Despite the pandemic, Santa and his helpers geared up once again to bring gifts to ADEC clients through our annual Wishlist. On Dec. 21, gifts were loaded onto Santa’s holiday busses and delivered to various locations where ADEC serves clients. In addition, Santa made two surprise appearances at Shoots and Bristol Day Services and helped pass out gifts alongside CEO Donna Belusar.

“I get to see the joy on many faces when I visit the day services to interact & hand out gifts to the clients,” said Shondale Donald, programs manager (aka, Santa Clause). “I’ve even witnessed clients who are twice my age … & still believe. What a beautiful thing!”

“Holidays are special here at ADEC,” said Donna Belusar, President and CEO. “Many of our clients come to us with no family to spend the holidays with. Our staff and clients work together to make the season special by celebrating successes in different areas, such as learning new skills, and by reflecting on another year of overcoming obstacles.”

Many of our clients still believe in Santa Clause, so not receiving gifts on Christmas morning would be devastating. Because of the generosity of the community, ADEC clients can look forward to a bright Christmas.

ADEC thanks all who donated and volunteered this year to make this happen. Despite the pandemic’s impact on the economy, community donors still managed to provide gifts for 100 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. All Wishlist items were fulfilled, including unique items such as a Spiderman body pillow, an MC Hammer CD, and The Golden Girls DVDs.

“It totally makes my heart happy to see the smile on their faces when they open presents that they normally would not receive since they don’t have active family members involved in their lives,” said Stacy Replogle, manager of support staff. “They are so grateful for what they get. Clients look forward to it every year.”