Daily Point of Light # 2827 Dec 6, 2004

Pike County Agency for Developmental Disabilities, located in a small, rural Missouri county, operates the Community Living Skills Day Program. This program provides persons with developmental disabilities the ability to give back to their communities and increase their self-confidence and self-esteem through volunteering.

Through 14 sites throughout the county, the Community Living Skills Day Program has established an accepted presence for the individuals with disabilities. They have also built a number of ongoing relationships between the volunteer with developmental disabilities and the staff of the agency where the volunteering is being provided.

The individuals who volunteer have mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, or other developmental disabilities. They have varying abilities and varying interests. An attempt is made to match the abilities and interest of each individual to the needs of the nonprofit organizations.

Staff of the Community Living Skills Day Program support the individuals with their volunteering to the extent required by the needs of the individual. Staff works hard to make sure the volunteers know this is their volunteer job. They embrace it and do their best in their job. This has led to the employment of six individuals for one to two hours per week at separate businesses.

The different volunteer sites include the YMCA, a high school, two Head Start programs, a hospital, a county home health and hospice agency, an early childhood program, a senior citizen nutrition center, a nursing home and 5 churches. The now 22 volunteers look forward to coming in weekly for their ‘job.”