Brother’s Keeper is a program designed to educate adults with intellectual disabilities to empower them to engage with the community.
Providing these adults with opportunities for life-long learning acknowledges that their potential to grow doesn’t end on graduation day!
With its emphasis on education and training, Brother’s Keeper facilitates the continued intellectual, vocational, physical, social, and spiritual development of adults with intellectual disabilities. The life-long learning curriculum is tailored to suit each adult’s special abilities and needs.
A task that takes one adult two steps to complete may take ten steps for another.
This customized approach creates a safe setting for these adults to learn because it sets them up for success!
At Brother’s Keeper, we acknowledge each person’s inherent, God-given value. We also know that each adult wants to add something of value.
We see the potential that lies just beneath the veneer–they have special abilities, not just special needs!
Accordingly, the training at Brother’s Keeper is tailored to each individual’s special skills and needs so as to maximize the potential of each adult. The program’s vocational component equips them to accomplish tasks that support its entrepreneurial enterprises. Meanwhile, our encouraging staff and volunteers affirm these adults as they learn and apply new skills. Each adult’s success makes a valuable contribution to the Brother’s Keeper community.
As the adults taste success at Brother’s Keeper, they’ll gain the confidence to engage their broader community. New entrepreneurial enterprises will provide adults with opportunities to apply vocational skills and engage in the marketplace. Their involvement in these enterprises will generate income to cover a portion of operating costs.
But it’s not about paying the bills.
It’s about a paradigm shift.
Brother’s Keeper educates and empowers adults with intellectual disabilities to engage with their community by supporting the community as it supports Brother’s Keeper. These adults aren’t dependent on the community, and the community isn’t independent of these adults.
They are part of an interdependent community in which Brother’s Keeper equips them to thrive.
As a young teenager, I watched my older sister fall in love with two of her babysitting charges, Thomas and Stewart. I joined her in many of their adventures together and soon began babysitting them myself. They captured my heart from the very beginning. Thomas and Stewart taught me how to make almost anything fun. They taught me to enjoy and appreciate life in a way I hadn’t before, and most importantly, they taught me how to love others unconditionally. I am passionate about providing opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities because Thomas and Stewart showed me that every person has something important and meaningful to offer in this world. -Kelly HollandKelly Holland
“Thank you for all you do. It is very apparent that this program is far above par and exceeds expectations! The love in this room is visible.” – Dick Morris, Associate Minister at Boones Creek Christian ChurchDick Morris, Associate Minister at Boones Creek Christian Church
During the time I looked after Thomas and Stewart, people would say to me, “What an amazing thing you’re doing!” I never understood that because I always thought, “Wow, what amazing things these boys are doing for me.” You see, they changed my perspective on life. They taught me how to live like a child, how to love, and how to view the world through rose-colored glasses. -Becky O’HatnickBecky O’Hatnick
“She can now start and carry on a conversation – one on one- She will answer a question when I ask it. She also will initiate a conversation by making a statement by telling me something and wait for my answer. There can be 3 or 4 interchanges on same topic.” – Janet Burgess, about a participant since she began coming to Brother’s KeeperJanet Burgess
I’m excited about Brother’s Keeper. It opens so many doors for so many individuals. I started working with Thomas and Stewart as a job and little did I know what I would learn and how I would grow because of them and their family. One thing I learned from them and so many others is that each and every person has a role in society. God made us all for a purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 says “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.” He put us all here for a reason. Thomas and Stewart always brings joy to those around them and well as many other qualities. Thomas loves my son Jackson and looks out for him now and Stewart teaches my two little ones “the BEST game ever.” Giving adults with intellectual disabilities opportunities to serve in the community allows them to be used by God to serve others only they can do. -Megan BurkholderMegan Burkholder