LIFEPlan member, Brady Orr, typically attends Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s Tradewinds School, a supportive environment where he and others learn vocational skills to prepare them for employment and independent living.
Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, Brady has been home from school for the past 6 weeks. As with many people diagnosed with Autism, the lack of routine and consistency in his day has presented challenges which can often lead to a regression of the skills he has learned. Leaving Brady to adjust to his new “normal.”
While school was in session, one of the vocational training opportunities that Brady participated in with his peers was volunteering at the local Feed Our Vets Pantry. This allowed them to put the skills they were learning into practice. The mandated social distancing protocols put this work on hold.
Like many caregivers, Debby Orr, Brady’s mom and LIFEPlan’s Mohawk Valley Family Liaison, struggled to find a way to help Brady maintain a sense of routine. Debby and Brady considered creative ways to bring the work that Brady enjoyed to their home environment, allowing him to continue to work on his vocational skills.
“Having food and essential items available for local vets is extremely important to the community,” Debby said. They were determined to find a way to continue supporting this cause, with increased needs due to the COVID-19 situation.
Just like many people during this crisis, Brady decided it was time to work from home! He has taken over the family dining room and turned it into a makeshift assembly line where he puts together hygiene care packages. Currently, he assembles about 50 care packages per week and delivers them to the pantry. This not only ensures the needs of our local vets are met but also allows Brady to work on his vocational skills, creating a sense of normalcy in his day.
Thank you, Brady, for being creative in finding a way to continue helping others.