Helping America's most vulnerable®

The Difference Kindness Makes

Stories of living your faith through service

Maggie's Story


After 49 years living in a state institution due to her intellectual disability, Maggie’s biggest challenge arrived the day she was “de-institutionalized” and recommended for transfer to a community-based residential facility.

Her family was deeply concerned—her care in the institution has always kept her safe, but never helped her develop even the most basic skills to take care of herself. Would it all be too much? 

Their fears were immediately put to rest when they met the caregivers of the Volunteers of America Edwards House, a cozy group home in Wisconsin. With their patient care and support, Maggie soon fit right in, learning personal skills such as how to dress and care for herself, sharing responsibilities at the house and living like a real family.

Her family had never dreamed such progress would be possible. But every day Volunteers of America is determined to prove that—with a little faith, a lot of love, and the patience to listen to their unique needs—it’s possible for men and women like Maggie to live their lives to their fullest ability.

How you can help

So often, amazing transformations like Maggie’s start with a simple act of kindness from a stranger. You can play your role by sending a welcome card that we’ll deliver to someone like Maggie who is starting a new program with Volunteers of America.

Send a welcome card to someone like Maggie

What inspires caregivers to give back to people like Maggie

“I love helping people to come to realize that they don’t have to be judged from their past experiences but they can grow, and have more healthy happy lives.”  - Michael, Volunteers of America caregiver and employee