A prom dress for a teenage girl who couldn’t otherwise afford one. Companions and friends for older people who would otherwise spend their days nearly alone.
These are simple things in the big picture, but they make people’s lives better. And that’s what keeps Sue Acevedo serving her community.
Sue, a project administrator with PPL Electric Utilities, serves on the executive board of the YWCA of Bethlehem. She also serves on executive committees that oversee the organization’s annual prom dress day and its adult day services.
For prom dress day, the agency collects donations of dresses, shoes and accessories, then makes them available for a nominal fee at the State Theatre ballroom in Easton. The agency essentially gives away 200 dresses a year to girls from mostly lower-income backgrounds.
“The first girl (to find a dress) every year is a big thing,” she says. “We wait for that moment.”
The YWCA also offers an adult day care service for people aged 60 or older suffering from physical or mental disabilities such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, mental or intellectual disabilities and dementia. The service gives primary care providers a break. It also gives participants the chance to spend time with groups of people, rather than a single caretaker.
Sue has made her involvement in the YWCA a family affair. Her son and daughter have worked in the adult day care program over summers, and her daughter also volunteers for prom dress day. (They have also volunteered serving Thanksgiving meals at a shelter in Bethlehem.)
Asked why she gives her time to her community, she says she truly believes everyone should. Sue mentions the joy of prom dress day, and the satisfaction of a personal connection to the adult day care program.
“Very recently, I found out that a family friend of my husband’s goes there. I’ve spoken to his kids, and they had nothing but good things to say,” says Sue, who used to work with handicapped adults. “He has someone to talk to day to day. He has friends, instead of staying with one aide all day. The enrichment he receives from this interaction makes a difference in his life.
“Hearing them talk about what the program means to someone I know really brings home the difference the YWCA makes,” she adds.
For more information on the YWCA of Bethlehem and its programs, click here. Stay tuned to PPL Stories for more personal stories of PPL Electric Utilities employees in our communities.