BRANDON, Miss. (WJTV) – With the shelter in place order covering Mississippi, schools are, of course closed and so is the Mustard Seed. The non-profit is dedicated to giving adults with developmental disabilities a fun place to learn, create and be among friends. The Mustard Seed is one of the happiest places in the Metro. Like most everything else, it’s closed for now. The loss is profound.
Del Adams is the Executive Director.
She laments, “The hug from a down syndrome individual or someone with a developmental disability just brightens your day, and we’re missing that. So we have to find joy in any way we can right now.”
To do that, the Mustard Seed is enriching lives remotely. Seedsters like Caroline Stone can have ceramics and paints delivered to their homes.
Caroline’s dad, Bill says, “She’ll come in and sit down and get to work, and she feels real good about the work, and she feels real good about the work she is doing, and she enjoys it.”
The encouragement doesn’t stop there.
Del says, “Then we’ve also had, our staff has been sending them daily, whether it’s a devotion or a cross word puzzle or a maze, just any kind of fun activity, scavenger hunt, all kind of things to keep them engaged and keep them happy.”
Zoom is also huge among the Seedsters.
Caroline’s mom, Gayla Stone says, “It’s so much fun, because you can see all your friends, the staff and they all have a chance to just greet each other, which of course take a while, because they are very excited to greet each other.”
Faith remains a cornerstone.
Gayla explains, “There’s a lot to pray for, and these Seedsters love praying for their family and friends and city and state and so they are faithful in that way.”
Like the rest of us, the Seedsters are figuring this out, one inspiring step at a time.
Bill Stone says, “The concept of social distancing is not particularly apparent to the Seedsters. A warm embrace, a good hug, is something the Seedsters are very good at, and so that’s been a little awkward to not be able to do that. (but) She’s adapted real well to that. She’s happy to give you a thumbs up or a wave. I think Gayla told me that last week, finger guns are back in, now that we can’t shake people’s hands, so she’s good at that.”
Gayla concludes, “They have made a hard time far better than we could have ever imagined.”
Nearly two-thirds of the Mustard Seed’s budget comes from private donations. You can pitch in at mustardseedms.org