By Deb Silverthorn
Community Homes for Adults, Inc. (CHAI) has hit a hole-in-one even before its 2022 CHAI LIFE event begins. From 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at Topgolf in The Colony, the community is invited to support the community’s state-of-the-art group homes and vocational, educational, social and spiritual programs for adults with intellectual disabilities.
“The pandemic has kept us apart long enough and we’re all ready to be together,” said Linda Swartz, a CHAI board vice president and co-chair of the event with Emily Ackerman. “We hope the community will join us for a great event, supporting an important cause and sharing it all with our CHAI family and friends.
“We need to help one another; it takes all of us to make a difference and CHAI needs our support,” said Swartz, whose heart comes to CHAI as she has a family member living with intellectual disabilities. Swartz, her husband Rob and their children Michael and Cristina are presenting sponsors; the family is covering the event’s entertainment, food and beverage costs. “We want people to get to know CHAI, our residents and all the important efforts made on their behalf while having fun.”
Golf “pros,” amateurs and spectators are invited to the event, which will feature golf, food and socializing amongst CHAI residents and the greater community.
“I’m so excited — we’re all so excited — for this first opportunity to really be able to interact. Being apart has taken a great toll on all of us, and our families and residents want and need to come together,” said Sandy Kaman, CHAI board member. Her brother Morris has been a CHAI resident for more than 20 years.
“CHAI has always been so caring and supporting of its residents, and that responsibility was met above and beyond during all these months when family members, and others, couldn’t be present in a way we’re all used to,” said Kaman, who is CHAI’s development chair. It is a role she shared with the late Beverly Goldman until Goldman passed away last month. “It’s our turn to give back, to support this really magnificent organization, and we need our community’s help.”
Established in 1983, CHAI is a nonsectarian, nonprofit corporation under Jewish auspices that provides programs and services to enable adults with intellectual disabilities to live full, rich lives in a safe environment and to meaningfully participate in the community.
CHAI services include room and board for 29 residents at its Bauer, Levy 1 and 2, Miller 1 and 2, Todd, Toub and Yale houses. Other services include: health care and specialized therapy assistance, financial counseling and training, transportation, medical and therapy appointments and medication supervision, synagogue participation, volunteer opportunities, social activities, entitlement (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security) assistance, clothes shopping, paying of bills, resident documentation and family communication and support.
CHAI offers an array of support to its clientele. Wolens Program Services provides support services to CHAI residents as well as individuals living independently in the community or with loved ones. Life Skills trainers assist with activities of daily living like social skills, budgeting, shopping, health and wellness, etc. Supported Employment provides clients assistance with job search, resume building and on-the-job coaching. Club CHAI has regular social outings and CHAI Connects is a resource providing support, education and mentorship to family members of CHAI residents/clients or potential residents/clients.
“The past few years have not been easy, and the current financial climate remains uncertain, but we are so grateful for the very generous support of our sponsors, who have once again come through for us and helped us achieve our fundraising goals,” said Patsy Goodman, CHAI’s director of development. “We are very thankful to the Swartz family, which, through their sponsorship, allows most of the funds raised for this year’s CHAI LIFE event to directly benefit our programs and services.”
Goodman added that event organizers are happy to have an in-person event that has the health and safety of everyone attending in mind. “It’s been a long couple of years; our residents are very excited, and this is going to be a great party where we can safely mix and mingle and we’re all ready for that,” she said.
For more details, or to make a reservation for the Sept.18 event, visit chaidallas.org/chailife or call 214-888-4909.