By Patti Trapp, HMHI Volunteer Coordinator
We have many lovely volunteers through Goodwill SKILLS Program Day Habilitation Services. This program meets the needs of people who face barriers to independence. SKILLS program participants come to HMHI offices and work as volunteers for a few hours each week. SKILLS stands for: Socialization, Knowledge, Integration, Leisure, Life Skills & Support. We help the participants strengthen their skills as they volunteer for us.
The Goodwill volunteers come to us in small groups of 4 to 6 along with a case worker from Goodwill. These teams work closely with another of my amazing volunteers, JoLynne, who is a retired missionary. Together they have a great time, the young people from Goodwill gain skills, increase their confidence, have interaction with others and…fun!
The groups come every other week for about two hours and rotate so that they all get an opportunity to attend. Each visit brings new challenges. The teams have:
- helped clean out the file room,
- priced items for the Benefit Sale,
- stocked shelves;
- decorated the children’s bulletin board for various seasons and holidays.
Sometimes the tasks we have planned prove to be a bit much. Then, we regroup and find something else to work on. No matter what the task, they are always joyful. There are days their stellar attitude puts mine to shame. We are learning a lot from each other through this experience!
As a special thank you, they all got to shop at our Fresh Start Benefit Sale. They had so much fun doing their own shopping! You could tell that great thought was going into their purchases. It was exciting to see their ‘coupon’ clutched tightly as they spread out through the warehouse floor and looked for treasures. On this trip they were learning about the value of their coupon, checking prices and doing simple arithmetic; each experience building on the one before. In all, approximately 30 young people came with their case workers. They were split into 2 groups, one came in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each group spent an hour or more shopping.
Goodwill SKILLS On Display
The week after the sale, they arrived to work again, surprising us with handmade thank you cards. Now, we proudly display those cards in our front office. Stop in and admire that careful work—each one a testimony to the relationships we’ve formed. I’d love to share a photo of these happy, smiling–always smiling—individuals, but we want to honor their privacy.
All our volunteers are a blessing to us. But, these young people have particularly touched us with their zest for life and willingness to help.
Thank you, to our wonderful friends at Goodwill! By partnering with nonprofit agencies in the Quad Cities, our community grows stronger.