Here at The Arc of Delaware County, we are on a mission. It’s an incredible mission, one that has been going strong for over 50 years. That mission is to support people to live fulfilling lives. There are so many things that contribute to that feeling and many of them are specific to each person. This is why our approach to that support is person-centered and individualized to the hopes and dreams of each. What we do know for sure is that for all of us a connection to our community, a sense of purpose, and confidence in our role as a citizen are part of that sense of fulfillment.
We want to share a few ways this is happening for Kevin Hamill, along with his friends, and ours, Shannon and Amanda.
25 year DSP with the Arc of Delaware County, Lynn Hoffman shares Kevin’s newfound experience of being an Usher at Church.
“Sunday was a big day for Kevin. He had signed up last month to become an usher at Church. Sunday was his first day and he was very excited and proud. He did awesome! His job was to light the church candles on the altar. After service during the last song, he walked up to the altar and turned candles off using the gold rod. Then during the offering, he walked to all the aisles and collected the Church offerings and brought them up to the altar for blessings. Now he can sign up to do any Sunday he wishes.”
I had the chance to catch up with Kevin in his home and ask him about his volunteer role in the church and community. Things he loves about being an usher are collecting the money and lighting the candles. “It’s an old church,” says Kevin. “I like old churches. They are really beautiful and I like the sound of the organ.” Kevin explains that the holiday isn’t the same without his dad and that he misses him. Being part of the community and supporting it in this way helps him to really enjoy the holiday in the absence of those he misses most. He says, “I used to do midnight mass and I used to do it in my church back at home where I lived. I also really like to do the coffee hour and serve cookies and coffee to everyone.” It’s very clear that Kevin’s connection to the community and volunteering in these ways creates a great sense of fulfillment for him. Kevin’s face lights up with a wonderful smile as we visit about his life and take in the beautiful Christmas tree in his living room.
On December 30th, the coffee hour at Church will be sponsored by Kevin, Amanda, and Shannon. Lynn says that Kevin loves to sponsor coffee hour. It makes him feel wonderful. The Holidays can be a hard time for some people who are away from loved ones or who have lost loved ones. The wonderful feelings that come from such experiences can be soothing during those difficult times.
Kevin also works for St. Mary Food Pantry every week. And during the week he works at the Delhi Senior Center setting tables and doing dishes. He also volunteered for the Month of June to water the outside flowers at his Church, United Ministry. He watered the flowers every day and kept them looking beautiful.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about Kevin, Shannon and Amanda’s experiences in our community and the priceless benefits Kevin shared that comes from being “a part of”. We hope you will be inspired to connect with us. Inspiration is what has opened opportunities for the people we support in employment, volunteering and building friendships for life. We wish you the best in your businesses, passion projects and obligations and would love to lend a helping hand in any way we can.