Trace Industries staff paraded past their clients’ homes Thursday afternoon, cars decked in “We Miss You” signs and drivers honking their horns.
Trace client Brittany Carroll and her mother, Leslie, waved and smiled from their driveway as Trace General Manager Robert Webb hopped out to hand off a goody bag filled with treats. Brittany handed him a plate of Lucky Charms cookies she made in return.
“Miss you, love you,” Brittany yelled as she waved to her friends.
Trace Industries is a day training center for individuals with developmental disabilities. The nonprofit workshop is part of the Pennyroyal Center and provides jobs for adults with special needs in Hopkinsville, Cadiz, Princeton and Madisonville.
“We decided to do this parade so we can let them know we love them and miss them,” Webb said, noting that they have 40 clients at the Hopkinsville location.
The facility has been closed to clients since March 19, after Gov. Andy Beshear mandated all adult day care facilities to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, Trace administrative employees have been trying to find ways to stay connected with their clients.
“This population certainly likes routine, and their routine has been totally upset,” Webb said. “Some have their days and nights mixed up, they are confused of why they can’t come back and why they can’t work. We’re trying our best in different ways to have a routine with them.”
Trace Industries has been using Facebook Live, YouTube and FaceTime to host life and social skill classes, such as exercise, meditation, healthy eating and virtual cooking classes.
Wednesday, Webb demonstrated on video how to make marshmallow treats.
“That was a pretty easy recipe for me,” he said. “(The clients) were sent the instructions so they could follow along and make it with me at home.”
Webb said Bingo Live has also been a big hit. The residents are winning fake money during the game to use for snacks when they return to Trace.
Although Trace Industries is closed to their clients, Webb said all employees are still working at each of the facilities in Madisonville, Princeton and Hopkinsville. Employees are working daily on the military contract and other contracts the facility has with industries in the community.
“We’re hoping we can get (clients) back here as soon as the governor allows,” Webb said. “But their safety is the most important thing.”
As the parade looped around to head to its next stop, Leslie waved and thanked the staff for coming by.
“You all have truly made our day,” she said.