When DePaul paused operations at its OPTIONS day support centers due to the pandemic, Dave did his best to wait patiently. But he struggled. His engagement with the community became limited, his days slowed down, his world became a bit smaller.
Then, OPTIONS was reopened. Dave returned to the program in Madison Heights and the twinkle returned to his eye. It all came flooding back to him—the relationships he had built, the places he had been, the memories he had made. He was ready to do it all again. And so, he did.
With OPTIONS staff at his side on that first day, Dave visited the library and spent some time sitting outside soaking up the sunshine and the world that was opening around him again. His curiosity returned. What other places would they visit? Would he make new friends in the community? Would he learn new skills?
Soon, Dave was visiting more places like the bowling alley and the local park. He began volunteering for Meals on Wheels. His conversation skills came back, along with his laughter.
“Hearing that belly laugh and seeing the light in Dave’s eyes again is priceless,” said Connie Boley, day support case manager.
It wasn’t just DePaul that saw the change in Dave. His sister, Carol, saw it too.
“I’m so grateful that Dave has had the opportunity to return to the day support that he loves so much,” said Carol.
Dave’s story illustrates the power of DePaul’s day support programs for individuals with disabilities. These programs in Madison Heights and Fishersville immerse participants into their communities, encourage them, teach them life skills, and help them make friends.
“Day support is more than a business—it opens a new world for our individuals to explore and thrive,” said Connie.
When you donate to DePaul, you make it possible for these programs to exist. And when these programs exist, Dave and so many others are given a chance to belong in their communities and to live better, brighter lives.