It began as the dream of two loving parents who wanted to provide the best life possible for their daughter. They envisioned a community where adults with developmental disabilities could reside and pursue lives of quality, value, self-worth, independence and achievement.
More than a half-century since its establishment, Annandale Village has lived up to that promise — and more.
Annandale Village serves adults with developmental disabilities
and acquired brain injuries at all stages of life and care.
It is one of only three nonprofit residential communities in the entire United States, and the only one in the Southeast, serving adults with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries at all stages of life and care. It offers a full continuum – from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing.
To the Villagers, as the residents prefer to call themselves, the 55-acre wooded campus 30 miles north of Atlanta in Suwanee is simply “home.”
“When our residents come here, our hope is this becomes their home and their community for the rest of their lives,” said Kayce Pearce, the organization’s chief development and marketing officer. “We’re fond of saying ‘happiness lives here.’”
Annandale Village currently serves 220 individuals through residential, day, respite and community-based independent programs. Of these, 155 live on campus year-round, most in their own apartments.
“Some residents have lived here most of their adult lives and experienced every level of care we offer,” Pearce said. One resident recently celebrated 47 years as a Villager. The oldest resident is now 80 and the youngest is 21.
True to the founders’ intent, the village provides an opportunity for residents to live fulfilled lives.
“We want every resident to live as independently as possible,” Pearce said. This includes experiencing a healthy balance of recreational, social and wellness enrichment.
A requirement of the program is that able residents maintain a paid job or volunteer in the community at places like the local animal shelter. About 20 percent of the full-time residents have a job off campus. Others work at on-campus jobs, including the village’s vocational workshop.
Recreation is also a key element of life in the village. Residents’ physical well-being is encouraged with an indoor pool, gym, fitness center and walking trails that wind through landscaped gardens. Villagers also have access to a computer lab, art and music activities and an amusement arcade.
The campus also features a health services clinic, a state-of-the-art dining hall and outdoor gathering spots that provide opportunities for social, emotional, physical and spiritual growth.
Art and music activities enrich the lives of those residing at Annandale Village. Photo courtesy Annandale Village
Much of the community life centers around the 29,000-square-foot program center.
“It’s the hub of village life, a busy space,” Pearce said. “It’s also one of our oldest buildings.”
Village supporters are currently securing donations to build a new, expanded program center. They hope to break ground next year to build a space that has more room for more services and activities.
The community’s day program will be an initial beneficiary of the expansion. It serves those who reside off campus but come to the village daily for activities and programs.
“This community-based program is growing rapidly. It has more than doubled in the last year alone,” Pearce said. “A larger program center will allow us to double the number of people we can serve in our day program.”
Voting begins Aug. 28
Annandale Village is the newest nonprofit organization to enter the Walton Gas Champions for Charity lineup. By voting, Walton Gas customers will determine how much the organization will receive when donations are calculated next year.
Voting begins with the first University of Georgia football game of the 2023 season. Walton Gas donates $1,000 for every Bulldog regular season victory and $5,000 for every post-season win.
In addition, new customers (Sept. 1, 2023–May 30, 2024) can opt to have another $50 donated to one of the three charities.
Last season, Walton Gas and its customers combined to donate $54,000 to three area nonprofit organizations.
Beginning Aug. 28, all Walton Gas customers can vote for Annandale Village, Camp Twin Lakes or Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. To vote or learn more about this giving program, visit Waltongas.com/uga.