Impact Madison County is a group that was formed in July of 2010 to help the developmentally disabled transition into jobs, volunteering and more in Madison County.
It is a separate organization from the Sheltered Workshop. The members call themselves “Consumers” and have formed their own Board of Directors. Steve and Christie Head are two of the advisors who help direct the group toward reaching its goals. Executive Director of the Madison County Council for the Developmentally Disabled (MCCDD) Clyde Clifton is an advisor when asked.
There are many goals they would like to achieve. First, they want to get the word out about their organization. They have been participating in events like Freakytown, the Madison County Fair, and at local school functions. The group is currently in the process of applying for an IRS status as a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization; Clifton is helping Impact Madison County toward this goal. The group would like to hear from anyone in Madison County who needs special services.
Second, anyone with developmental disabilities is encouraged to join. Parental or guardian’s permission is required for those under 17.
Why join? Educational opportunities are another goal the members want to reach including (but not limited to) getting a driver’s license, learning how to work with computers or the Internet, creating Facebook pages and much more.
The consumers want to get involved with the Azalea Festival, held the first weekend in May, food drives (like the one they just held), Halloween parties, Christmas parties, fundraisers like a movie night, getting a GED, make nursing home visits, helping with Fitness For All Children (Also known as the Happy Feet Project), Special Olympics, and oth er celebrations or events throughout the year. These are just some of the goals they want to meet. They have fun doing it, too.
Currently, they have about 30 members from the area. Some members recently job shadowed at local businesses to help provide insight into transitioning from school to the work environment.
“Businesses are not aware of the abilities many of our consumers have,” Clifton said, “Job shadowing at a business shows the company just what capabilities the student brings to the community and the workplace.”
Some people still believe the 3-R Recycling Center is still here. Getting the consumers involved in the businesses and community helps stop that mistaken perception. The 3-R Center has been gone for years.
Impact Madison County is a county-only organization. It is not national, state or regional according to Clifton. Its goals are to help individuals in Madison County reach their own goals.
“Impact Madison County wants to bring awareness to what the developmentally disabled’s abilities are,” Clifton said. “Many local businesses are not aware of the capabilities Impact “Consumers” can provide.”
Another goal is to help each student transition to other options, like employment, when they graduate from high school Clifton said.
Funding for Impact Madison County is mostly done through its own fundraisers, although the use of the building and transportation is approved through the MCCDD Board and Senate Bill 40 funds when requested.
Call 783-3770 for more information.