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The value of cards

Auggie M., Valerie G., Natasha M., Nicole F. and Chris H. play UNO at Countryside Center.
Augie M. loves to play UNO with his friends.

Auggie M. won’t be winning the World Series of Poker seat that is up for grabs at the Little City Poker Tournament & Casino Night, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t find just as much value in playing a game of cards.

Auggie, who works at the Countryside Center, has been playing a post-work game of Uno (and sometimes Go Fish) with his friends Valerie G., Natasha M., Nicole F. and Chris H. for as long as Lisa Cluster can remember.

Lisa, who often supervises the workers at Countryside Center, said the often daily game started as a way to pass some time when the group would get their work done early and wait for their pick up, but it has turned into a truly social and educational event.

“They’ve all worked together for a long time and I think it started as something for them to do together while they wait,” Lisa said. “But you can see how they use cooperation, communication and teamwork to play. It helps them learn about following directions and they all help each other.”

It doesn’t take long to see how all the personalities come together at the card table when the games start. Whether it is Chris’s competitiveness and humor, Auggie’s positivity and outgoingness or Valerie’s attention to detail and rules, all the players bring something to the game that makes it an event they want to come back to at the end of each work day.

So while card players come together on Sept. 27 at the Chicago Sports Museum to support Little City and play for a chance to go to the World Series of Poker, Auggie and his friends will continue to use card games to support each other and grow the social and cognitive skills they can use in everyday life.

Chris H. wins the UNO game.

But despite those differences, Chris said there is one similarity no matter the game or stakes.

“My favorite part of playing cards is winning.”

Support Little City participants like Auggie M., Valerie G., Natasha M., Nicole F. and Chris H. by signing up for our Poker Night on Sept. 27. 

"There are so many capable and caring staff at Little City, past and present, who have helped Clifford. He has made a lot of progress in mastering his behavior."

Colleen, Mother of a child living in a ChildBridge Group Home