The Support Services for Adults (SSA) program has a special connection with local non-profits. Participants in the Day Program have the opportunity to get involved and give back to the community, through volunteer work. This is a chance for them to explore interests, develop skills, meet new people, and help with meaningful projects.

Marcy’s Project is one of the amazing non-profit organizations the SSA centers have partnered with. If you aren’t familiar with Marcy’s Project yet, they provide aid to those in crisis or emergency situations in the St. Charles County area. They are a 501c3 non-profit and operate on 100% volunteers. The main goal of Marcy’s Project is – “to help those who need it, one kind act at a time!”

Participants from the SSA Clever Center, Henry and Chantell, are no strangers to Marcy’s Project. Over the past year they have built a special relationship with the founder Wendy Robinson and have now made friends with the whole team. Every week Chantell, Henry and the center’s support staff hop in the van and head over to Marcy’s Project with freshly washed clothing donations in tow. When they arrive they make their rounds to say hi to Wendy, Yvonne and Maggie, and check out what all the volunteers are working on. Before they leave, they load up the van with more clothing to wash and fold at the center so they can repeat their routine the next Tuesday. Wendy said, “On Tuesdays we are blessed to have Chantell and Henry come to visit us. Chantell brings so much happiness and we have loved watching Henry grow socially.”

The volunteers at Marcy’s Project even teamed up to throw a special Birthday party for Chantell and Henry. They surprised them with balloons and gifted them custom tumblers with graphics based on their interests. Henry’s cup has a Cardinals theme and Chantell said, “I got a new Mickey Mouse cup!” they were both very excited about the thoughtful party and recognized all of the details. They also mentioned they were surprised and it made them happy. When we were talking about the party, Henry enthusiastically added, “cookie cake!” as one of his favorite parts.

“The smiles on their faces were priceless!” – Wendy

Madison, the Clever Center’s Manager said, “I really enjoy the Marcy’s Project partnership we have going on and I am hoping it will turn into more volunteer opportunities. I like the projects we do throughout the year that help the community and it’s nice to see the client’s coming in happy to work on these projects.” Chantell has been a part of the Clever Center since 2013 and Madison describes her as a happy go lucky girl that is very bubbly and outgoing. “She just loves to socialize and talk with everybody.” Madison also said that Chantell helps out a lot and will jump in without even being asked sometimes. Chantell was assigned a functional task to support one of her peers daily and would give them a hand to put their apron on. In Chantell’s free time, she enjoys hanging out with family, especially her nieces. “I have four nieces. Sometimes we go to the park, and sometimes I get them treats. They like donuts.” She also enjoys crafts and loves Crazy Bowls and Wraps.

Christy is a Support Coordinator at the Clever Center that works closely with Henry and Chantell. She is also a part of the routine visits to Marcy’s Project. Henry has been a part of the clever Center since 2017 and Christy explained that Henry has really warmed up and come out of his shell with the volunteers at Marcy’s. “Now Henry says hi more independently and will engage in small talk with them. It is pretty cool to see him interacting with the volunteers and I love how he lights up when he talks to Wendy or Yvonne.” Henry said, “I like to go to Marcy’s,” and was excited to talk about his interests outside of volunteering too. Christy mentioned that Henry likes to dance and Henry replied, “Yes! To country music!” He enjoys hanging out with his cat, Bentley and his family. “I have two nieces, Julian and Alaina,” he said proudly. Henry also enjoys sports like basketball and baseball, and has a great time going to Cardinal’s games with his dad.