VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — For adults with disabilities, 2020 and the isolation that came with it was very challenging. That’s why the Ability Center of Virginia plans to open its doors — safely — this summer.
Cary Boothe is ready for the Ability Center of Virginia to open its doors again.
“I’m really excited about going back to camp,” said Boothe.
He’s been attending camps and events there since 2010. It’s part of his routine and his place to be with his friends.
“For Cary, this is his independence,” said Tracey Rascoe, Boothe’s sister and caretaker. “It’s his independence away from me. He socializes, he has friends, he loves the staff, he enjoys coming up here. He has a whole social calendar.”
Because of the pandemic, the Ability Center moved its programming online last spring.
For summer 2021, they are planning on holding camps in person.
“For a lot of the adults that we serve, in particular, the Ability Center is the only place they go,” said Camp Director Ashley Hall.
Hall says they will follow all CDC and state guidelines, including temperature checks, mask-wearing, social distancing, outdoor activities as much as possible, and more.
“Being able to get back in person with our participants that we love so much would just … joy,” said Hall. “I feel like it would just bring so much joy. Not just to us, but to them and finally start to get back to normal.”
Getting back to normal is exactly what Boothe and Rascoe are ready and waiting for.
Boothe said “This sickness needs to go away so bad, what it is. This COVID needs to go away.”
“This is a life-changer, to have him, to be able to come back in person, to be able to socialize, be with his friends,” said Rascoe.
The Ability Center of Virginia just launched a new program called “smile bombing” to help raise money for its activities. For a donation, you can get smiley faces placed all across your yard.
You can learn more about the fundraiser and the organization by clicking here.