By Drew Johnson
In 2020, the whole world found out how important seeing other people was. We spent weeks or months isolated, daring only to wave to our loved ones through windows or at a distance.
Radically Open DBT, a type of therapy that focuses on helping people connect with others, has a saying that goes “Lonely Apes Die”. They mean that being social and connected is an intrinsic part of being human. We are hard-wired to connect with others, and the early days of the pandemic showed us all just how essential that connection can be.
For members of Wednesday Winners, a group that South County Community Services runs for adults with disabilities, being part of a group means that they have something to look forward to and a place where they can be themselves.
“It means a great deal to me. I greatly enjoy being able to get out, have social contact with other people, have a fun activity every week,” says Jay, a member of Wednesday Winners.
Wednesday Winners did not meet for most of 2020. Volunteers and members were both at higher risk for complications from COVID-19 than the general population so we decided not to meet again until we could do so safely. As anyone who has run groups since March 2020 can attest, its not always easy to restart groups and get good attendance after a lapse, especially when people are still concerned about safety. Wednesday Winners, though, has come raring back.
Since restarting, the group has met outside and inside, held Thanksgiving and Christmas parties, created arts and crafts, and eaten from a delicious sampling of local restaurants.
“I especially like going places and playing bingo”, says Kelsey. She mentions going to the movies, hanging out at the park, and going to McDonald’s as favorite destinations and says that Wednesday Winners “is a fun place to have friends and do fun activities.” Jay agrees and says, “arts and crafts and bingo I’d have to say are my favorites.” Their art is hanging up at our office along with pieces created by other Winners—all of which was recently displayed at the Vicksburg Library.
We could all take a cue from the members of Wednesday Winners and spend a little more time doing fun things with people who we care about – I know that’s on my list for the weekend!
Drew Johnson lives in Kalamazoo and is the Director at South County Community Services. He has a small quarter acre homestead with chickens, bees, and hops (and more!), a wonderful wife, and three energetic children. He can be reached at 649-2901 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on South County Community Services, please check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/southcountycs or our website: southcountycs.com.
By Drew Johnson