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August 2009 Group Spotlight - Wilkes Vocational Services

Wilkes Vocational Services

Wilkes Vocational Services provides daily services/employment to disabled individuals in Wilkes County. The funds they receive for managing the Handicapped Parking Lot and for manning the pickup/drop-off area for handicapped individuals at MerleFest help make these daily services possible for their clients.

David McGrady, President of Wilkes Vocational Services, feels that when their consumers (disabled citizens) help out at MerleFest, it gives them an opportunity to be in the community. "It also gives them the satisfaction of doing things that everyone else gets to do. When they are able to participate socially and be productive in the community, it moves them toward independence. The more independent they become, the less they depend upon the taxpayers to provide their needs."

Another benefit of having the Wilkes Vocational Services' clients work at the festival is that they come into direct contact with other disabled individuals who have chosen to come to MerleFest and participate in a community activity. "This gives our consumers a little more drive and desire to do the same. This is our primary goal -- to have our consumers become more active in the community."

MerleFest would not be possible without volunteer groups like Wilkes Vocational Services. A big thank-you goes out to them for being part of our volunteer family.