Steamboat Springs The Horizons ski program took off this year, with more than 60 volunteers helping disabled people to ski.
Horizons volunteer coordinator Lisa Cutcheon wants to continue those relationships by establishing summer activities for the disabled people, or "clients."
"We're trying to keep the momentum going from the ski program," Cutcheon said. "(Summer programs) have been a little inconsistent. I'm trying to do something every month."
Cutcheon said there are 21 disabled people in Steamboat who meet periodically with Horizon volunteers. Some of the disabled live alone and some live in group homes. They meet with a counselor, but Cutcheon said the contact with the Horizons' community is extremely beneficial for them.
"It just adds to their socialization in the community. It's one more person they can develop a relationship with. It adds to their quality of life," Cutcheon said. "It like having another friend."
Cutcheon said Horizons' clients and nine volunteers went to a bowling party recently and she would love to see it become a yearly event. She is also planning a day at Steamboat Lake and wants to invite community members to attend.
She said Horizons is careful not to overwhelm the volunteers.
"People just step in. They just embrace the clients," she said. "People who are attracted to working with a disabled person have that resource that helps them through."
Recently a youth group came through town and spent time with clients, and Friday, the Journey of Hope, a group of bicyclists raising money for charity, will stop by and see them, Cutcheon said.
There is an established one-on-one mentoring program in which a community member is matched with a client with similar interests, she said. They spend about three hours a month together doing things they enjoy together. Volunteers have to go through an interview and a background check, Cutcheon said.
"I've never met a client that doesn't enjoy the company of others," she said.
To reach Jennifer Bartlett call 871-4204 or e-mail email@example.com