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Moments that Matter May 2021

2021 Farmer's Market Season

Our garden has big goals for the upcoming season and could use your help!

Our AccessABLE Community Garden continues to grow and keep busy! After two successful plant sales this spring, we'll have a wide variety of produce available for the summer months, including heirloom tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions, garlic, brussels sprouts, red and green cabbage, leaf lettuce, okra, and gourds, along with butternut, acorn, yellow, and green squash.

The first market is July 1st and will continue each Thursday from 10am-1pm throughout the summer months.

The garden will have a wide variety of plants this summer
Dan with a young pineapple plant

Goals for the 2021 Growing Season

  • First and foremost, we want to win the “battle of the critters.” Teresa summed it up well: “It’s war, I tell you!”
  • Work on increasing the height of raised bed planters and adding protective fencing to keep groundhogs and rabbits from helping themselves to the crop.
  • Use netting on the fruit trees in the orchard to prevent the squirrels from enjoying a sweet treat.
  • Add new fruit trees, including a native Paw Paw, along with plum and apple trees to the orchard.
  • Ginger root production in the greenhouse.
  • Add additional raised beds with protective covers along pathways in the garden. These beds will both increase accessibility and extend the growing season.
  • Construct a gourd tunnel over an existing walkway so that everyone, even those with limited mobility, can enjoy the magic of being surrounded by the fruits of their labor!
  • Plant a sunflower room. This unique idea involves tilling a circular bed and then planting sunflowers that will eventually grow and become the "walls" of the room. Once inside, individuals will enjoy a quiet and peaceful sensory experience!
  • Visit other gardens for inspiration, education, and fun!
Several individuals painted garden totems to bring love and positive energy to our garden

Ways You Can Support the Garden

Our garden needs your help! We welcome volunteers to help on our mulching day, May 18th. We also have ongoing volunteer opportunities to help with weeding, watering, and general garden maintenance. Click here to sign up to volunteer!

Teresa and Dan are excited about future possibilities for the garden

In addition, monetary donations are always welcome and appreciated! We are seeking in-kind donations of perennials and seeds (veggie, flower, and herb). We are always looking for pots, planters, and other containers we can repurpose for various garden projects! Click here to donate!

Thank you for all your efforts, and we hope to see you at the garden soon!

"In Vogue" Virtual Exhibition Now Open

Did someone say FASHION?

Open Door is stepping off the runway and into the gallery with a fashion-themed art exhibition full of glitz and glamour! With inspirations from British streetwear, French couture, Japanese Harajuku, and more, there is something for the fashionista in us all!

Our "In Vogue" virtual exhibition runs through June 4th! Shop online and support the great local artists in your community!

"Be Square" by Stacey Baldwin
"Twiggy" by Wallace Peck
"Marilyn's Pencil Skirt" by Charles Poe

This exhibition has been made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship provided by patron and CCHS Board of Directors member, Conner Brintlinger and his fiancé Natalie Wilson.

Thank you!

New Therapy Gym Is A Hit

The new gym opens up possibilities at Park West and provides more opportunities for support

We're excited to announce that our new therapy gym is up and running! Moving the gym over to the corporate office and CAC area gave us the opportunity to turn the old therapy gym at Park West back into an activity room for the individuals we support. Through funding, we were able to purchase additional therapy equipment as well as tools to keep all our wheelchairs, shower chairs, and other essential items running smoothly.

The reaction from the individuals we support has been very positive! Coming to the gym gives them the feeling of being in an actual rehab setting. When seeing someone in a home setting it can get very distracting with housemates around, the TV in the background, the dark setting, and the cramped quarters. In the new, clean, bright gym they tend to have better focus and work harder with the one-on-one attention of the therapist. This also offers a more spacious area for our SCL folks to come in for consultations with the dietitian, wheelchair repair, or problem solving with our therapy team.

There is room in our new office for a quiet space for our speech therapist to perform cognitive evaluations and treatment sessions.

It’s been an exciting season of change and we can’t wait to see what comes next!

Open Door Art Studio Offers Community Experiences

We are proud to announce that Open Door Art Studio & Gallery will once again offer community experiences for our artists!

Open Door artists will now have their choice of creating art at the studio or taking part in one of two daily community experiences. Facilitated by a creative mentor, artists will have the opportunity to visit art-related settings or participate in an "artist choice" outing that was specifically chosen by a group of Open Door artists.

Recently, our artists chose to venture out to several local parks, including Schiller Park, Goodale Park, and the Park of Roses.

Also, a huge thank you to Reed Arts in Grandview for their continuous donations of frames and matboard! Their generous donations will be used to professionally frame and mat our collection of paper works for upcoming exhibitions.

