Did You Know that 6.5 million people in the United States alone have intellectual disabilities (including mild to profound cognitive impairment)? This week, a group of ADS volunteers had the privilege to meet and work alongside some special needs adults to support a 501(c)(3) organization in Harvest, AL – Next Step Farms/NSFs, (a hands-on program for teaching “life-skills” to intellectually and developmentally disabled adults). These life skills include cleaning, cooking, organization, gardening, light home/auto maintenance, basic finance and computer skills, personal hygiene, etc. – instruction that helps the student to gain some level of independence and provide ongoing help to their caregivers (usually their aging parents). A “Next Step” for the organization is to collaborate with local businesses and the surrounding community to place NSF’s students/graduates in real jobs where they are genuinely accepted and productive.
In addition to a prior $14K donation to NSFs from The IDEX Foundation, ADS employees spent their personal time cleaning construction debris at the new NSF’s learning facility, hanging window blinds and screens, applying drawer liners to the cabinets and drawers of the interior furnishings that The IDEX Foundation purchased. It also gave us a chance to work alongside our fellow ADS personnel and wear the fantastic bright, new yellow ADS shirts! Let’s all continue to look for opportunities to serve others, give back, and strengthen our local communities. #ADScommunitystrong!