our communities, and to the individuals and families we serve. Thank you and be proud that you are making a wonderful positive difference every day.

Thank you to The Elkhart Truth for publishing a complete list of all winners over the Christmas long weekend and having ADEC be part of this distinguished group.

So much was changed in 2020 and some of these changes will continue into next year. What does remain constant is the ADEC mission, our commitment to those we serve, our compassion for families, and our care for our employees.

Our mission is to proudly advocate for and serve people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, so they live lives full of informed choice & possibility! 

The global pandemic, COVID, may have impacted our programs and services; and affected the lives of those we serve, know, and work with; and the loss of loved ones. Of these losses, I am deeply sorrowful. However, COVID did not, and it will not change our mission or our intent to be there for you.

We finish this year off with the celebration of a holiday, a season of light and hope, and looking forward to the future.

Last week I was reminded how resilient, how adaptable, how inspiring our mission is. I recently had the honor, the complete joy, of visiting all six of our Day Service facilities — Middlebury, Goshen, Mishawaka, Elkhart Plaza, Elkhart The Hub, and Bristol. Yes, it included Santa Claus at some, and at all of them — gifts shared.

What was inspiring and reaffirming was our clients. Every one of them wore masks. Everyone kept to social distancing and maintained greetings of fist bumps or elbow bumps. When I walked into each of the facilities, all the protocol was followed, from signing in (and out), to taking temperature and wearing a mask. There were so many fun activities happening. The ADEC staff was fantastic. The clients were joyful and wonderfully happy. I am so proud. So very proud.

The health, well-being, and safety of our clients and our staff; remain our number one priority before, during, and long after the pandemic ends. Yes, life is different for all of us. But, as evidenced by last week’s visits, we can adjust.

As we step into 2021, ADEC is working directly with the Department of Health to queue up for the COVID vaccine.  We have much gratitude to our local departments of health. They have been a valuable resource for us. Thank you.

We remain hopeful and grateful at ADEC. I am very appreciative of the personal sacrifices many of the ADEC staff have made in working tirelessly to support those we serve. All of us here at ADEC are looking forward to a stronger and healthier 2021. And in the words of Kevin who attends our Bristol day service, as he greeted Santa Claus: “I Believe!

I do believe. May you all have a blessed New Year.  Thank you for believing in ADEC.

Be Safe and Be Well.

Sincerely, Donna L. Belusar, Ph.D., President / CEO, ADEC, Inc.