Typical Life Corporation individuals and Direct Support Professionals enjoyed all the ship had to offer, including great food and impressive views of the sunrise each morning.
As gentle sea breezes blew, Zaine Venable, Typical Life Corporation’s Properties and Vehicles Assistant, and Wesley (not his real name), an individual TLC serves, sipped coffee and watched the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean. Each morning of their nine-day cruise to the Bahamas, the duo made a point of repeating the ritual.
This was the first cruise for Zaine and Wesley, and both hope it won’t be their last. The experience blew them away.
“It was a good time, good time,” Wesley shared.
A chance to relax
After watching the sunrise each day, Wesley and Zaine enjoyed breakfast with two other individuals and their Direct Support Professionals who were on the trip. It was one of Wesley’s favorite parts of the day. Bottomless buffets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner delighted the group, who often follow restricted diets at home.
The trip was truly a chance to let loose and relax.
Between each dining extravaganza, Zaine and Wesley explored the ship, testing their skill at rock climbing, water skiing and bingo, and enjoying the Jacuzzi. Wesley took to the stage during karaoke to offer a rendition of his favorite song, “Buy Me a Bone.”
Though this was Zaine’s first cruise, it was not the first time he’s helped to connect individuals to special opportunities through TLC. In his nearly two years with the organization, Zaine has traveled with individuals to Walt Disney World, WWE WrestleMania at the Giant Center in Hershey, and the Strasburg Railroad, among other outings.
“I just love them,” Zaine says of the individuals he serves. “It doesn’t really feel like I’m punching in and out.”
Working for TLC is about much more than the off-site adventures. When not traveling or working on a residential project or maintaining a TLC vehicle, Zaine loves giving haircuts to individuals and arranging movie nights. A diehard fan of trains, Zaine also is helping individuals build a model railroad for the TLC Day Program in York, including miniatures of the Day Program buildings.
More like family
Working at TLC is a far cry from Zaine’s previous job as a prison guard. He enjoys the experiences he helps make possible for the individuals TLC serves. Whether hanging out in a TLC residential home or exploring the Bahamas, the memories created transform the individuals and the staff.
“It’s more like having a family member,” Zaine says of the individuals. “You become so close to people.”
Zaine will never forget his and Wesley’s first port of call on the cruise. They sat at a beachfront table in Coco Cay, enjoying a scrumptious buffet and watching swordfish swim in the crystal-clear water below their table. Dolphins crested on the horizon.
At a stop in Nassau, Wesley found a teddy bear souvenir for his girlfriend, whom he hopes to bring on his next cruise.
“It’s important for them to get out and do this,” says Zaine, “because they deserve to sightsee and have fun.”
Making memories and providing these life experiences is an important part of TLC’s mission and promise to the individuals they serve. With committed staff like Zaine, and adventurous spirits like Wesley, TLC continues to open doors for inclusion and experiences just like this one.
Remember us during Give Local York
Give Local York is May 4-5, 2023. It is York County’s biggest giving day of the year. The event offers local nonprofits the opportunity to increase awareness of their mission while raising funds and connecting with new donors. Learn more and donate to TLC at givelocalyork.org.