Thank you!

New Leadership Training Begins

New program for 2021 aims to build the next generation of organizational leadership

Earlier this week, select staff from all our program and service areas gathered to kick off our 2021 Direct Leadership Training Series!

This program, created and facilitated in partnership with the Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (OADSP), is designed to educate, inspire, and grow our next generation of leaders.

Over the next six months, participants will learn from leadership experts, participate in immersive, interactive activities, and put what they've learned into practice with "homework" between each session. Those who successfully complete the program will be awarded a Direct Leadership Certificate from OADSP at a special presentation in November!

We’re looking forward to a fun, productive, and impactful training!

2021 Strategic Plan Progress

Here's an update on our progress as we work towards achieving our Strategic Goals for this year:

Goal: Share positive stories by submitting Individual Experience Forms (IEFs) daily.

  • Goal Progress: 30%
  • Stories continue to be shared via IEFs daily.

Goal: Create business-focused policies and procedures that will ensure consistency, accountability, and financial stability for all.

  • Goal Progress: 50%
  • Created a more streamlined Policy and Procedure for the handling of artist funds and the change box.

Goal: Implement back-up staffing plans that enable employees to receive breaks and be able to take time off when needed.

  • Goal Progress: 15%
  • Hired one new staff member and incorporated an additional UCO Staff member for Friday coverage.

Goal: Create a calendar and task grid that can be easily shared and updated in real-time organization-wide.

  • Goal Progress: 100%
  • Continued to maintain the ODAS calendar and task grid with updates on responsibilities and deadlines.

Goal: Increase the number of individual-led/focused groups, with support from Social Services to launch, and then transition to other leaders once established.

  • Goal Progress: 30%
  • An individual supported by SCL is now teaching a portion of the Wellness Group each week. As a student at Columbus State Community College, he has been learning about sanitation techniques, how to avoid cross-contamination when working with food, and information on food-borne illnesses. The group appreciates him sharing his knowledge!

Goal: Launch a weekly social media feature focused on individual artists and staff discussing their love for art.

  • Goal Progress: 25%
  • Haleigh continues to contribute to the social media scheduling.

Goal: Encourage the use of new art mediums and the creation of work for product-based sales.

  • Goal Progress: 25%
  • Claire has begun to make homemade paper for the "Pulp" exhibition and is beginning to show different artists the process.

Goal: Ensure safe community experiences are available for all.

  • Goal Progress: 25%
  • We are dipping our toes in community experiences! Mike has taken the lead and has done numerous trips to parks and led a photography-themed walk.

You can find additional information about our plan and our progress by visiting our website's Strategic Goals page.

Experiences Are Everything

At home, in the garden, at the art studio, or in the community, here's a look at some of the recent ways the individuals we support have been spending their time:

Chris showing off his sculpture inspired by Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus"
Ron getting some plants ready for the AccessABLE Community Garden
Debbie was excited to complete her needle point
Ryan caught a bluegill at Scioto Metro Park
Daniel posing with some flamingos at the Columbus Zoo
Jojo made chocolate-covered strawberries and pineapples for her mom for Mother's Day
Gillian exploring a car museum with the CAC history group
Candace assembling a Mother's Day flower basket
Ian submitted this piece, titled "Love Is Love," to his first out-of-state exhibition
Melissa getting into some "trouble"
Josh is happy for the warmer weather
Darrell enjoying an old Army car while out with the CAC history group
Jeff smiling under his mask after meeting with the Kiwanis Aktion Club
Brian making a delivery while volunteering with LifeCare Alliance
Dylan traveled around Union County and found different covered bridges to explore

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more great photos and stories!

Celebrating Our Nurses

Our nurses have been nothing short of spectacular this year! According to Webster's dictionary, the definition of nurse is a person who is "trained to care for people." Our team of nurses at CCHS exemplify this daily as they inspire the life journeys of those we support. Our staff had so many positive words to describe our nurses. Here are some of the highlights:

"Our nurses treat the individuals like family"
"They are always there to help. We call, even for the simplest things, and they come right away"
"They treat everyone with dignity and respect"
"They are funny"
"They are a very important part of the team"
"They remained steady, especially throughout the COVID period"
Some recent pictures of our nurses being recognized during Nurses Week

Thank you to Amanda Linebarger, Ben Dzreke, Betty Spradlin, Breona Hill, Brian Myers, Gladys Amara, Heather Williams, Isaac Kumih, Jackie Kuria, Jane Kibera, John Kamara, Lori Chapman, Marina Dohnani, Pascaline Toure, Phibian Dukuray, Rosemary Humphery, and Whitney Clark!

We salute your amazing strength and unwavering compassion for those we support. You are true heroes!

