Moments that Matter July 2021

This Inspired That!

Our first in-person exhibition in over a year began with a successful opening reception!

Open Door staff members at the This Inspired That opening reception

What makes this exhibition so special?

This Inspired That is an annual exhibition where inspiration leads to innovation! Participating community artists visited our space and selected a work of art created by one of the artists we represent that sparks creative inspiration. They then used that spark of inspiration to create a response piece. The two works are displayed side-by-side, showcasing the powerful connection that comes from artistic admiration. It's truly the pinnacle of creative collaboration! A huge thank you to the artists at Blockfort for their involvement in this year's exhibition!

"Elvis" by Mark Henderson inspired "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Alison Nocera
"Zoom Call" by Canter Oiler inspired "Video Chat 01-09" by Thom Glick
Wallace proudly showing off his work "Aquamarine"
Daynell wanted a group hug
This Inspired That opening reception

Shop all the great works in the exhibition here and support amazing local artists in your community!

Celebrating our new name!

The opening reception was also the soft-launch of our new brand name, Open Door! During the next two months, we will be transitioning to our Open Door name on all internal and external communications, culminating in our official brand launch during our Open Door Fun Fest event on September 6th!

This family-friendly event, open to the community, will include:

  • FREE Open Door swag
  • Food
  • Carnival games
  • Mechanical bull
  • Dunk tank
  • Inflatable obstacle courses
  • Bounce houses
  • Music and dancing
  • Annual DSP raffle
  • 50/50 raffle

If you are interested in attending, please take a moment to let us know! This will ensure we have enough of everything on the day of the event.

Open Door swag for sale at Open Door Art Studio

Also...be sure to follow our NEW social media handles to stay up-to-date on all the latest news and events from Open Door!

Thank you for your support!

Summer Success for the AccessABLE Community Garden

The Dirt Devils are getting dirty again this year, thanks to help from the Urban Agriculture Grant!

This season started with a lot of growth for our AccessABLE Community Garden! We added four new raised garden beds with a thriving assortment of peppers, radishes, and eggplants thanks to the hard work of Darrell, Ron, Dan, and Roy! These great gardeners also planted additional fruit trees in our budding (pun intended) orchard. They added a pear tree, two apple trees, and a PawPaw tree.

Water has long been a problem for the garden. The closest source was located at Park West, which meant stringing yards of hose each day, taking up precious time. So you can image the group’s delight when Matt Delay and our maintenance crew installed a hose hook-up for the garden at CAC! This saves so much time and effort, and we can't thank them enough! On top of that, we were able to purchase a Smart Water Cart with grant funds to make watering plants even easier.

In the battle of the Critters vs. Devils, we’re holding our own so far this year! We’ve moved the raised beds along the south side of the chain link fence to double-stack them on the north side, in an effort to fend off attacks from groundhogs and rabbits. We are planning to install Critter Guard fence panels along the front of these beds to keep our squash plants safe. To quote Ron: "This is war!" 😊

We were excited to add an archway over a section of walkway leading from the shelter house to the walkway. This is wheelchair accessible and is a fun place to visit.

The Dirt Devils have a couple of plant sales under their belts for 2021; thank you to everyone who supported them! The group will continue holding Farm Stand events Thursdays this summer from 11am-1pm. The proceeds from these events will be used for community experiences and to purchase supplies. Remember that your donations of seeds, pots, tools, etc., for use in the garden or greenhouse are always appreciated and put to good use!

It's been a great summer of growing!

Summer Fun For Open Door Leadership Team

Our leadership team enjoyed group games and activities at this month's event

Earlier this week, select staff from all our program and service areas gathered for the latest session in 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.

This session focused on teambuilding and building camaraderie with a group scavenger hunt around Columbus culminating in some fun at Top Golf in Polaris!

The original plan for the day needed to be changed for weather-related reasons. Thank you to everyone who made the event a fun experience. It was such a well-executed plan for it being a last-minute scheduling change! Hooray adaptability!

We’re excited for future training sessions!

On The Go with UCO

Our On The Go group has meant a lot for staff and individuals in Union County.

We've had to overcome lots of changes this year as a team and how services are being provided to our individuals. On The Go is getting out into the community and giving the individuals we support at UCO opportunities to do things they have wanted to do but wouldn’t have the means to do otherwise.

The goals for our group are to get to know individuals and staff better, go places that share in the group’s interests, fellowship with our friends, experience new things, and have fun!

So where have we visited? A lot of places! Just some of our recent stops have included the Columbus Museum of Art, the Ohio Craft Museum, and the Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum. We look forward to continuing to support individuals at UCO in whatever ways we can!

