When the New York State Department of Health (DOH) put our GuildCare program on hold, Cheryl sought divine help. “My mother kept telling me to pray that GuildCare would open back up after it closed.”
The answer to her prayer came when the DOH approved the reopening of our program in Niagara Falls. Before the pandemic, Cheryl, who lives in a group home, had attended the GuildCare program five days a week for about four years. She enjoyed “the crafts, the games, and exercising. I like that I learn about different things.”
Like many, the pandemic affected Cheryl’s home life as well. She moved down to Florida to live with her mother, Diane until the worst was over to avoid the danger of the virus spreading throughout the group home.
Diane has been impressed by the impact of GuildCare on her daughter. “She has been a much kinder and friendlier person since she has been attending. She did not use to make friends easily, but now she has gotten to know most of the people there.” One of Cheryl’s favorite people is Terresa Olenick, GuildCare Niagara Falls’ program director, whom she calls “Terre.”
Cheryl attended school until she was 18 but had difficulty reading and doing math. “She tries but cannot do math very well,” her mother said. “GuildCare has helped her with math,” her mother said. “She started to pick up and function better once she entered the GuildCare program. She started learning more, and she looks forward to performing tasks and figuring out things, and she has learned to ask questions.” GuildCare also gave Cheryl practical skills such as learning how to cook, which she used during her stay with her mother. French Onion Chicken is one of her specialties.
One of Diane’s most treasured positions is a heart- shaped magnet Cheryl made while attending the program. It hangs on the dining room doorway so Diane can see it every time she walks into the room. It says: “I love you, Mom.”
Diane was so grateful that GuildCare was reopening that she made a gift to Lighthouse Guild. “I donate to things I think are of value and that are helping people. GuildCare is absolutely the best program Cheryl has ever participated in.”