Achieving Greater Independence

"This is the most freedom that I have ever experienced." -Nick

Never give up on your dreams! Nick wanted to live by himself for over 13 years and it finally happened--he now has his own apartment and he LOVES IT! It’s quiet and peaceful, and set up just the way he wants it thanks to help from his staff.

We’re so proud to have helped, Nick!

STEP Success Story

Elijah attends CAC on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through the STEP program. Recently, Elijah has really opened up! He used to be super shy and quiet at CAC but now he is enthusiastic and makes a point to say hello and shake hands with staff when he gets picked up. He enjoys going shopping; and now he'll chat up the cashier when standing in line.

Elijah also likes to look good! Every other Friday, it's off to the barbershop to freshen up his 'do. It's remarkable to see the progress he's made!

We're so happy for you, Elijah!

IMPACT Safety Class

Matt and John recently graduated from IMPACT Safety class! IMPACT Safety teaches emotional and physical skills necessary to help people reduce risk, prevent violence, and make safe choices so that we can all live and work with greater confidence. Matt said, “I learned how to say 'no' and that not all arguments need to be had.” John added, “I learned a lot about how to stand up to bullies.”

Way to go, Matt and John!

Blue Spectrum Concert

Join us Wednesday, June 2, from 4pm-7pm in the Park West courtyard for a Blue Spectrum concert! Click here to learn more about this amazing band!

Samuel Jacob

Supported Community Living

Samuel has 4 years of experience in the field, and was encouraged to apply by his friend Marshal. He likes that he gets to inspire life journeys, help individuals accomplish their goals, and take individuals out for community experiences.

"I like that CCHS feels more like home than work. So many employees have been kind, helpful, & supportive. The support has encouraged me to do my best."

We are so happy to have you on our team, Samuel!

Learning ASL Skills

John has had a great time working with Cora, a volunteer and student from OSU's Speech and Hearing College. "I have learned so much over the last three months that we have been practicing," John said. "I like it when Cora brings books from the library so that we have new material to work on. Improving my ASL skills helps me to talk to my girlfriend who also uses sign language."

We are so happy to have you as a volunteer, Cora!

May Employee Anniversaries

A huge congratulations to the following employees on their employment anniversaries! We can't thank you enough for your service, sacrifice, and dedication to inspiring life journeys!

1 year

Daeyana Norwood

2 years

Valeri Stoldt

3 years

Holly Hunter, Alpha Kamara, Jennifer Shaffer

5 years

Lori Chapman

6 years

Grace Fajuyigbe

7 years

Victoria Davis, Cecylia Njau

8 years

Augustine Troh, Latoya Valentine

10 years

Evodius Mwesiga

12 years

Jennifer Francis

16 years

Jonna Fisher

19 years

Pascaline Toure

25 years

Charles Hager

32 years

Sharon Grinstead

May Employee Birthdays!

Join us in wishing these employees a Happy Birthday this month!

Abubakarr Barrie, Adeola Adeyemi, Amadou Sow, Andrew Weima, Blessing Ogedengbe, Breona Hill, Colton Delay, Dayzaneek Cunningham, Genabou Kaba, Jamie Downs, Joseph Cole, Karen Green, Laxford Kajuna, Matthew Delay, Michael Ogunsina, Michael Sowa, Micheline Manirambona, Muhubo Ali, Paula Young, Phibian Dukuray, Ryan Obenour, Ryan Rollins, Samantha Todd, Tamika Devins, Teather Canter, Timothy Babalola, Zahra Jibril

Employees of the Month

We would like to extend a warm congratulations to our Employees of the Month! The following employees have been chosen by members of the CCHS Advocacy Group for living out our mission, vision, and core values in their work:

Shane Ingles: "I want to thank Shane for coming out so quickly to fix the lift on the van at my location. He did a great job!" -Matthew
Mariama Shiaman Barro: "Mariama noticed that some of the bedspreads had some spots where the seams were coming apart. She brought in her sewing kit and went to work doing repairs. Mariama takes excellent care of the individuals in her apartment. She is always willing to work extra hours to help out. You can always catch her with a smile on her face." -Margaret
Joyce Reeves: "Joyce is doing a wonderful job with Shanna. I see so much growth in my daughter." -Mary
Dan Shramo: "Dan helped orchestrate a meet-and-greet for two guys who both live in Grove City. Both guys were interested in making new friends and having someone to do fun activities with. The initial meet-up went great and both guys have agreed to plan a second hang out. Friends rock!" -Gretchen
Eric Burke: "The team raved about how well Elijah has been doing since he started the STEP program with Eric. They praised Eric for helping Elijah to get out and make purchases by himself with his improved communications skills." -Amy