Carol’Ann’s life is enriched by enriching others. Having Down Syndrome has never kept her “down”, because she enjoys cheering others “up”.
Often, after many of her personal contacts, she exclaims ” I think I made their day! ” Or better still, someone says ” She made my day. “
She has traveled the world ( 32 countries & 42 states ) and makes friends everywhere, being a true ambassador of Down Syndrome.
Volunteering is a part of her life. Over the past 52 years, she has volunteered at several nursing homes, W. MD. Hospital, YMCA summer camp, Bible School, Wilson College (which turned into a paying job), elementary school office, MD. State Tourism office and has been active in Lions Club for many years and recently joined Civitan.
Giving to others and ” learning all kinds of things ” is her passion. She is constantly wanting to make and bake things, to give as tokens of friendship,
to nursing homes, shut-ins, veterans home, and friends, each with a personal visit, if possible. Craft supplies surround her and recipe books are usually open.
Her latest craft is making “Windsocks by Carol’Ann” and several people have suggested that she sell them.
Her quest for learning started at a young age and she would go to the library everyday, if she could. When traveling, she always has to find the local library and museum.
When you ask her about a trip, she will usually say “It was very educational”.
Being able to have Self-Direction at home is very important, for two reasons. One is because that is where her work areas for crafting and cooking and baking are. Secondly, because of health and weather issues, there are many days when being outside is not good for her health. Being able to schedule staff to fit personal needs, rather than staffing needs of an agency is crucial, because life is lived on a daily basis.
Life for everyone changed in March 2020 and it has been hard to accept adjustments. Staff comes to her home, wearing a mask, on days when the weather cooperates and they sit outside, on the patio, to work on craft projects and walk for exercise. Other days, they communicate by using Facetime, to play learning and memory games, go over recipes, practice her cheers for Believer’s Cheer Team and make plans for what to do and where to go “when things get back to normal”, etc.
Life is what you make it and she “makes my day”.
written by Carol Alphin, better known as “Carol’Ann’s mother.