‘Build Me Up’ at Morgan Memorial

Published 10:53 pm Friday, January 18, 2019

Men and women of all abilities came out to Morgan Memorial Library for the latest Throwdown Thursday this week.

The monthly series offers activities for adults to have fun, socialize, meet new people and be active in their community. Roughly a dozen came out to the latest session on Thursday, where they tackled some of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions on everyone’s lists.

Most of the participants came from facilities that care for those with physical and intellectual disabilities, such as Circle of Friends LLC in Suffolk. Charli Babb, a direct support professional with Circle of Friends, said it’s important for them to get out into the community and interacting with others.

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“It’s less anxiety for them and greater self-esteem,” Babb said. “It also reduces the risk of depression.”

Everyone was in good spirits in the Morgan Memorial meeting room. Community Services Librarian Matt Thompson prepared a slew of activities that they enjoyed, as they clapped to the beat of “Build Me Up Buttercup,” “Don’t Stop Believin’” and other songs.

They made pouches with scented lavender to help them get more sleep. Another table had pictures of all sorts of healthy foods to come up with their own healthy plates.

Christina Bess, 26, made a healthy collage of salmon, oranges, carrots and a glass of water to wash it all down.

“I picked water because sometimes we need to clean our system out, and the carrots because they’re good for your eyes,” Bess said.

They learned how to say “hello” in different languages and enjoyed practicing with a tai chi instructional video. There was also an ice-breaking activity for them to get to know each other better.

By the end of the hour they were talking, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Thompson doesn’t always get to manage activities like this at the library, but when he does it’s always a rewarding experience, he said.

“It’s so affirming and fun and pretty different from my normal job,” he said.