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Looking back, it’s been a place where I can practice my people skills. It’s a place where I feel safe and accepted. I work on attitude change. At Connections, I work in the kitchen unit. I arrive at 6:30 a.m. and start working, I help with food prep., operate the computer and cash register and whatever else is needed. I depend on the Kitchen leader to give structure to my day. Before I came to Connections I stayed in bed and was hospitalized. Now, I attend 5-6 days per week and feel like I have meaning in my life.
When I came to Connections in 2009, they were already having pottery fundraisers. I had never worked with clay before, but knew right away that I was interested in doing it. I started hand building pieces, mostly pinch bows. Now, I’m working on the wheel, hand building, making face jugs, and carving. Early on, I was known for my lady bug vases. I have taken two pottery classes at Catawba Valley Pottery Session #2Workshop at CVCC. While working with pottery is therapeutic and fun, it also is a skill which builds confidence. I started doing my own personal shows in 2016 at local art festivals. I also continue to help with Connections fundraiser because it is for a good cause. Being at Connections has been a great source of support for me. The members and staff are my friends and family. At Connections, we work together and play together. The staff at Connections and my family have encouraged me to follow my dreams. I love it here.
Connections is a place to come for practice, for instance working in the units help us learn. It is good to be part of a place where you can be active in a stable place. At Connections you have good will and pride in your work. Connections Clubhouse fills a need in your life. The staff and managers will help you with many of your needs. It is important to accomplish things and meet your goals and Connections has supported me with reaching many of my goals. You have pride at Connections. You have respect at Connections. Everybody is your friend at Connections. You are appreciated at Connections. They accept you for who you are. “Connections puts a smile on your face”
Connections gives me a reason to get up in the mornings. Before I started at Connections I slept all day long. Since coming to Connections I work at Olive Garden through Connections Supported Employment program. I have learned a new hobby – pottery. I had never worked on pottery before and now I can mix glazes, glaze pieces and load and unload the kiln. I enjoy staying busy so I assist in all the units as needed. This year I also helped with preparing the turkeys for our annual Thanksgiving meal. I like attending the bingo outings and calling out the numbers. I am excited about the annual chili pottery fund raiser, and will be helping prepare for the event. I am very thankful for all the support I receive from everyone at Connections.