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Mary Frank: Helping Volunteer Opportunities Take Off

Submitted By: Kathy Scott, Community Connections, Inc.

Jasper Eagle Hawk loves machinery. Machinery of all types, sizes, and kinds. He gives each one he sees a name, like Sam the Skidsteer or Dave the Dump Truck. He likes to watch them – working or just sitting – to sit on them, to touch them and to drive them. He also loves the airport. His Grandfather works there and he asks to go visit his Grandfather there often. They also have a lot of machinery and equipment there too. Jasper is also a hard worker. He often has more than one job, and has worked many over the years, including cleaning, working at a carwash, dusting. He works with Mary Frank, who assists him in on the job training and learning. So, it’s time for Jasper and staff to work on his Personal Outcome Measures® and low and behold, what do you think Jasper’s biggest hope and dream is? Yep, to work at the airport with Grandfather.

Well, it’s a really small town, and a really small airport, in fact it, is family run. Jasper and Mary went to the airport and inquired about jobs and volunteer opportunities there. They did not have any openings and the manager did not think they needed any volunteers but agreed to talk to her husband about the possibility. Jasper did not hear back and he and Mary called and stopped back in to follow up. Again, the manager would have to talk to her husband. You know, it took almost four months, multiple phone calls, stopping back in and repeatedly asking, but Jasper is now the official airport volunteer until a paid position becomes available, at Grandfather’s airport. He’s there every Friday afternoon, when he is off work. He picks up, he sweeps, he jokes about sweeping the whole runway, and he loves every minute. Jasper also assists in replacing rivets on an airplane, mowing and cleaning out the tie-downs on the runway.

It took a lot of determination, dedication and finesse, but Mary accompanied Jasper to every one of those meetings and supported him to make every one of those calls to demonstrate how determined and reliable he is and what an asset he would be for the airport. Now she accompanies him every Friday as he volunteers to help him stay that focused and on task, and occasionally watch Adam the airplane take flight. Thanks to the Personal Outcome Measures® helping to identify what Jasper wanted most, and Mary and Jasper’s determination to do just that, Jasper is living his biggest hope and dream right now. Don’t we all wish we could do just that?

2016 Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

This article is part of a campaign during the 2016 DSP Recognition Week, to acknowledge Direct Support Professionals who are helping people achieve their individually-defined outcomes, through the use of Personal Outcome Measures®. This campaign was developed through a partnership between CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership and The National Alliance For Direct Support Professionals (NADSP).