Local volunteers launch effort to make sure no one is forgotten and support local business
Social isolation is hard on everyone’s mental health, but it can be especially stressful for people with developmental disabilities. People supported by LADD are used to engaging in the community, attending classes, playing in sport leagues and working at local businesses. Now, broken routines, upsetting news reports and little contact with roommates and friends compound COVID-19 anxieties.
When LADD’s volunteer leadership heard about this issue, they stepped up to ensure people with developmental disabilities know there are people who care for them and want to offer support. The well-being bundle challenge launched organically.
Kim Vincent, a LADD board member, rallied her friends to raise funds for supplies to keep LADD residents engaged and active at home.
“I couldn’t believe the response,” Vincent said. “In 24 hours, I raised $400 on Facebook and another $1000 check was dropped off.”
With the funds, she was able to drop off a car full of puzzles, games and crafting supplies.
In the meantime, Terri Hogan, who has an adult son with a developmental disability and is also on LADD’s board, saw how challenging and confusing this time was for people with developmental disabilities. She also started purchasing supplies and accepting donations from neighbors.
“I realized there were thousands of people in our community just like my son who are out of their routine and not understanding this new normal,” Hogan said. “I purchased a ton of stuff I thought would bring people joy and keep them busy. Then invited my neighbors to drop off things they thought people might love. The whole thing just took off naturally.”
Funds donated so far have been used primarily at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, which opened their doors to allow LADD to shop privately.
“LADD is and will always be about community,” said LADD CEO Susan Brownknight. “We are trying to use donated funds to purchase items at our local shops because they need us now more than ever. Disability has and will always be a great uniter. Now is no different. Just because our folks aren’t currently visible doesn’t mean their presence can’t still be felt with efforts like this.”
Currently, LADD has enough supplies to create 50 bundles – we are calling each a “Brighter Days Box” – and is looking to create 100 more. The Brighter Days Boxes will be dropped off at the homes of people supported by LADD. Interested in being part of the Brighter Days effort?
Here’s how you can help:
1. Donate to our Annual Campaign.
2. Drop off gift cards or gently used gardening supplies, puzzles, games, books with a lot of pictures, DVDs and crafting supplies to LADD’s offices at 3603 Victory Parkway.
3. Post photos of your donations and challenge your friends to do the same!
When you donate to fund a Brighter Days Box, we will support local stores and restaurants with those funds, purchasing gift cards and items from local businesses whenever possible.
While social distancing and following Ohio’s Stay At Home Order are necessary to keep our community safe, these changes add an incredible amount of stress to the people we support and our employees as they navigate days with new routines, virtual engagement instead of group activities and confusion over when life will return to normal.
By donating to our LADD family, you empower them to face another day of uncertainty with a little more ease. You prove we are #InThisTogether.