Calypso Foundation, Recipient

For adults living with intellectual disabilities, getting the support they need can mean the difference between being dependant on caregivers and realizing some measure of independence by earning their own income. That was the case for one man who had been living with his parents, with no ability to earn income. Today, with help from The Calypso Foundation in Lewisporte, Newfoundland, Canada, he is working full time, loves his job, travels throughout the province and makes friends everywhere. And his parents, who supported him for so many years, are now enjoying a new chapter in their lives, one with greater freedom. The Calypso Foundation is a work-oriented rehabilitation center for adults with intellectual disabilities. They serve clients throughout central Newfoundland, including 20 adults on a day-to-day basis and another 10 who receive additional services. Those services include continuing education to enhance learned skills, such as math, reading and handling money, as well as employment training to assist with resume development and job searches. They also provide a living skills program, which is financed entirely through fundraising. The life skills adults take away from the program are invaluable: cooking, baking, hygiene, personal space and laundry—all essential to gaining independence and building healthy relationships. As a recipient of a 4imprint® one by one® grant, The Calypso Foundation ordered personalized duffel bags for the 33rd Annual Calypso Fundraiser. The organization gave the bags to members of the Board of Directors and their volunteers. They selected the Camberly Duffel as a way to thank them for their hard work and dedication. The funds raised from the auction support the services The Calypso Foundation provides. This year, they raised $14,000. “It goes to fund our living skills program,” explains Colleen Barrett, foundation manager. “We have an instructor specifically for that program, so her salary is paid and any associated expenses and tools they may need.” The Calypso Foundation has been helping adults with intellectual disabilities since its founding in 1977. Clients can self-refer or be referred by schools, social workers and health care professionals. In the end, the benefits go beyond learning life skills and gaining employment to improving quality of life, Barrett said. “The employment portion is one thing,” she says, recalling the man they helped who had been living with his parents, “but because he’s working, he’s not dependent upon them for services and entertainment. He’s a lot happier than he was.”