Each year, we are fortunate to hear stories about how the many people supported by our organization have benefitted from the generosity of donors like you.
And today, I would like share with you an incredible story about Ron Adea.
At the age of three, Ron was diagnosed with autism and began to receive speech and behavioural support through Community Living Toronto, Kerry’s Place and Geneva Centre. Ron’s parents, Lucy and Romeo, moved from Toronto to Mississauga so that Ron would be able to attend school that provided an inclusive classroom setting. Their son flourished in this inclusive environment and quickly built new friendships with classmates. For the first time, Ron was invited for play dates and birthday parties and felt included in all aspects of his school life.
When Ron turned 21, Developmental Services Ontario referred him to Community Living Mississauga to participate in our Job Path Program.
With the support of the Employment Resource Centre, he job shadowed at a variety of employers such as Loblaws stocking shelves and Tim Hortons performing cleaning duties.
The owners at the Tim Hortons so appreciated Ron’s work ethic, drive and enthusiasm during this time, they offered him a permanent part-time job working three days a week.
When you ask Ron about his job, he will say, “I started on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 9 am”!
The money that Ron has saved up through his job is for a trip to the Philippines, during which time he will perform at a fundraiser to help raise money for organizations that support individuals who have an intellectual disability.
When Ron was five years old that he started to develop his love for music. At the age of seven, Ron taught himself to play songs by just studying the screen of his electronic keyboard. He began taking lessons with a private piano teacher and later enrolled into a school of music. Today, he studies under a renowned piano teacher, adjudicator and performer, Eileen Keown.
Since 2003, Ron has performed at many functions throughout Ontario and the Philippines. On June 8, 2013, Ron presented a graduation gift to his school of seven years, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School, a concert entitled “A Night to Remember” where he launched his 2nd CD, “A Quiet Night with Ron”.
Ron describes his life as happy and busy: he volunteers his time at Viva Retirement Communities – Mississauga, works part time at Tim Hortons and enjoys Taekwondo and bowling with his friends from high school, Steven and Eugene. Ron rounds out the week with church and family time.
Ron’s story is just one of hundreds of successes which have been made possible thanks to your support.
I am writing to you today to ask if you’ll support us once again and make your special gift of $50, $100, $200 or a special monthly gift. Your donation will help us to continue enhancing the lives of so many.
There is still work to do and our greatest challenge is to advocate to the government to provide adequate funding that will allow many more children and adults who have an intellectual disability to experience inclusive opportunities and a life within the community. Please help with your gift today.
Thank you for your support of Community Living Mississauga. I wish you and your loved ones a restful and joyous holiday season.
President-Community Living Mississauga