South Carolina Hosts a New Independent Living Program to Support Autistic Adults


Non-Profit Hires Its First Executive Director 

Vivian Weatherby 

Executive Director, Mary Sunshine House 

Cell: 864-952-7975


Central, S.C., September 15, 2022-Mary Sunshine House (MSH), a newly launched nonprofit, has hired its inaugural executive director to lead the organization in bringing a powerful mission to the upstate – a comprehensive independent living program focused on serving autistic adults. The program is a much-needed service that provides educational, vocational, recreational, and medical support services to adults in a 24/7 independent living community in a recently renovated duplex complex adjacent to the campus of Southern Wesleyan University. 


Vivian Weatherby, a native of Cashiers, NC, assumed the post in mid-July and brings more than ten years of nonprofit leadership experience to the program. Weatherby’s most recent impact was at Boys & Girls Club of the Plateau, whereas the operations director, she was integral in the success of youth development programs, strategic planning, and marketing and fund development. Previously, she worked at Camp Merrie-Woode, a nonprofit residential camp for girls. Weatherby holds a bachelor’s degree from NC State University. 


“The opportunity is an honor,” Weatherby said. “Mary Sunshine House has the potential to tremendously impact the autistic adult community in a profound way.”  


She spoke of the vision MSH has to provide community and support for an underserved population. According to the CDC, 1 in 44 children are diagnosed with autism. Through person-centered planning, Mary Sunshine House will address several critical needs for adults on the autism spectrum from basic living skills to affordable housing.    


As executive director, Weatherby will work closely with staff and the MSH board to grow the organization carefully over the next five years. MSH plans to open initially this fall with 6 residents and grow to support 10 residents by the end of 2023. The vision is to support a total of 45 residents by 2027.  


“Vivian comes to Mary Sunshine House with a passion to make a difference in the lives of others,” said board chair and founder Lori Pendergraph. “She has experience in mentoring amazing teams, creating inroads in small communities, and launching the innovation and ideation needed to create a safe and thriving community for autistic adults. We are thrilled to present her as our inaugural executive director and look forward to her advancing our mission to serve 45 residents as we bring the vision of Mary Sunshine House to life.” 



Mary Sunshine House is a newly formed non-profit dedicated to providing comprehensive services to support autistic adults to live independent and fulfilling lives. The mission of MSH is to enrich the lives of adults with neurodevelopmental/autism spectrum disorders by helping them realize their individual potential for self-reliant living, meaningful productive work, successful socialization, and experiences in on-going physical and emotional growth. 

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