It’s that familiar smell of pumpkin pie when you walk through the door. It’s loud family gatherings filled with laughter and hugs. It’s the feeling of warmth, comfort, and the freedom to be yourself that can only be found in that one special place. That’s what being home for the holidays is.

Having a place to call home, for the holidays and every day, is so special and important. Unfortunately, due to many circumstances, not everyone is so lucky. But sometimes, extraordinary people open their hearts and their doors to those who need it most.

Karrie and Maryanne

Karrie Schindler has provided Home and Community Habilitation to Maryann since 2013. Karrie has helped Maryann receive many opportunities to engage in the community and make progress toward her personal goals. But in 2019, Karrie had the opportunity to impact Maryann’s life in a much bigger way.

After Maryann’s mother passed away in December 2018, she went to live with some family members in Florida. One cold Friday night in January of 2019, Maryann found herself at the Pittsburgh airport and didn’t know what to do. She called Karrie.

Karrie was out the door and on her way to the airport before they even hung up the phone. Karrie and her family welcomed Maryann for the night with open arms, and shortly thereafter decided to become Lifesharing providers, opening their home for Maryann to live with them as part of their family.

Karrie and Maryann Karrie and Maryann Karrie and Maryann

The holiday season is in full swing and it’s a time to celebrate the comfort and love of home that everyone deserves to have. That’s why Mainstay’s Lifesharing program is so important. It provides warmth and love to people when they need it most, and all year long.

Families who open their doors and hearts with the Lifesharing program have the opportunity to enrich their own lives, as well as the life of someone in need. And the person being welcomed into their family has the opportunity to flourish in the community with improved self-esteem, increased growth and development, new life skills and most importantly: a place to call home. And that’s the best holiday gift anyone can ask for.

Learn more about Mainstay’s Lifesharing program here: https://mainstaylifeservices.org/community-services/lifesharing/