Antoinette is like many 24-year olds. On the weekends, she likes to sleep in and hang out at the mall with her friends. She is also learning to be an adult. She enjoys living with housemates and taking turns cooking meals. “I do it all on my own. I’m trying to be independent. I practice the recipe for one month. We try to be super healthy.”
Growing up also means finding a job. Antoinette would love to work with children or animals. A job would allow her to buy things for her room, but she’s also practical about money. “I want to be able to have enough money to be able to pay my phone bill on time. “ In the interim, Antoinette keeps busy volunteering. There is gardening work to be done at the Franklin Park Zoo, which she loves because it’s relaxing and keeps her calm. She also talks at great length about delivering food to elders. The work means a lot to her and she appreciates the interactions. “The thing I like is that after you give them the food, they thank you or tell you how much they appreciate the food. It makes me feel really good.”
Antoinette has faced challenges. Before moving into her Vinfen supported residence, she attended a school program and acknowledges, “It wasn’t so good for me but I’ve learned to slow down and act right.” At her home, Antoinette found a community of staff members and friends who support her and are like family. She credits Vinfen Program Director Priscilla Blackman with helping her work on everything from recipes to phone bills. The other key person in Antoinette’s life is a housemate whom she describes as both best friend and like an older sister. “I look up to her and she’ll give me advice on things.”
Antoinette is excited to celebrate the holidays with her housemates. Staff set up a Christmas tree and there’s a special shared meal. It’s a time for the women and staff to come together, enjoy the holidays, and make joyful memories. Antoinette is grateful for the community and support. She’s happy to note, “We all get along here in the house. We really help each other.”
Antoinette is a young woman working hard to realize her goals. She’s also a warm and caring friend and volunteer. Priscilla smiles when she describes Antoinette, “She loves to develop a community wherever she goes.”
You can make sure Antoinette and her housemates each have a gift under the tree to open this holiday season.
Your gift of $25, $50, $100, or more will place a gift directly in the hands of those here at Vinfen who do not have the family or personal means to make the holidays special.
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Every person deserves a special and memorable holiday season. Thank you for helping us to transform lives together and Happy Holidays from the Vinfen family.