“I’ve got a job and I earn my own money. I’m able to go places and meet different people, play sports (Special Olympics basketball and bowling), and I volunteer on Sundays. I’m part of my community and this is how I want to help my community. I think my dad is proud of what I’ve accomplished. I proved to him and everybody else that I can do the things that I need to do to live on my own . . . .”
-Chris, a resident of a Langley Residential Support Services home in Northern Virginia.
I’ve been working with Langley Residential Support Services (LRSS) in Fairfax County, Virginia, as a volunteer for over 10 years and I believe in their mission wholeheartedly. Let me tell you a little about the organization:
- Provides quality comprehensive residential and community support services that enable people with intellectual disabilities to live an active and rich life and to develop the self-confidence that comes from being independent.
- Operates six group homes with two supervision levels – Intensive Services (24-hour supervision and training support), and Supported Residences (evening and weekend training support) for up to 25 people.
- Provides highly individualized Supported Community Drop-in Service to approximately 55 individuals living in their own homes or their family’s home.
- Focuses on providing health, safety, emotional and social support so that the people they serve can live as independently as possible (most have paying jobs).
The people served by LRSS want to lead active, rich and fulfilled lives. They want independence, they want to feel valued. Isn’t that what we all want? It’s just that this is a little harder for them to achieve and they need our support. “As my sisters moved out of my family’s home, I did the same thing.” Her sisters grew up and flew the nest, so why shouldn’t she?
LRSS has many kind friends. The Wolf Trap Foundation has donated tickets to some wonderful shows, individuals have provided pre-season Redskins games and trips to Kings Dominion, and others run activities such as the literacy club and Special Olympics, as well as other sports activities. Last Labor Day weekend, a group from a local church planted rosebushes and built a privacy fence at one house and the materials were donated by local businesses. On a United Way National Volunteer Day last fall, volunteers raked leaves at another house. A beloved lady volunteer provides office support. And the list goes on.
LRSS has an active board of trustees that is responsible for monitoring the organization’s fiscal health and working with the wonderful staff to ensure operational soundness. Fund-raising is, of course, a necessity-more than ever in these hard times. The board’s special event committees welcome new participants whose enthusiasm and fresh ideas can help achieve a successful outcome.
So, wherever your talents and interests may lie, if you have time to spare, consider supporting this wonderful caring organization. Maybe a little seasonal yard work, making an outing possible, serving on an event committee, helping in the office occasionally-put LRSS on your list of causes worthy of your time and effort.
Thank you for reading this-and we hope to hear from you!