Volunteers are an important part of the lives of the individuals we serve at ADEC; they help create a community connection in a meaningful way by spending time with the individuals we serve. At ADEC, our volunteers do more than just rake leaves and pick up sticks. We offer the chance to make genuine, human connections and to foster real, long-term relationships. That’s why we refer to our volunteers as Community Connectors, because they’re the piece that connects the individuals we serve with the greater community.

Our Community Connectors range in age from 18 to 66, and they spend time with the individuals we serve across all of our programming locations: from our After-School programming, to our Day Services, to our evening activities, which include singing karaoke and playing basketball (not at the same time, of course). But ADEC doesn’t just work with individual Community Connectors, we also partner with businesses, schools and churches in the community to build relationships in positive ways and to foster inclusion.

In 2019, ADEC began a partnership with Genesis Products to provide their employees an opportunity to connect with the individuals we serve in our Day Services. Last summer, ADEC worked with Genesis Products to place their employees in ADEC locations as part of the company’s G-Week. The Community Connectors from Genesis Products had such a great time that when the company decided to expand its volunteering initiative in 2019, ADEC was one of the organizations with whom it wanted to partner. Employees from Genesis Products have visited ADEC Day Services as Community Connectors each month and plan to spend time hanging out with our clients during G-Week again.

ADEC has also been partnering with Lippert Components to bring more choice and greater possibility to the individuals we serve. Employees from the chassis division at Lippert have been making holiday greeting cards for ADEC clients to let them know others in the community are thinking about them during the holidays. This opportunity has allowed employees at Lippert who may face time constraints in their ability to volunteer the chance to give back in a meaningful way. Some employees from the chassis division who are sports fanatics also decided to form a team to play against the ADEC Silver Bullets in the early part of the year.

Employees at a different Lippert plant were looking for ways to build camaraderie among themselves and thought it would be fun to do that by spending time with the individuals we serve and creating a shared experience for everyone involved. They have been coming to sing and dance with us once a month at our Music and Movement nights in Bristol.

From January to March, we have already had 119 Community Connectors spend their time creating friendships and enriching the lives of the individuals we serve at ADEC. They have contributed 447 hours of their time, which has a cash value of $11,367.21! We think our Community Connectors are wonderful, and we look forward to the ways in which they continue to bring joy and happiness to the lives of the individuals we serve in 2019 and beyond.

If you’d like to be a Community Connector with ADEC, or if you’d like to learn how your business, school, or church can partner with ADEC, visit our volunteer page and fill out the volunteer application form.