August 29, 2014
Consumers from Abilities Services Inc.’s day program are riding high following a visit from a group of Wabash College men.
Several members of the Class of ’18 volunteered Wednesday at the local organization that provides services to people with developmental disabilities and their families. Their visit was part of the college’s annual Community Service Day. Sixteen groups of students, each led by a faculty member, fanned out throughout Crawfordsville to assist in a variety of service projects.
The young men assigned to Dr. Michael Burch’s group helped at ASI, where they assembled two three-wheeled bicycles for the consumers. They also helped consumers in the cooking lab prepare a brunch of pancakes and sausage.
“The partnership with Wabash College is real important for ASI,” said Robert Cook, executive director. “Equally, it is important for our consumers to interact with these top quality men and see the examples that they are setting for our community ... The laughter and enthusiasm we witnessed was priceless.”
The bicycles (Wabash red, of course), helmets and other gear were purchased with funds from a grant ASI received from Montgomery United Fund For You.
“We would like to give a big thanks for the young men who volunteered their time to join us,” said Beth Smith, assistant programming coordinator.
The group did much more than ASI staff had originally planned.
“Each of them took it upon themselves to find their own way to interact consumers in a unique way,” Smith said.
Michelle Leonard-Smith, director of administration, said the college was well represented with a tremendous group of young men who were more than willing to jump in and help out.
“Community integration is a large part of what we do, and by having these young men join our programming we were able to give some consumers an opportunity to interact that they might not get otherwise,” she said.
ASI is already looking forward to next fall and the Class of 2019 joining them for another successful affair.
“We were able to forge new friendships today, and for most of our consumers, these are memories that will last a lifetime.”