Sweet Opportunity

As Taylor Scott, Support Coordinator at the Mahon Center (one of Community Living’s four Support Services for Adults Centers), was looking for new non-profit volunteer job opportunities for the participants, she came across Connections to Success.

Some of the volunteer work they listed was collating and administrative work, which are things the participants can do. She sent an email to Miranda Bell, Regional Volunteer and Mentorship Manager for Connections to Success. “We are always on the grind for new volunteers and partnerships, so any exploratory meeting is valuable to me,” Miranda said. “When Taylor reached out, I was very grateful. I was trying to fill some openings at Sweet Success, which Taylor and Jessica (Cain, Manager at the Mahon Center) felt would be a great fit for the participants. The timing was impeccable.”

Within days of the initial meeting, participants were volunteering at Sweet Success, a social enterprise of Connections to Success. The volunteer job was labeling cookie bags and wrapping cookies in saran wrap. “It has been a whirlwind,” Taylor said. “It happened so quickly, but it’s been very exciting.”

Some of the work, such as collating and stapling menus, is being delivered to the center, so everyone has an opportunity to get involved. “They have been a blessing,” Miranda said.

Not only have the participants of Support Services for Adults gotten a volunteer job out of the connection, but other participants have received makeup donations from Dress for Success, another service from Connections to Success. Originally, this was a one-time donation, but now it will be a monthly donation. “It’s turned into something big,” Taylor said.

It was unknown how popular the makeup would be, but there was a huge response. “Adult Recreation asked for some for their annual play and Employment, Residential and SOAR requested some for the female participants,” Taylor said. “Our email blew up with requests.”

Four ladies in the Residential program that received the makeup kits love the donation. “It was a very nice surprise,” Judy said. “I love wearing it.”

Her roommates agree. Julia has quite the collection of makeup, but she was excited about the new colors. “I didn’t have a blue and gold eye shadow,” Julia said. “I know I’m beautiful, all of us are,” Julia said. “The makeup just adds a little extra beauty.”

The partnership between Connection to Success and Community Living has been a big success. “It’s turned into something awesome very quickly and I’m hoping that it lasts for a very long time,” Taylor said. “When we volunteer at Sweet Success, there are other volunteers there and the participants just fit right in.”

Connections to Success addresses skill sets, education, connecting to resources, social network, transportation and helping people work through a life plan. To learn more, go to http://connectionstosuccess.org/.