Success Story: Andrew

Andy is a familiar face to many Ottawa County residents.  He worked at a local supermarket for eighteen years, where his strong work ethic and fun personality made a very positive statement about the benefits of the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in the workplace.

In 2015 Andy needed a change, and started a new job at a local motel where he cleaned the common areas including the lobby, hallways, pool area, gym, and restrooms. In previous interviews, his boss indicated that Andy did an awesome job keeping things in great shape for the motel guests. In 2023 he made a job move to a hotel closer to his home.

What does he do when he’s not working? Andy is a busy guy! He bowls on a weekly league and enjoys watching his dad shoot pool. Faith is an important part of his life, and he is a lector at his church.  He is also involved with a lot of the activities that OCBDD’s REC Team offers to the individuals we serve.  Andy is one of the founding members of the OCBDD self-advocacy group SASSY (Self-Advocates Sayin’ Something Yeah!). He is also a statewide trainer for Project STIR (Steps Towards Independence and Responsibility), a training program for self-advocates designed to provide people with disabilities with the tools to advocate for themselves, work with others in advocacy and gain leadership experiences.

Andy also likes to do stand-up comedy in his spare time and enjoys honing his skills with friends and family. When you leave Andy’s presence, it is most likely with a smile on your face.

In 2019 Ottawa County Probate Judge Hany appointed Andy to serve on the Board of Ottawa County Board of Disabilities. His life experiences bring an invaluable point of view to our board.

Success Story: Heather

HEATHER is a young woman who doesn’t let life pass her by!

She is very active in Special Olympics and plays on four of the Ottawa County Rocket teams—softball, basketball, bowling, and track. She told us that basketball is her favorite, but she is a fierce competitor in each sport.  Heather earned a bronze medal for bowling at the 2022 Ohio Special Olympics State Games.

Her regular participation in OCBDD’s SASSY (Self-Advocates Sayin’ Something Yeah!) group has taught Heather to speak up for herself. She enjoys the guest speakers at the meetings and said she has learned a lot from them.

Heather really loves socializing and is a frequent member of Ottawa County Board of DD’s REC group.  She enjoys going out to eat with them and participates in as many of the fun REC outings as she can.  Heather is looking forward to their trip to the pumpkin patch in October. She also likes to spend a quiet night at home watching TV.

Hobby Lobby is one of her favorite shopping trips. She needs a LOT of art supplies for her hobbies of sewing, bead crafts and jewelry making, and diamond painting!

In her spare time Heather works at a local retail store and shared that she really likes her job.

When asked to describe herself she chose the words happy, helpful, sweet, kind, and thankful.  We can’t think of more appropriate words to describe Heather and are so thrilled that she has such a full and fulfilling life!

Success Story: Mac

“A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet” pretty much sums up Mac’s attitude about life.  He always has a smile and some conversation ready to share with people he meets and is a very familiar face in the town where he lives.

Mac has helped at high school athletic events for many years and has formed many strong friendships along the way. He was thrilled to be able to watch the Redskins football team clinch a spot in the final four in their division in 2021! He is active in Special Olympics and plays softball and basketball with the Ottawa County Rockets teams. Family and friends, including the school superintendent, are frequent faces in the stands when Mac plays.

His church community is a very important part of Mac’s life.  Several years ago, a tornado blew through and caused a lot of damage to his hometown.  Mac didn’t hesitate to walk to his local Salvation Army office and ask how he could help.  He worked hard to help distribute boxes to his friends (old and new) and neighbors who were affected by the storm.  He proudly shared that the mayor awarded him with a Citizen of the Year Award and a key to the city. There is also a brick in the park with his name on it and a tree planted in his honor.

Mac comes from a very close-knit family filled with traditions; his two brothers and sister are very important parts of his life. His aunt made him a quilt out of his dad’s favorite t-shirts that is one of his favorite treasures.

He loves books and movies and was excited to see the new Batman movie in the theatre.

So, if you see Mac when you’re out and about, be sure to say hello. He’s always up for making a new friend.