In this issue:
As proud as we are of our kids, many of our adult clients are making great progress and many still need your help.
Two years to make dreams reality
Jennifer attends Job Club to search for regular employment.
Jennifer learned early that people are unpredictable. But animals will love you no matter what.
"Animals give you unconditional love," she said. "You can have a bad day and they'll cheer you right up."
Her dream is to have her own place and a job working with animals, and for the past two years she has been working with Volunteers of America toward that goal.
At age 21, she was released from the psychiatric ward at LSU Hospital had nowhere to go.
A difficult home life and series of tragedies left her with a strained relationship with her mother and battling major depression. Since graduating from high school she had bounced between living with family and friends, but this time, she was out of options.
LSU referred her to Volunteers of America, and we found her a room at Magnolia House.
"I was a little nervous at first, but they're easy to get along with," she said. "Now, they're like family to me."
She also enrolled at Visions of Hope, our day program for people with mental illness. There she has learned about coping with her illness, taking her medication, and socializing with others. She's always in the middle of activities there even though she claims to have been shy as a child.
"It used to be I couldn''t get up in front of people and talk, but I've even tried to run a group," session, she said.
Stable and ready for the next step, the 23-year-old had one more obstacle. She has never had a paid job, so Volunteers of America Employment Services is walking her through the process.
Volunteer opportunities the kitchen crew and janitorial staff at the center have taught her basic job skills. Then Employment services helped her find a volunteer opportunity at the Caddo Animal Shelter so she can get the right experience. For now, Jennifer needs a bus pass so she can go to the shelter more regularly to clean cages, play with the animals, and practice skills such as being on time.
"The director said he would welcome her back with open arms," Employment services director Kris Carrier said.
It won't be long before Jennifer is ready for a full-time job. Then she can attain her ultimate goal of her own apartment and independent living.
Several of our programs for adults are in need of some volunteer help. Call Carolyn Hammond at 221-2669 or e-mail email@example.com if you can help. Or pass this e-mail on to others. Also look for our new and improved Volunteer website coming soon!
Spend time with seniors: The Adult Day Health Care is in need of regular volunteers who can help seniors at the facility with their daily activities. Also, they would love to have groups plan special events or activities for the clients.
Host a birthday party: Corbitt Lodge, one our homes for people with disabilities is in need of someone to host monthly birthday parties for the residents.
Help someone find a job: Each week several clients meet for "Job Club." They could use some help writing resumes and navigating the internet for possible job opportunities. The Club meets from 9 to 11 a.m. each Tuesday at the Highland Center.
Alleviate some administrative duties: Our employment services staff could use some help a couple hours a week with administrative tasks so they can focus on clients.