The Next Stop Foundation, a local organization that centers around adults with special needs, has graciously donated 25 hand-crafted birdhouses built by their talented members. The City of Sugar Hill will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony honoring the members’ hard work at the Thursday @ The Hill on April 21st on the Town Green during the City’s Thursdays @ The Hill food truck event. The birdhouses will be on display at Gary Pirkle Park to be viewed and enjoyed by the public, and also provide shelter for the city’s bird population.
The Next Stop Foundation started in 2007 when they began serving adults with special needs with the intention of providing them meaningful and productive experiences after they age out of the traditional school system at 22 years old. When these adults leave the school system, they no longer have a consistent peer group or support from a teacher or mentor. Providing opportunities for members to participate in goal-oriented activities that support social relationships, encourage personal growth, and foster the development of life skills is what The Next Stop proudly achieves.
One of the most important goals of the organization is to ensure that their members understand they are a part of our community. To help them understand the value of community and to truly feel it themselves, “service projects” were established. Through these projects, they have collected for organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse, the Rescue Ranch, and the Shepherd School in Haiti. In a recent and more hands-on project, 20% of the members and their families participated in the local “Feed My Starving Children” food packing event. Members were excited to participate as they learned about who they would be helping while also practicing food pack routines.
Meanwhile, what the members of The Next Stop are currently most excited about is giving the City of Sugar Hill twenty-five beautiful birdhouses they crafted themselves. After being provided with kits prepared by a member’s father, Todd Walker, they organized into teams. The first week each team took turns reading the directions, and then constructing the birdhouses by using screwdrivers and applying glue. The following week, the teams then worked together to sand and complete their birdhouses by applying a finishing coat linseed oil to ensure the protection of all their hard work.
The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Town Green on the 21st and to view the birdhouses at Gary Pirkle Park. For additional information, please contact Varessa Butts at firstname.lastname@example.org.