GARNER, NC – Able to Serve is a local outreach centered in Garner, North Carolina. Hundreds of Christian faith-based organizations are reaching the unreached people in isolated villages around the world. Able to Serve seeks to reach one of the world’s largest unreached groups, one that is often isolated within our own communities.
“Adults with learning disabilities are often ignored, overlooked, and misunderstood,” according to Carlton McDaniel Jr., Founder and Executive Director of Able to Serve. In addition, they also often lack legitimate opportunities to realize their own God-given talents and abilities.
The mission of Able to Serve is “to equip adults with learning disabilities to be independent and [to] connect them with opportunities to serve others in their community.” Far too many adults with learning disabilities do not even realize that they have that kind of potential.
McDaniel explained that for “adults with learning disabilities, when you reach the age of 22 in North Carolina, you are put out (of the system) to fend for yourself.” Although there are some compensatory programs available, McDaniel maintains that there is no other program in the area that is as holistic as Able to Serve.
The Monday through Friday program is participant-focused. Just like the rest of us, each of the participants in the program is an individual person, unique unto themselves. Their Creator designed them for a purpose. The program helps them to understand who they are, what they are capable of doing, and discovering how the Lord can use them. In the program, participants learn, grow, lead, and serve by
- developing important life skills and gain an understanding of our community.
- exploring new experiences that provide them with confidence to become the best they can be.
- taking responsibility for themselves and taking the initiative as role models among their peers.
- engaging in meeting the needs of the community by serving others.
Able to Serve is not a program that graduates participants. The program is available to expand each individual’s understanding, skills, responsibilities, and service for their entire lifetime.
Now in its 15th year of operation, Able to Serve is grounded on five foundational principles.
They are Christ-Centered. “We strive to serve others, in word and deed, in the honor, glory, and Spirit of Christ.”
They are Person-Focused. “We see each human being as an individual with inherent value who is worthy of love and respect.”
They are Goal-Oriented. “We set high standards for our work, and we are ambitious as we seek to make an impact in the lives of the people we serve.”
They are Good Stewards. “We approach our work with a deep commitment to integrity as it relates to our finances and how we engage program participants, staff, volunteers, and donors.”
They are Community-Minded. “We believe our community is a better place when people of all abilities come together and serve others to make a difference.”
The hope of the staff and volunteers at Able to Serve is that “through our work, adults with learning disabilities in Wake and Johnston Counties will be equipped to live a full life as recognized and valued individuals who are fully integrated into the life of their local communities.”
When we pray for the Lord to bless Able to Serve, let’s also pray that He will raise up others with a similar vision to reach the unreached adults with learning disabilities in our own communities.