THERE'S ALWAYS LIFE AFTER ABI
CHIRS has provided me with a greater sense of independence. Before CHIRS, and after my accident, I was living with my mother. Moving into a residence at CHIRS gave me a chance to step back into society. As well, I really love the music program at CHIRS; it gives me a chance to practice the harmonica and to join my friends in singing. I also like to mentor at the club. Doing laundry, serving coffee and washing dishes is a great way to feel productive and give back to CHIRS.
My favourite thing about CHIRS is connecting with my peers and helping out. I prepare lunch at the club twice a week, run a Scrabble group on Tuesday and help with karaoke on Thursday. It helps to keep my brain stimulated and allows me to feel like I am doing something worthwhile with my life. I love the challenge of making the club a welcoming and positive place. It feels so good to turn frowns into smiles. If I didn’t have CHIRS I would feel isolated and would have far less to look forward to.
The quality of human beings in this building, from staﬀ to volunteers to students to participants, is so far superior to what is found in the regular world. There is always someone here to lend a hand or provide a positive word when needed. There is always something to do at CHIRS. You will never be bored. Many people who attend have had their life change, going from working full time to having a lot of time on their hands. CHIRS gives us a place to go and meet people and have fun.
CHIRS is a good place to hang out. People are my own type in that we all have a brain injury, which means that we understand each other. It is good to know that at CHIRS people won’t dismiss me right away if they see that I walk funny or hear me talking in a peculiar fashion. I mentor at the club on Mondays and I do the work as needed. It keeps me busy and helps me feel needed. Plus the coﬀee is cheap which is a bonus!
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