Dear Friends of The Next Stop,
To remind you, The Next Stop was founded in 2007 to form a social community for adults with special needs. We recognized that when they age out of school at 22 years old, their life changes immediately. Their consistent peer group and teacher mentors are no longer a part of their daily life which often results in loneliness, depression and regression.
Over the past 13 years The Next Stop program has filled this void for many adults with special needs and we have become what we affectionately call "The Next Stop family". Each day at The Next Stop our members have had the opportunity to enjoy friendships, participate in recreation and continue to grow through life application learning activities. All this was happening alongside their peers, very devoted volunteers and a supportive staff.
And then in March, like everyone else's life, it all abruptly stopped.
It goes without saying that all of our lives have changed so much since then. We've endured months of uncertainty that has resulted in new anxieties, cancellations and changing our daily habits in a major way. We have been challenged individually and corporately to find new ways forward.
One thing that remains the same is The Next Stop's commitment to serving our members. Unsure when we can meet together again in person, we have spent these past few months developing and implementing a virtual Next Stop program on Zoom. Many innovative activities and at home activities have been created and prepared by our Program Director/OT Ms. Kathy. We are continually working to provide our members opportunities that support the basic goals of The Next Stop.
Of course interactions and communication through Zoom can't replace the value of face to face conversations, individual support or the dynamics within groups--but it's the best option we have as we journey through these unprecedented times together. The Next Stop absolutely recognizes that our members' families are the key to making this effort a success for everyone--and are extremely grateful for the team work!
Vicki and Stu, Founders