Charlie and Sandra

When Charlie met Sandra

In 2009, Charlie, 62, was at a coffee shop in Longview, Texas when a woman approached him and started to flirt. She asked if he was saving the empty seat next to him for her. “That seat is for you,” he flirted back.

The woman with the Sadie-Hawkins move was Sandra, 67.  At the time, Sandra was not being served by Evergreen, but she would soon switch to Evergreen’s Eastern Texas Division to her provider so that she could join Charlie.

They began a 7-year-long courtship, with weekly dates to the movies, restaurants and western dance halls. Evergreen staff assisted the couple to and from each date. Your generosity gives Evergreen the resources to provide flexible and personalized support so that the people we serve can live the life they want.

It wasn’t long ago when individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities had few options. Had Charlie and Sandra been born 50 years earlier, they likely would have either lived with family members or in an institution. In an institution, Charlie and Sandra could expect little privacy or personal space, to live with people they had not chosen and may not like, and to not be able to pursue personal interests or relationships.

Today, Charlie and Sandra are happily married and recently celebrated their third wedding anniversary. The couple married in Charlie’s sister’s church. Their wedding was attended by all of the Evergreen East Texas staff who rooted for them on their journey to the alter.