This article is included in our Winter 2022 newsletter. Click here to view the entire newsletter!
Staff and individuals thrive in the community
Our On the Go (OTG) group in Union County helps individuals we support become more integrated in the community and more active in society. Having this opportunity to connect with their peers and staff allows them to see the importance in themselves. We love being able to take individuals out in the community so they can do things they may have never been able to do or have the means to do otherwise.
“Our community experiences have been a huge success for our individuals who attend OTG,” said staff member Ashley H. “They enjoy all the activities we do together and build relationships that will last a lifetime.”
Our group has been busy! Some recent stops included looking for scarecrows for Halloween, going through the planes at the Air Force Museum, learning about our military’s history at Mott’s Military Museum, and discovering how Ohio became a state at the Ohio Historical Village. The group has also attended many neighboring county fairs where individuals have enjoyed getting fair food and riding rides. They truly love being part of the community!
This group helps individuals feel accepted and valued; they even express how the staff members at various events remember their likes and dislikes. When we return to those same places, the staff at those locations have learned who our individuals are. They don’t have to question them on what they want or need—they already know. That makes our individuals feel comfortable, respected, and accepted by their community. “I will fight to keep my spot in OTG, because I enjoy coming and getting out,” said Pam, a member of the group.
A favorite stop for our OTG group is Goshen Lanes in Mechanicsburg. The staff there are so welcoming and very helpful to all the individuals we support. They have taken the time to learn who they are. When the individuals walk in, they are greeted by name, they know their shoe size without even having to ask, and even remember their food orders! (Unless they decide to change it up.) They have become a great place in our community that the individuals love to go—a place where they can bond together and build relationship.
Individuals are so willing to help each other out, whether by picking up a bowling ball and taking it to their peer that is in a wheelchair or grabbing the ramp for them to bowl. They’ve really developed a good relationship of trust with each other. We have even been able to give back to our community by volunteering. One individual, Jorge Addison, is particularly happy to volunteer at the Hope Center…his whole world lights up as he gets to do volunteer work at a place he’s always wanted to help. “I love OTG completely!” he said.
These are just a few of the recent ways our OTG group has impacted the lives of individuals. All of this has moved our staff in a very special way. All the great smiles, laughs, and conversations just flood their days with happiness. “It’s the little things that remind me that life is too short to stress the small things,” said staff member Ashley M. “If these individuals can live their lives to the fullest and give their all no matter what, we can do the same.”
Open Door in Union County
Helping individuals reach their personal and financial goals by offering employment support and innovative community-based adult day services for individuals with disabilities in Union County.