ADEC expects large donation of Christmas gifts for clients this week

NOW: ADEC expects large donation of Christmas gifts for clients this week

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GOSHEN, Ind. - Santa Claus is coming to town a little early for ADEC clients in Goshen. The group, which serves the developmentally and intellectually disabled, said it is expecting more than one hundred gifts to be dropped off by Santa himself starting on Tuesday. Volunteers said it's part of their effort to make sure clients could still enjoy their holiday season in a year that's been ravaged by a pandemic.

"I like to open gifts and be with my family," said ADEC Client Ashley Van Vurst. "I like to listen to Christmas music and send out cards. It makes me feel good."

ADEC leaders said the Wish List is part of the organizations effort to make sure clients can enjoy their Christmas season.

"It really kicks off the holiday season with sharing the wish list gifts to the individuals we serve," ADEC President and CEO Donna Belusar said. "The wish list, which has been in ADEC for over two decades, is where we get the community to come in and volunteer which they can't do. So, I'm here today only as a helper. They buy over 3350 presents to over 100 some clients to give them presents for the holidays."

The Wish List is made up of ideas clients said they wanted for Christmas. Community members then register to buy those gifts for the client. ADEC, then delivers those gifts both to the clients at ADEC facilities as well as to the homes of clients who cannot go to ADEC facilities.

The gifts, of course, are delivered by Santa Claus.

"We want to make sure we try to keep things normal because change is very difficult for a lot of our clients," said Cherri Peate, ADEC's Vice President for Community outreach. "What's more normal than Santa? It's been such a beautiful experience to witness the gifts coming in, the donations coming in and people just happy to give back to our clients."

Peate said the pandemic has made an impact on ADEC's efforts in 2020, but she said it presented an opportunity more than anything.

"I would say it's been more of an opportunity to think outside of the box and be innovative on how we stay connected with the community," Peate said. "We do this in various ways."

Peate said ADEC has tried to focus more on technology to connect with clients. At least one client said she's got the Christmas Spirit and wants to spread it.

"I would like to wish everybody a merry Christmas and a happy New Year," Ashley Van Vurst said.

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