Art by ADEC Curator Lydia Mino, left, helps Kylan Hunter make a Christmas ornament during a holiday kickoff event at ADEC in Bristol, Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Throughout the season, direct support professionals and house managers identify individuals who may be less likely to receive Christmas presents from family and friends, then, they push those lists out to the public to help them fulfill the wishes of ADEC clients.

“It’s almost like a Santa’s list, things they would like or they need,” said CEO of ADEC Donna Belusar. “It’s equivalent to what a lot of parishes or churches may do in terms of giving trees.”

Community members can pick a client from the list and purchase items identified for that client.

Each client included has three items on their list and buyers are asked to purchase all three items for the client of their choosing.

Donor Engagement Specialist at ADEC Courtney Kahlenbeck said most wishlists are about $100 per individual, although lists can vary wildly from guitars and game systems to socks and gloves. Last year, 700 gifts were contributed by the community for ADEC clients.

Each year, the community steps up to ensure that dozens of ADEC clients are sure to have a great holiday season. As of Tuesday, there are just four men’s lists left of the original 112 clients. That’s at least $11,000 worth of gift-giving that the community offers to support ADEC clients’ holiday seasons, and doesn’t include day programs or wrapping supplies.

Day programs also have their own wishlists and they, too, vary greatly. Right now, the wishlists indicate that the day programs need things like floor puzzles, coffee mugs, paint, batteries, headphones, Wii remote controls, a Cricut machine, cleaning rags and gift supplies. For day program gifting, buyers can choose just one or many items. Items for individuals and for day programs should be new and unopened. Any gifts that don’t get picked up by the public are purchased by ADEC.

Gifts for individuals are due to ADEC by Dec. 2, but Kahlenbeck said it’s not a hard deadline. If community members are participating but need more time due to shipping issues or other concerns, there are a few extra days. Just call ADEC and let them know. The wrapping party will be held Dec. 16 and volunteers are expected to be much needed for wrapping day.

Day program gifts can be donated throughout the month of December. Cash donations are also accepted to help support individual wishlists, day programs and even wrapping supplies. Later on in the season, end-of-year giving is also available, which will go to support day programs and services including transportation, skills and training programs, among others.

There are also many volunteer opportunities this holiday season. Aside from ADEC’s regular volunteer opportunities, a mass of holiday parties at the various day programs means support specialists are in need of community volunteers to keep parties running smoothly.

Lists for individuals and day programs are available online at https://adecinc.com/wishlist2022.

Dani Messick is the education and entertainment reporter for The Goshen News. She can be reached at dani.messick@goshennews.com or at 574-538-2065.

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