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A new lease on life for Katie

I truly appreciate all that has been done to get Katie back into day program. I see many people were involved in making it happen. Her dad's dying wishes were for her to have her pre-pandemic life back. Thank you for answering his call."

- A note from the parent of a person we support at Empower

Just before the pandemic started, Katie moved into one of Empower's houses that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

As COVID-19 took hold, we were not allowed to have visitors into our houses. It was incredibly hard for Katie and her family not to see each other for many months. So we made it our mission to bring them together any way we could. Our staff arranged drive-by visits, window chats, and video meetings. After several months, we were able to start outdoor visits, and finally indoor visits.

Sadly, during that turbulent time, Katie's dad was diagnosed with cancer. He passed away earlier this year. After all those months when Katie and her dad couldn't see each other, we knew how important it was to help Katie attend the funeral. Her presence brought great comfort to everyone involved.

As life began to get back to normal, Katie still faced another obstacle.

From March through July 2020, all day programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities were forced to suspend services due to the pandemic. While Empower reopened its day program sites as soon as New York State allowed us to, not all other providers were able to reopen theirs due to staffing shortages and transportation challenges.

For months, Katie stayed at home waiting to get back into the day program she had been attending at another agency. Finally, we were able to move her into Empower's day program, and now she is able to get out every day and be with friends.

Katie's mom recently got in touch with us to thank our team for all they've done to help Katie live her best life. You can find her moving words at the top of this screen.

This is the kind of life-changing work that you support when you donate to Empower. Can you help us to help more people like Katie?