By: Dayhanna Acosta
Joy, that’s the only way to describe how you feel after volunteering with the Foundation for the Developmentally Disabled, a UWCC partner agency that focuses on improving the quality of life of adults with developmental disabilities. The Foundation provides a place for participants to engage in social and recreational activities. They also work to build community awareness, provide family support, and assist with housing options and education.
I was invited to join the foundation’s bowling league this week and used the opportunity to get to know some of their longtime participants who all suffer from various physical and developmental disabilities. First, I spoke with Jaime; she’s been participating in the league for years.
Jaime immediately made me feel welcomed with her smile and kindness. When I asked her to tell me something, she enjoyed about the league she responded “I met the love of my life here”. She shared that she met someone she likes and communicates with through her participation in the organization.
What touched me most about Jaime was her desire to help others. Every time anyone needed assistance Jaime ran across the room to help, providing her shoulder as support for those who needed help walking.
Scott and Ryan also welcomed me with open arms. They shared their excitement about bowling and showed me how to master their celebratory dance moves.
The greatest gift of volunteering isn’t only what you do for those you’re trying to help, but rather the experiences you take back with you at the end of the day. I had a wonderful morning getting to know the staff, volunteers and parents who make these weekly events possible. I left feeling energized and full of positive energy. If you’d like to get involved the Foundation for the Developmentally Disabled you can call: (239) 594-9007; or visit www.fddswfl.org
Check out the video below to see the leagues in action