Helping Hands Story: Youth Helping Others
We love stories about our youth helping others. This story begins with Thomas, a young man with Fragile X syndrome. FX is sort of like autism...Thomas' X chromosome is 'crooked' , which causes cognitive and learning disabilities. He graduated from Paulding County High School last year and has been working on ways to transition into the grown up, working world. For about 9 months, Thomas waited for a program at Roosevelt Warm Springs (Thomas' college experience) to begin...there's a long wait list for Warm Springs and hopefully he'll be accepted by the end of this year. So, back in February a friend contacted Thomas’ mother about him working at the food pantry because her daughter, Timara, who also has a cognitive disability, helps out there several days a week.
So Thomas started helping out also. He's not only learning how to work and to be proud of the job he's doing, he's learning the importance of helping those less fortunate. This is his 'Job' and he is very proud of himself, it has really helped improve his self esteem and maturity level. Thomas said "I like working at the food pantry. I work hard and make friends every day".
Timara has been volunteering since graduating from Paulding High and during her breaks from school. After completing Warm springs she continues to volunteer until she finds permanent employment. Timara says "I like working here and helping the people in my community".
According to Megan, the pantry manager, Thomas and Timara are doing great! Thomas’ mother said “I tell you, I had no idea how much Helping Hands does. I thought it was just a food pantry, but it is SO much more! For Thomas, and other young people like him to be given the opportunity to work and feel a part of something bigger than himself is pretty awesome”. It is amazing what can happen when you come together for those in need.