No one from Genesis Products expected to witness magic when they decided to volunteer at ADEC’s Day Service at Bristol.
But between the sleight-of-hand card tricks performed by ADEC’s resident magician, Riley O’Brien, and the general allure of ADEC, the volunteers experienced plenty of magic.
Through the course of two days, 15 volunteers from the manufacturing company visited ADEC to make friends, play games and develop genuine human connections.
“It’s been phenomenal working with these kids and adults, and just having a good time with them,” said Nick Zizzo, a volunteer from Genesis Products. “I can’t remember the last time I laughed that much!”
The folks from Genesis Products spent a combined 45 hours volunteering and hanging out with the people ADEC serves at the day service. The volunteers learned about ADEC’s mission to offer choice and possibility to the people the nonprofit serves and were then able to see it in action.
“I think letting (the clients) have the freedoms to be able to do what they want to do, not telling them what they have to do. That’s pretty cool,” said Adam Hilberg, a volunteer from Genesis Products. “I think that’s probably the coolest part about (volunteering) today.”
Volunteers and the people ADEC serves spent time playing games like UNO, Yahtzee and bocce ball, riding buddy bicycles, chatting and playing catch.
“I wanted to go into (this experience) and know that it’s something that I want to do and something that I’m going to enjoy,” Hilberg said. “But I think it’s real surprising to see how great this area is, and how many different activities there are available.”
Other volunteers, like Ryan Patton, said that the best part for them was being able to sit down and really get to know the people ADEC serves on an individual level. He explained that he’s volunteered at nonprofits similar to ADEC in larger cities and the interpersonal relationships were lost because of how many people there were to interact with.
“It’s really cool that this is more of a personal setting; I love that I’m able to get to know some of the people and talk to them in more of a personal way,” he said. “That makes it even more cool.”
Patton also explained that volunteering with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is something that he’s passionate about, and that he tries to help out with similar causes each year. ADEC, he said, has been a great new opportunity.
“(ADEC) is very cool, I love what you guys are doing for the community. It’s just a great experience to get out and be able to give back a little bit,” he said. “Everyone here is very welcoming, and it feels good to be a part of something like this.”
If you or your business are interested in volunteer opportunities at ADEC, visit adecinc.com/volunteer and fill out a volunteer application.