He’s no longer a young man, but when Mickey smiles, his eyes twinkle with the pure, unadulterated joy of youth.
There’s a light inside Mickey, the kind you can see without ever having to hear him speak a single word.
Mickey, 63, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a child and is deaf. He communicates through sign language, the written word and some speech.
While he may not say much directly to most people, Mickey has the very rare and enviable gift of making those around him feel happier, just by being who he is.
Every day, when Mickey arrives at the Human Support Services workshop, he shows up with that contagious smile and an enthusiastic wave.
“He’s usually happy,” said his mom, Reita. “Every morning, he greets me with a smile and ‘good morning.’”
Mickey, who has been working in the day services program at HSS since 1992, lives with his parents, Reita and Orville.
Mickey loves his job with HSS, Reita says. Every day, he gets up in the morning, makes his bed and prepares his breakfast and his lunch at home before boarding the bus to HSS.
When Mickey gets home in the afternoon, he handles a few chores around the house, including mowing the yard, sweeping the floor and taking out the garbage.
“HSS gives him a place to work that we feel comfortable with,” Reita said. “He is making money which is important to him, and he’s gotten into the Special Olympics. HSS has just been wonderful to him. We don’t worry about him when he’s gone. They provide the transportation and without that he wouldn’t be able to work so much.”
Mickey is proud of his job and likes to earn money so he can buy food and gifts for his friends and family. His favorite days are when he gets to do janitorial work because he earns the most money, Reita says.
“I can’t imagine what would have happened with Mickey if he didn’t have HSS,” Reita said. “He doesn’t like having to miss work. If we go on vacation he’s anxious to get back so he can get back to work.”
In his spare time, Mickey loves making projects with his wood-burning tool. He gives his finished designs as gifts, and has even won awards at the Monroe County Fair. He also enjoys watching football, baseball and basketball with his dad.
For Mickey, HSS provides a job he loves, and a sense of purpose.
This year, HSS workshop clients worked more than 39,000 hours on projects for area businesses. Partnerships like these give our clients safe, supervised on-site jobs, while giving local businesses an affordable, dependable workforce.
Join us in building more partnerships like these to make our community stronger. Your contribution to the Human Support Services annual holiday appeal will make a difference to individuals and families right here in Monroe County.