Wings Fall Festival
Fall is now and pumpkins rule. Come celebrate at Wings during its annual Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch event, which runs every weekend through October 18. With the event on five acres, there will be plenty of room to social distance, stay COVID-19 and flu protected with hand sanitizing stations throughout the property, and enjoy family time. Executive Director Cheri Weaver estimates that 6,000 to 8,000 will attend this fundraising event, which is Wings’ largest outreach to the community.
Wings enhances the lives of adults with developmental disabilities through an active social, vocational and residential program. The program, which currently has 60 members, is available to those 18 years and older. Their oldest member is 62. Since Weaver began with the nonprofit in 2016, there have been major changes.
“We are fully-accredited and nationally recognized,” Weaver said. Once students reach 18, there are few options for them to continue into adulthood. The program at Wings fills that void to help them be independent. The mission of Wings is to enhance the lives of adults with developmental disabilities through social, vocational, and residential programs guided by principles of the Bible. “There is great hope and great opportunity after high school,” Weaver said. Many of the members are non-verbal so during their Life Skills Classes they learn different ways to communicate.
Computer skills, for example, help members communicate with their family via e-mail. Google helps them research an upcoming family trip. During their health and wellness classes circuit training is taught and a different goal is set each week. There is an apartment where the members learn skills such as laundry, sorting silverware, and hanging clothes as well as opening and reading mail.
Community outreach is an important component of the program. The members volunteer to help on various projects for other nonprofit organizations such as Citizens Caring for Children, the Hope Center, and Infant Crisis Center. Members make baby blankets for the Infant Crisis Center and then hand the blankets to the recipients so that members see and make a connection to those community members receiving their work. Other examples of community outreach include packing food snack packs, hygiene kits, for the memorial marathon the members made 10,000 swag bags.
“A lot of work goes back to the community,” Weaver said. One of Wings’ founding members is Margo Price who now volunteers regularly. Her youngest of three boys is James, who attends the program at Wings. She speaks wholeheartedly about how James, who will be 32 years old in November, has changed while at Wings.
“My son has blossomed,” Price said. “It has made a huge difference in his life. I want him to have as much of an independent life as possible.” Wings makes it a reality.
Wings is located at 13700 N. Eastern Ave. For more information, visit wingsok.org or call 405-242-4646.