Transitions Life Center helps OTOW resident

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Matthew Murray knew life would change a bit when he moved to Ocala last fall. As a 27 year-old with down syndrome, his options are somewhat limited. What he didn’t expect was how many new friends he would make through an organization called Transitions Life Center.
“When Matt moved here, I was really concerned about how he would adjust,” says his mom Diane Murray. “We were so glad we found TLC (Transitions Life Center). He went to the summer camp and loved it. To have the friendship and camaraderie he has found means so much to me.”
“The people at TLC are awesome,” says Matthew. “I have so many friends now and they are all good people. At camp, I did woodworking, crafts and learned about science experiments that were really cool. The dance at the end of camp was great.”
Transitions Life Center is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that is providing programing for adults with special needs who have completed the ESE programs within the public school system. The group started with a summer camp in 2013 and began a Saturday program called THRIVE in January. THRIVE stands for teamwork, honor, respect, independence, values and education. TLC held a spiritual day in January where an ecumenical mission exchange team from Jamaica worked with TLC volunteers to share lessons and activities based on the Proverbs 17:17 scripture, “A friend loves at all times.”
Matthew attended the TLC Spiritual Day, “I had a great day,” says Matthew. “I got to see my TLC friends again and made even more friends with people from Jamaica.” Matthew found a special connection with Elton Watson, a minister in the Jamaican Mission Team.
While Diane is thrilled her son has made a connection and found a place with TLC, she, like many parents, looks forward to the organization’s continued growth.
“I know their plan is to have a residential facility one day,” says Diane. “I hope it is in the near future. All parents want their children to grow up and have a full life of their own. That doesn’t change when your child has a disability. Matthew would love to live somewhat independently, but in a setting where he is safe. That’s what TLC wants to do.”
To learn more about TLC, visit www.tlcocala.org. If you would like a speaker from TLC as a program for your organization, contact Ginger Broslat at 352-861-0252 or ginger@tlcocala.org.
TLC will take another step in fundraising toward their dream with the Lola and the Saints benefit concert to be held at West Port High School on Sunday, Aug. 10 from 3 to 5 p.m. The doo-wop group will be performing classic tunes from the ’50s and ’60s Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door, or by calling 352-861-0252.