SRVS is one of those places when you walk in, you immediately feel the positive energy flowing. While I was signing in at the front desk, and exchanging smiles with the employees passing by, I knew it was going to be a great day. Cheryl greets me in the lobby and takes me on a tour of the facility. The facility is under construction due to some flood damage that occurred a while back but it still looks great. I see the modern classrooms that are adorned with current learning technology and I wave at many people I have never met before. There is happiness and joy on the faces of EVERYONE I encounter. Cheryl explains to me that SRVS has recently adopted a Montessori style curriculum to better engage and enrich the lives of their clients. I think it’s a great plan and I will be excited to hear about the continued success of the curriculum. Because of the flooding, the classrooms had to be cleared out so that new flooring could be laid and walls painted. This is where my mission for the day comes in: to move the boxed up classrooms into an area where they can be unpacked and rearranged to go back into the classrooms. Even though my work is mostly behind the scenes, I know it’s important, so I accept the mission.
Fortunately I won’t be alone in my work, I have Astrid and Allison keeping me company. It’s instantly clear to me that they are both people with big hearts and a passion for working with the clients at SRVS. I’m in good hands. Another part of my day that I’m stoked about is seeing my good friend, Laura Tumminello. Laura is a board member at SRVS and her son, Gabe, is a client. I’ve wanted to hear more about her story with SRVS for quite a while and I knew today was that day. As Laura puts it, “SRVS saved my son’s life!” Since I could write a book on her story (and I probably should) I will sum it up this way: SRVS is a rare, full-service facility that has the capabilities to give the attention and augmentation to disabled adults that they deserve. The story impacted me so deeply I could scarcely write about it the same day. It made me realize how much I take for granted with my son. Not anymore.
I made several new friends, laughed a lot and gave a few hugs. I can’t wait to go back when the classrooms are finished and work on some art and music projects. If you want to meet some of the greatest people in Memphis, spend a few hours at SRVS.