Friendships for Our Clients

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Meet JasonĀ (pictured above with his team manager Layla)

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Jason a little bit over the past couple of months. Jason is someone who is very outgoing, polite, likes to hang out with friends, and really enjoys being around other people.

Jason was born in Bloomington, but grew up hunting and fishing with his “PaPaw” in Bloomfield. He also really enjoyed 4-wheeling and racing go-carts, and always knew the best places to find mushrooms. When he was 15 he was in a very bad car accident and ended up spending the next 5 months of his life at Methodist Hospital in a coma most of the time. When he woke, he did extensive physical therapy and occupational therapy, but experienced traumatic brain injury. After the accident he experienced permanent changes in memory, attention, impulsivity, depression, and anxiety.

I invited Jason to attend the Toast of the Town events at Oliver Winery (June 30), Cardinal Spirits (July 27), and Upland Brewery (August 24), because he seemed interested in attending, and I know he appreciates getting time out in the community to meet new people. He doesn’t have staff supports on the weekends, so I decided to give him a ride to the events myself. During the time I spent with Jason, I learned that he really enjoys his job at Texas Roadhouse, and likes getting to see people from work. He also really wants to be able to meet someone he could have a relationship with. Jason would love to have a family of his own some day.
Reflecting on this, I realize just how important it is for the people LIFEDesigns supports to have friends in their life who aren’t staff. For Jason to get chances to meet someone he might be able to fall in love with, he needs to be able to regularly attend various social activities. Jason is not the only person I’ve gotten to know at LIFEDesigns who feels this way. Our LIFEMentor program is designed to support community members to have positive long term friendships with our clients. It’s such a simple way to have a huge impact. Learn more about becoming a mentor and friend on our volunteer page.