Colie works at Social Spin every Wednesday.
You can find her greeting and guiding people in. She was born and raised in Phoenix and spent her summers volunteering at Prescott’s hospital. She was attending college to become an elementary school teacher. She had weight loss surgery that caused her to lose her ability to walk.
As I’m talking with Colie, she tells me that she is here because, “Grandma instilled the importance of helping and contributing to the community you are in.” I volunteer here because I need it to feel whole. It’s me.
“What misconceptions do you find people have when they meet you?” I ask. “Being in a wheelchair, people think I am incapable physically and mentally.” I feel like I have to prove myself”
“When people come to places like this. When they see people like me, they need to remember we are humans not projects.” Colie continued.
Additional misconceptions are that people assume I am broken or if someone needs to use social services, somehow we are less.
“I have family members that treat me like I am broken because I am in a wheelchair”
My cousin, Thomas, “helps at Social Spin, at my home. He is always there. For better or worse,” she laughs. Thomas is boisterous and quick to tell stories that are bound to entertain and engage.
He enthusiastically tells me he just got a job that allows him to still volunteer at Social Spin on Wednesdays. He has used social services in addition to supporting others through the process.“Biggest misunderstanding about me is, not all disabilities are visible. You don’t see mental disabilities the same way.”
With Thomas nodding in agreement, Colie says, “because of the resources here I have seen people get housing, jobs. I find it heartening. They even helped us with dog food!
The Valle del Sol providers are so loving and amazing. They called and checked in when I was out sick. It was so touching.”
Social Spin has some of the funniest, some of the nicest people. From staff to vendors to people who need the services. “I love it here.” Colie says.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the cute baby pug Bambam, who is Colie's adorable furry companion. She proclaims Bambam Social Spin’s newest mascot.