In a suburb of Orlando, Florida, one organization is creating positive change by giving adults with cognitive disabilities the opportunity to make a salient contribution in their hometown.
Based in Apopka, Florida, Alliance Supports Corp (ASC) organizes volunteer projects as part of a day program for adults with special needs. The volunteer group of fifteen adults has tackled several important issues, ranging from hunger to hygiene. ASC participates in the distribution of a meals on wheels program that brings 2,300 hot meals to shut-in seniors annually. The group’s work on community food drives in 2014 has netted 800 pounds of food for the local food bank. And ASC volunteers are participating in a cause to recycle soap for use in developing countries to fight infection.
Through this work, ASC demonstrates an important concept about belonging: that communities are not complete unless all the people that make up a community are involved in change. ASC’s members convey this message not only through their actions, but also through a puppet show that has reached more than 1,000 pre-school aged youths with a message about inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities.
Helping a person in need took on very special and urgent meaning when one of the ASC volunteers delivered food to a meals on wheels recipient and found the person in distress at her home when he knocked on the door. Quick thinking by this volunteer to have a friend dial 911 saved the person’s life.
What has changed for the volunteers participating in these causes? According to ASC founder Paul Durand, “We’re helping people build skills and build a resume with practical work experience so they can seek employment. We’re also helping them build self-esteem. When you’re helping someone else, you feel better about yourself.”
Alliance Supports Corp lives up to its motto of “people doing exceptional things,” enriching the local community and exemplifying what it means to shine brightly through volunteer service as a Daily Point of Light Awardee. According to Paul, “When we’re out working on volunteer projects, people come up to me and say ‘If these guys from ASC are doing this, I can be doing more.’”
Where do you see positive social change happening in your neighborhood? Tell Points of Light by submitting a nomination today for an individual or group that’s making a difference. Go to: http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs/recognition/dpol/nomination