PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: Broadening scope of 'family' through volunteerism

On Sept.23-25, families traveled from across the United States to join in celebration of a year of achievement at Annandale Village. Our annual Family Weekend was a tremendous success, highlighted by the Annandale Academy graduation ceremony, performances by our talented Villagers, opportunities for learning and sharing, and recognition of outstanding support and leadership among our Villagers, their families, and our community partners.

Over the course of the weekend, I had the privilege of interacting with and observing our family members with their loved ones and realized that "family" has a deeper meaning when it comes to the quality of care we provide for individuals with developmental disabilities. Families are a source of support and encouragement, providing for basic needs but also advocating for each individual family member to reach their fullest potential. Based on this premise, I feel very fortunate that our "family" encompasses not only the individuals in which we serve, but of their relatives, our professional staff, board of trustees, donors, and, of course, our community volunteers.

At Annandale Village, volunteers are significant members of the Annandale family. We are privileged to have a committed core of volunteers who play an important role in the success of our organization. As a result of the broad spectrum of volunteer opportunities and activities, our volunteers consistently give of their time, talents and energy to help make a meaningful and lasting difference in the lives of the men and women we serve.

We are rooted in the belief that every individual has the power to make a difference. We believe that engaged citizens are the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy, and that effective volunteer action is a path to broader civic involvement. At Annandale, volunteers can choose volunteer projects based on their available time and interests -- from a one-time campus improvement project to coordinating a special event or activity for our Villagers -- to an ongoing commitment to support our daily programs and services including; creative and performing arts, recreation and wellness, vocational training, and community integration activities.

For example, Annandale recently served as a host project site for volunteers participating in one of the largest volunteer initiatives in the United States, Gwinnett Great Days of Service. Students, faculty and staff from Gwinnett Technical College descended upon Annandale to tackle various campus improvement projects, including the complete exterior painting of one of our residential homes, Haas Apartments. In addition, volunteers were able to spend quality time with many of our Villagers as they built and decorated birdhouses, assisted with our Spinners Bike Club, and enjoyed recreational activities in the Patricia M. Brown Center for Programs.

If you, your company, school, or community organization is looking for meaningful opportunities to engage in volunteer service, I hope you will consider joining our family of volunteers at Annandale Village.

To learn more about our volunteer program, please call our Chief Development & Marketing Officer, Keith Fenton at (770) 932-4887.

Adam Pomeranz is CEO of Annandale Village.

Located on a beautiful 54-acre campus in Suwanee, Georgia, Annandale Village is an award-winning nonprofit organization dedicated solely to serving adults with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries.

Annandale Village offers a comprehensive range of residential and non-residential programs to help men and women lead lives that reflect quality, value, self worth, and achievement. Our programs and services are designed to improve the quality of life of each individual served, according to his or her own unique needs and abilities.

The mission of Annandale Village is to perpetuate a Village community to provide progressive life assistance to adults with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries so that they can maximize their abilities and maintain their independence in the least restrictive environment.