George Suess, CEO of The Arc of Delaware County said, “It takes time and reciprocity.” The Arc of Delaware County has long advocated for ways in which people with disabilities can not only become part of the community and accepted , but also develop true friendships in which people delight in sharing each other’s company.
Warren Stelter became friends with David Bailey, owner/operator of Hamden Auto about 7 years ago through Janet Stoop a Life Coach at THRIVE. Janet had previously introduced Warren to snowmobile racing and explained, “Warren likes anything that runs and is loud so snowmobile racing was right up his alley.” She knew that her friend Dave also loved snowmobiling so she introduced them to each other at a snowmobile event. Dave relates how he immediately liked Warren because of “his phenomenal sense of humor.” He related that Warren shares his love of practical jokes. At the garage, Warren and Dave demonstrated a favorite prop used for one of their pranks- an old air horn from a truck. Both Warren and Dave love to surprise people with the blast that happens when they hook it to the air compressor. Warren enjoys developing ideas for pranks and jokes that keeps the garage team laughing and on their toes.
The sharing of mutual interests and supporting each other is a large part of friendship. Warren always has his friends at the garage in mind and brings items he thinks would be useful when he visits. A stray cat adopted the garage and Warren brought a jar in to collect donations for its care. “Garage Kitty” has been a fixture at the garage for a long time.
When Warren participated in the Lawn Tractor Pull at the Delaware County Fair this year, the entire Hamden Auto Service business closed so that all of the employees could see him compete. Dave related, “We were excited and proud of Warren. We are competitive individuals and Warren was competing, and so we all wanted to see him at the Tractor Pull.” They also had chipped in to buy Warren his own toolbox for his tools he uses when helping with the many projects at the garage. Currently Warren and Dave are working on restoring a ’69 Chevy truck. Dave said, “Warren enjoys doing anything that needs doing around the shop.” This includes sanding, painting, and helping with mechanical repairs.
Outside the shop they share time together going to snowmobile races. And each year Dave takes Warren out for his birthday.
Friendships are reciprocal and enrich each other’s lives. “A friend is a gift you give yourself.”~ Rovert Louis Stevenson
If you would like to take the next step and make a personal connection contact The Arc of Delaware County via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Community Relations department at (607) 865-7126. View more about “Making Community Connections” on our YouTube site: http://youtu.be/WDx-hFGo9uo