Staying in Touch – Just Do It Crew
Speak up for yourself; know yourself, your strengths, talents, and challenges. Those are the pillars of Project STIR (Steps Toward Independence and Responsibilities), an advocacy training we offer to empower people to take the lead in their lives and make decisions. The Just Do It Crew is a group of Project STIR graduates that meets monthly to reinforce STIR concepts, learn about issues that affect their lives, and socialize. Like all social gatherings, we have had to adjust our meetings during this time and have started getting together virtually. I first contacted the majority of folks who attend meetings to see if they were interested in meeting virtually and if they had the necessary devices and internet. My calls were met with a resounding “Yes!”
Our first Zoom meeting was April 30, and by the smiles we shared, I have to say it was a success! We were able to see each other, share conversation, and talk about how we’ve been getting along during this time at home. Here is how the Just Do It Crew has spent their days: watching videos, spending time outside, playing board games, walking, completing puzzles, fishing, doing artwork, and wishing they could be with their friends and family. That evening, our agenda also included hygiene: proper hand-washing and how to wear a mask correctly in public. Ten individuals logged onto our first meeting, including one who moved out of state and misses her friends. Although the virtual meeting was very different from our typical one at Westgate, we were still able to connect, share, and support each other.
That first night was so fun that the group decided they would like to meet weekly. We log onto Zoom at 7:00 pm on Thursdays. We laugh, share stories, joke, and cover important topics – like tips to be safe and dealing with depression. We’ve had a couple of scavenger hunts and even attempted a dance party. We have had up to 12 people join so far, along with our Superintendent, Theresa, one evening. Plans are underway for guest speakers. Thursday evening is a time we all look forward to.
If you know a STIR graduate who would like to join Just Do It Crew, please contact me or give them my information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 567-371-5070.
By Sue Savinsky, Educational & Transition Consultant