A Joyful Celebration Thanks to Our Holiday Heroes
On December 7th, we gathered together for our annual Holiday Celebration! Guests enjoyed a wonderful home-cooked meal with all of the traditional fixings, fun entertainment provided by JR's Balloon Magic, and visits and photos with Santa!
Take a look at some of the highlights from this special day:
The joy continued when individuals received their gifts on Christmas Day:
We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you our event sponsors and all of the Holiday Heroes who helped make the season especially merry and bright for everyone we support!
Stocking Stuffer Sponsor:
Holly & Jolly Sponsors:
Festive Friends Sponsors:
Jones Fuel Co.
Nathan and Linda Griffin
Individual Holiday Heroes:
Happy New Year!
As we move into the next year, and the next decade, we hope that you can take a moment and reflect on all that you have accomplished. Give yourself a pat on the back because life can be hard! Then, make plans for what you'll do next. Whatever your goals are, we hope you reach them!
Here's a look at a few of our proudest accomplishments of 2019:
- Advocating for the passage of legislation that provided crucial funding for services
- Beginning the transition to facility-free adult day services
- Providing respite services for 32 individuals, giving families the support they need in emergency situations
- Expanding the AccessABLE Community Garden which provided over 1,000 lbs of produce at no cost to our community
- Giving back to our employees through our DSP's Set the Stage for Success Recognition Event
- With your support, providing a holiday meal and gifts for every person we serve
Here's how we plan to continue Inspiring Life Journeys in 2020:
Organize Supervisors for Success
In year's past, we have focused a lot of energy on training, mentoring, and retaining our Direct Support staff. With effective strategies in place, and our workforce strong, this year we have chosen to focus on building the leadership skills of our supervisors and equipping them for success!
Redefine Valued Roles for All People
In 2019, we adopted a new vision for our organization, Cultivating Valued Roles for All People. This vision applies to everyone we support, our staff, and our community partners. In practice, this means we will:
- Focus heavily on meeting the personal and professional goals of individuals and employees
- Create a family liaison for every division, strengthening our commitment to increasing family involvement while providing an avenue for quick resolution of issues if they arise
- Provide incentives and support pilot programs developed by staff and individuals that match their unique interests
- Actively seek community supports whenever possible to encourage independence and reduce reliance on organizational support
Cultivate Partnerships and Community Relationships
While we are proud of the work we do to support people with disabilities, we know that when we work together, incredible things can happen. This year, we plan to focus on finding partners and building community relationships that will enhance outcomes and opportunities for everyone! Here's how:
- Equip all staff with the knowledge needed to effectively communicate our mission, vision, and values to members of the community
- Work backwards to find partnerships with the greatest chance of success - start with an individual's goal(s), and brainstorm together to find who we should reach out to first
- Get involved in community events, parades, and service opportunities
- Begin offering our spaces to the community and other nonprofits
- Continue telling our story!
Make Community Happen with Safe, Accessible Transportation
We believe that accessible transportation is the key to community access. In looking at recent surveys of Ohioans with disabilities, lack of access to transportation continues to be named as a barrier to employment, health, and opportunity. Our goal is to change that narrative by:
- Collaborating with existing public and private transportation services to find ways to improve the access and efficiency of transit
- Educating individuals and staff regarding the availability and usage of existing transportation networks
- Seeking funding for additional vehicles, equipment, and training
- Exploring options for assisting individuals with learning to drive
Enhancing Environments and Equipment
In general, we try our best to keep our overhead expenses as low as possible and put as much or our ?revenue/profit? back into the programs and services we offer. But, with the goal of transitioning Career, Activity, & Community to a facility-free, community-based program, we will soon have unused space that we would like to convert to rent-able space for community organizations and nonprofits. In order to make this happen, we plan to make the following improvements:
- Downsize storage and maintenance areas in preparation for rentals
- Develop plan for beautification of outdoor spaces
- Upgrade IT infrastructure in preparation for conversion to digital storage
- Enhance corporate identity; redesign front entryway to be more reflective of brand
- Implement inventory system for tracking of equipment
- Redesign common areas to be more inviting and useful for potential tenants
Here's to great things in the coming year! If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know!
CAC's On-the-Go: Volunteer Group Helps Pet Owners Provide Special Treats This Holiday Season
Gilly, Amy, Elizabeth, and Brian, all members of Career, Activity, & Community's On-the-Go: Volunteering group, spent much of the weeks leading up to the holidays at Life Care Alliance's Animeals Program.
This program provides food, treats, and other needed supplies for local pets whose owners have fallen on hard times, helping furry families stay together.
The CAC group worked hard to sort and repackage donated treats so that every pet served received an extra special stocking stuffer this holiday season!
We are super proud of your dedication to the pets in our local community!
Open Door Collaborates with Community Artists
Artists from Open Door Art Studio & Gallery, in conjunction with VSA Ohio and the Columbus Museum of Art, collaborated with a group of local artists to create linocuts and make prints; embodying techniques they observed in works at the museum.
