Support, Inc. hosted it’s annual Summer BBQ last week for the first time in two years. With the pandemic putting a pause on in-person activities, we were forced to forego our traditions last year. Luckily, the STAR Committee was able to host it’s summer gathering again, and we were thrilled to have everyone at our main office in Aurora. Between the food, the games, the raffles and the prizes, it was a great time to enjoy each other’s company. The friendships and comradery developed through the years always shines through when we all get together as one big bunch of people helping people.
Every now and then, we catch wind of an unexpected family reunion. When Jeff’s sister, B, was digging through some paperwork one day, she was determined to meet Jeff and to see how he had been doing. His sister connected with his former ARC advocate and was able to locate Jeff after that. The sister made plans with Jeff’s current host home provider and the two arranged to meet at the Support, Inc. office located in Aurora.
Jeff’s provider relayed that she learned about his sister when there was a knock at the door in late May during a severe thunderstorm. Jeanne was Jeff’s past ARC advocate and has known him for more than 30 years. Jeanne arrived with some very exciting news as she relayed, “You’re never going to believe this!!”? Jeanne explained how B had stumbled across some older documents, tracked down Jeanne and asked how Jeff was doing and if he was still alive. Jeanne relayed that Jeff had been residing in Littleton, Colorado for the last 9 years and couldn’t be doing better. He’s happy, thriving and very comfortable in his home.
Jeanne handed over an envelope to the provider, and the letter inside revealed it was up to the HHP on whether she thought it would be beneficial for Jeff to meet his sister. The provider eagerly agreed to this, reached out to B and Jeff’s residential team to set up a meeting. Jeanne hadn’t seen Jeff in over 26 years, so this was an exciting meeting to plan! The provider was very emotional to learn these details- she’s discussed with Jeff’s team several times through the years about how she wished he had family and natural supports outside of her home. The provider relayed she shed many tears of relief and true happiness, to know a relative was finally stepping forward to meet Jeff and to hopefully build a relationship with him. The provider called B as soon as Jeanne left to schedule the meeting and move forward with next steps. They exchanged a few stories, and the provider answered any questions B had on Jeff’s services for the last 9 years. When B first emailed Jeanne, she was in California. By the time Jeanne connected with our provider, B was in Arizona. B relayed that she would love to meet Jeff in June once she returned to Colorado. On June 14th, Jeff reunited with his sibling for a fun reunion at the Support, Inc. office. Anna McFarland, Residential Program Coordinator for the Denver Metro 1 Team was in attendance for the meeting, to ensure everything ran smoothly.
The meeting went well, and it has been reported that Jeff enjoyed meeting his sister for the first time in over 26 years. B relayed many details to Jeff on how things have been going in her life. She also asked a lot of questions and wanted to hear how things have been going for Jeff.
Overall, the provider relays that Jeff has a wonderful personality, and it is truly a pleasure to serve him. The provider explained how Jeff loves music. He also likes to sing, clap his hands and have freedom of movement. In addition, Jeff loves ducks, animals in general, good food and being included in activities. Jeff is known for comforting others when he sees someone upset. Jeff ultimately has a home with the provider for the rest of his life, as this long-term match has proven to be a very successful placement.
When asked about future visits, the provider relayed that another visit occurred with B in late July. The team is hopeful that these visits might continue, if Jeff is in agreeance to the relationship. We thank Jeff’s provider and his team for working diligently on the reunion. It was truly wonderful to see Jeff interact with his sister, and we’re grateful to be a part of Jeff’s life!