For forty years, NQCA has been fostering and supporting one-to-one voluntary advocacy relationships in the North Quabbin region.
In 2003, NQCA introduced Tom to Dave, a highly respected local businessman. Before meeting Dave, Tom had very few social contacts outside of his family and programs. They shared a love for NASCAR and the River Rat Race. Over the years, Tom’s social life expanded as they worked together at many community events sponsored by the Athol Lions Club. Dave was also there for Tom when he needed advocacy, including helping him receive a kidney transplant. They remained close friends up until Tom’s premature death in 2018. Dave kept in touch with Tom’s father until Dave passed away in 2021.
People who live with intellectual disabilities and/or mental health disorders have historically been devalued in society. They are typically more isolated, have fewer resources, more often live in poverty and have smaller social networks and informal support. They also often struggle to meet basic needs of safe housing, access to food and medical care. Social isolation, which has increased since the COVID pandemic, correlates with higher mortality rates and poor health.
The world has changed radically in the past few years, which has intensified the vulnerability of people with disabilities and mental health challenges. NQCA encourages the advocates to be there for the long-term, to offer practical help and to advocate on behalf of their friend. These inspiring relationships are meaningful for both partners. NQCA’s work simply would not be possible without the generous donations of friends and neighbors like you. To sustain the program, the annual campaign must raise $20,000. Will you please continue your support and make a donation today?
Your support makes a profound difference. One relationship at a time, NQCA fosters a genuinely caring community where all are welcomed, included and valued. NQCA continues to make matches and support these relationships. Our commitment to this work is strong and our capacity to do good work is strengthened by your contribution.
Thank you for your support!