The Columbus Museum of Art is working to make its space and programs more accessible to people with disabilities. With the help of an intern from the Ohio State University, they are finding excellent ways to make that happen!
Open Door artists also worked with local artist, Ann Hamilton, on her ONEEVERYONE portrait series which will be featured in a book commemorating OSU's upcoming Sesquicentennial Anniversary this spring.
The books will be free and available to the public during the Sesquicentennial Community Open House & Celebration at Thompson Library on March 21, 2020.
It May Be Cold In Ohio, But It's Always Sunny in Florida
Just ask Charles who recently ventured to the sunshine state for a vacation!
Charles, along with his staff Fred, enjoyed spending some time on the beach, viewed alligators and other unique animals at Wild Florida, and evaded pirates to get to the treasure (dinner) at a themed show!
It looks like you had a great time, Charles! Next time, take us with you!
Volunteer Spotlight: Alexandra Hovanec
When Alexandra, a self-professed animal lover and shelter volunteer, decided that she wanted to give back to people too, she reached out to us!
As a volunteer at Open Door Art Studio & Gallery, Alexandra assists with cleaning, organization, and anything else that needs done around the studio.
She says that the biggest personal benefit she has received through her work at Open Door has been understanding that everyone is unique and talented in their own ways. She enjoys seeing the artists express themselves through their work, and appreciates the welcome she has received from both staff and artists alike.
When she's not volunteering at Open Door, Alexandra can be found at the MedVet ER, the gym, or the local animal shelter. She also enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Churro and Chewie, and her two cats, Binx and Winnie.
Thank you, Alexandra! We appreciate your service!
An Update on Quality Improvement: Park West Court Apartments
In December, the focus for Quality Improvement was on Park West Court Apartments!
We found that community experiences are growing both in fun and regularity for the people who live at Park West. The frequency of community travel quadrupled in 2019 during the months of August, September, and October!
Most of these experiences are one-on-one, allowing staff to cater to individual interests and giving them undivided attention.
Thanks to all of our staff who have dedicated themselves to Inspiring Life Journeys by making community access the norm at Park West!
- Craig Gladwell, Director of Quality Improvement Systems
CAC Creates Out of This World Paper Maché Solar System
Over the course of several weeks in December, folks participating in Career, Activity, & Community's Imagination Station worked hard to re-create our solar system using paper maché!
The results were so impressive, the display is now hanging in the lounge area for all to see and enjoy! Great job!
Celebrating the Holidays as a Work-Family
In December, we gathered together to celebrate the holidays, share some laughs, and have fun! We are so fortunate to have such an incredible group of people, all dedicated to inspiring the life journeys of everyone they meet.
We played games like "Who's That Baby?", "Meme Your Coworkers", and "Musical Stockings", and also held our annual Ugly Sweater Contest. There was a healthy dose of competition, but it was all in good fun!
We wrapped up the day with photo booth pictures and a white elephant gift exchange.
Thanks to all of our employees who made this, and every other day so special!
Employees of the Month
We would like to extend a warm congratulations to our December Employees of the Month! The following employees were recognized by their peers for living out our mission, vision, and core values in their work:
Shane Ingles (Administrative): "Thank you so much Shane for bringing out the blankets, gas cap, and for taking all that documentation to corporate!!! That was very kind of you and I really appreciated all the help!!!! Thank you for being so gracious and kind!" - Victoria
Anthony Kollie (Residential): "Anthony has helped a new gentleman fit in and make Cherry Bud his home. He says that he loves living at Cherry Bud and never wants to move! Also, his FCBDD SSA states that she has known him for 30 years and this is the best he has ever looked!!" - Gretchen
Serina Delay (Residential): "Serina is ALWAYS so kind to the individuals we support! Today we had two individuals with back-to-back appointments at the OSU wheelchair clinic. It was going to be difficult for the second one scheduled to wait for the first one to finish and vice versa. She was so considerate of the individuals involved that she made multiple trips back and forth to assure that neither one had to wait. The individuals and I all appreciated the extra effort she put into this day to make it more enjoyable for all of us!" - Melissa
Kathleen Stumbaugh (ADS): "Kat has cultivated valued roles for the artists we represent by going out of her way to assist our artists with experimentation and exploration of new materials. She has introduced a new style of photography to our artists by bringing in supplies from her home and teaching small groups of our artists to scan with mixed media. The artists greatly enjoyed their time with Kat and were then able to showcase the prints in the "Blue." exhibition. Kat continues to amaze us with the opportunities that she discovers for our artists both in the studio and out in the community." - Katherine
Ashley Pierce (ADS): "Ashley, you are a true inspiration to us all! From the crafty things you do with Rev 36 to assisting wherever is needed without complaint, I truly appreciate all you do for us! You are a team player and always do whatever is needed! You are TOP-NOTCH 1 OF A KIND EMPLOYEE!!! I am very grateful for you!" - Tori