People Helping People: Meaningful Lives in the Community for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
Hi-Hope Service Center develops independence using new strategies.

A training and technical assistance grant through the Georgia Department of Human Resources helps Hi-Hope staff members use the knowledge of what is important to an individual, involving them in community life.

The success stories our staff members share at monthly meetings illustrate meaningful participation in the community in ways not generally imagined.

Betty, a client at Hi-Hope since last year, wasn't sure if she wanted to work in the community or the workshop. She communicated an interest in volunteering in the community and she stated that she would like to work with children. This was very important to Betty.

Rhonda McAdory, one of our staff members, checked with Kids Harbor at Bay Creek, the day care center where her children attend. Betty toured the center and decided this was where she wanted to volunteer. She spends two days a week at the day care center reading to the children and assisting them with their daily activities including lunch.

Betty has worked in all the rooms but prefers the toddler room because she can talk with the children.

"I enjoy helping children," said Betty.

The children love Betty and her co-workers appreciate her skills. She also participates in staff meetings where she offers suggestions. Betty will become an official teacher assistant in the fall, a dream come true.

Diane, Belinda, and Clinton, Hi-Hope clients, find getting fit important and regularly enjoy water aerobics classes at the Mountain Park Aquatic Center.

"It is good exercise and I like the instructor. She is nice," said Diane. These three individuals participate in the classes offered and take the opportunity to make friends with other aerobics students.

David has a developmental disability and enjoys the ability to go grocery shopping. Each week his mother sends in a notebook to Hi-Hope with pictures of the grocery items that he needs to purchase. Assisted by Michael Miller, David takes the notebook to Kroger, gets a cart and works his way through the store to find all the items.

Next, he unloads his cart and then pays the check-out clerk. David's smile tells you everything! He is making a contribution to the family, has a feeling of success, is out in the community, is appreciated, and feels respected. What could be more meaningful!

Volunteers are always welcome. If you would like to get involved with Hi-Hope Service Center visit our Web site for more information at www.hihopecenter.org. You can also contact Alice Cunningham at alicecunningham@hihopecenter.org or call 770-963-8694.