Stone said her relationship with Acorn is pretty genuine.
“Mind you, we’ve had our moments,” Stone laughs, “and COVID was one of them. I got protective of Cassie (in regards to physical distancing). I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to her – I would never forgive myself.”
Stone said the whole point of matching volunteers with clients is to empower adults with intellectual disabilities and help improve their confidence. She knew Acorn didn’t want to live in the community care facility and was proud of her for going out on her own and finding an apartment.
“I was matched simply to help her get out and then (the relationship) was supposed to end, but we thought, maybe there was something more to our relationship.”
Acorn said Stone still helps her now, whether it’s taking her to a dentist appointment or meeting with her financial worker or accessibility worker.
“She is my trustee and helps me with my problems when I need her to,” Acorn says.
“We also have fun together. We go out for meals and she buys things for me that are important but that social services won’t pay for, like a fan for my apartment for the summer, new winter boots or running shoes.”
Acorn has been living on her own for the past seven years and is now writing her autobiography with a support worker who “has good editing skills”.
“I have Twilah to thank for that. She gave me my voice.”