Helping America's most vulnerable.

The Difference Kindness Makes

Maggie's Story

After 49 years living in a state institution due to her intellectual disability, Maggie’s biggest challenge arrived the day she was “de-institutionalized” and recommended for transfer to a community-based residential facility.

Her family was deeply concerned—her care in the institution has always kept her safe, but never helped her develop even the most basic skills to take care of herself. Would it all be too much?

Their fears were immediately put to rest when they met the caregivers of the Volunteers of America Edwards House, a cozy group home in Wisconsin. With their patient care and support, Maggie soon fit right in, learning personal skills such as how to dress and care for herself, sharing responsibilities at the house and living like a real family.

Her family had never dreamed such progress would be possible. But every day Volunteers of America is determined to prove that—with a little faith, a lot of love, and the patience to listen to their unique needs—it’s possible for men and women like Maggie to live their lives to their fullest ability.