March 26th, 2018
A goal to contribute to her community
At 22 years-old, Christine and her family found themselves with a problem – a problem that is unfortunately all too common. Christine had finished secondary school life-skills and had nowhere to go afterwards. Here was this bright, enthusiastic young woman, being held back from contributing to her community because of barriers placed on her by a label of disability. Did she quit? No way!
Christine first met the WALES Group at a fundraising walk in the summer of 2010, where she began talking to them. She wanted to know what WALES was about. When she found out, she talked to her family and her DSO worker and said, “I want to go there.”
By September of 2010, Christine had joined with a vengeance. She showed and told us who she was and how she might enjoy and feel belonging in her community. Jumping into volunteer, recreation and employment activities, Christine gleefully made connections and helped others. Of course, there was a lot of trial and error, but Christine persisted, always up for a new challenge and learning (and knowing) WALES would always be there to support her as much as she needed.
Seven years later, through her involvement with WALES, Christine has had many different experiences with her community. Despite tears and failures, she has developed places of work and recreation, where she contributes and belongs – places where she is missed when she does not show-up.
No longer stuck at home, Christine touches base with WALES to help keep her busy schedule organized. A frequent flyer at a knitting group, she volunteers at a local school and with a community arts group. She has built a strong group of social connections that meet regularly at coffee shops and the library, and support each other. Christine continues to lean back on WALES as she continues the search for the ever elusive paid position that suits her talents.
Exactly the hope of the WALES group, Christine is working to accomplish the goals each member wishes to achieve.
She has accomplished much and wants for more – a life in her community where she is received, treated with dignity, and knows she belongs.
With programs that are individualized to children, adults and community participation, each person is supported based on their needs, goals and dreams. Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region uses an individualized approach in all the work that we do, including in programs like Special Services at Home, Passport and Working Adults Learning Empowering Skills.