Mary S. is just such a joy to be around. She also loves to give back to the community.
Mary, who lives in Albany County, is part of Vanderheyden's Day Habilitation Without Walls program for the past two years.
As one of ten individuals in the program, Mary gets to explore the Capital Region, while accumulating a portfolio of new and different experiences.
One of Mary's favorite places to visit is Atria Assisted Living in Albany. Every Monday, Mary's group visits the senior citizens, which she loves to do.
"We do arts and crafts and color, and play Uno," Mary said.
Mary even loves just stopping by to say 'hi' to her favorite residents.
Volunteering is another big component of the Day Hab program.
On Wednesdays, Mary is busy at the Salvation Army, where her group straightens out clothing, learns about pricing items, and, finds bargains galore.
"I found $60 Vera Bradley items for $14 to $15," Mary said.
Other volunteer opportunities include Meals On Wheels on Thursdays, and collecting bottles for cashing in deposits.
Since Mary is a shopaholic, and loves to give back, she shops for a woman who can't get out to do that.
Mary likes many things about the Day Hab program.
"I like to listen to everyone socialize in the van, when we are going to places, and have a good time," she said.
Joking around with everyone and making people laugh are fun things Mary likes to do.
"Mary is a resource for us. She always knows what is going on. She is always the person to go to if you need a smile," Natasha Young, Day Habilitation Specialist said. "She's always filled with warmth, and is always willing to go that extra mile for someone."
Participating in fundraisers, and bowling events, along with Vanderheyden's Turkey Trot, are occasions Mary definitely gets involved in.
Her whole family, including a brother and two sisters, are good resources for donating, too, Mary said.
"They donate clothes, they see what needs you have, and give back to the community," she said. "They donate and go out of their way to fill them."
At home, Mary's hobbies include using her own "artist studio" filled with markers, pencils and pens for her collection of adult coloring books.
She also likes to watch the news, and clean her house. In the summer, Mary said she likes to be lazy in the pool.
Thank you, Mary, for brightening up our day here at Vanderheyden!