Thank you for your continued support!

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:

Matt on vacation with family in Harrisburg, PA
Crystal showing off her new mug at Open Door Art Studio
Brian enjoying a gorgeous day at the park
Cover art for Gerald's new hit single, "Lord Savior"
David (bright blue shirt) competing in the Special Olympics Summer Games
Rocky hard at work on her latest masterpiece
Take me out to the ballgame! This group had fun watching the Columbus Clippers
Gillian found some treats with her name on it!
Danielle had a blast at our CAC cooking class
Harvey delivering pet foot with our On The Go group
Donna and Danielle having fun geocaching
Ferris wheel at the Marion County Fair
Bethany searching for artistic inspiration at a record store
Wallace found this trophy while out shopping
Debbie's peacock painting is going to be large!

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

We're ready for our close-up!

Chris and Becky participating in new videos for Open Door

As we transition to our new name, Open Door, we decided to create a few videos to share our organization’s mission and vision with our community. The guys at Ten Centuries Media have been awesome to work with and have been such a great help in connecting our story with the world! They’ve fit in well with our staff and always find a way to get the best out of us (even when we’re not used to being on camera!)

Thank you to Darren, Jack, and Ed for being valued partners and helping us to inspire life journeys!

Congratulations, Peggy!

When Peggy came to Park West, her goal was to improve her health so she could return to living in the community. She worked hard with therapy services and went from a wheelchair to a walker to walking independently with a cane.

Peggy has had many ups and downs but persevered! Now, she's finally MOVING! She was overwhelmed at her going away party; through tears she thanked everyone for helping her through the difficult times and never giving up on her goal.

She's looking forward to having her own bedroom and getting to know her new neighbors!

We are so proud of you, Peggy, and wish you many years of happiness in your new home!

CAC July Update

Our CAC team has had an exciting month! We reopened the kitchen and have started cooking classes on Fridays. (We’ve already made pizza and sloppy joes!)

Our art room has had lots of fun experimenting with new painting techniques and are planning on visiting a museum to get some inspiration!

We’re happy with all the progress we’ve made!

DSP Lunch at Park West

Recently, our administrative staff at Park West held a lunch for our DSPs! Many of our staff cooked up some great dishes for our DSPs to enjoy (and purchased some because we can’t all be good cooks!)

This was our way of showing our DSPs how much we appreciate the hours they’ve spent caring for the individuals we support. We want all our DSPs to know that their efforts are noticed, appreciated, and make a real impact on people’s lives!

Thank you for everything you do!

The Other "R" Word

Gloria recently attended The Other “R” Word training held virtually by Clearwater Council of Governments.

The purpose of this training was for individuals with developmental disabilities to be able to define racism, understand the impact of racism, and learn skills to speak up against racism.

“I learned a lot,” Gloria said. “It was great to talk to other people about racism and I got to share my feelings about times that I have been treated differently because I am blind. I know now that I can speak up against racism.”

We're glad this was helpful, Gloria!

A Reunion for Dan and Stephen

Dan and Stephen were happily surprised when they reunited at our outdoor Carine A Tune concert!

The two of them were long-time housemates who lived at Park West together, survived a fire together, and moved to New Albany together. When Stephen moved back to Park West he and Dan lost touch. They had a great reunion and fun rocking out together!

For those interested, our next Caring A Tune event will be Tuesday, August 10th from 2-4pm!

We hope to see you there!

Fishing With Friends Returns!

After our successful event in June, we are excited to announce that Fishing With Friends is returning! So grab your fishing pole and a packed lunch, and join us for a day of fishing fun at Homestead Metro Park!

Be sure to mark your calendars for Wednesday, July 21st from 10am-2pm! Bait and tackle will be provided, and a limited number of fishing poles will be available for use. Volunteers and staff will be on hand to assist with any needs and provide companionship during the event.

This event is only open to individuals supported by Open Door! If you'd like to participate, please sign up here!

We hope to see you there!

Remembering Marjorie Conway

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Marjorie Conway.

Marjorie was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of person that would light up a room as soon as she came in. She was very soft spoken but still loved joking around with her peers. Marjorie was a member of Open Door Art Studio and loved art, fiber crafts such as crocheting, weaving, and knitting, and old country music.

Marjorie was particularly close with Open Door staff member Kat; the two shared a lot of great times together creating art, baking, and cooking.

According to Kat, Marjorie was “one of the people that helped me get through the beginning of COVID. Being able to spend 1-on-1 time with her residentially was probably the best thing that could have happened to me.”

Marjorie will truly be missed by all who knew and loved her!

Marion Sawyer

Park West Court Apartments

While living in Sierra Leone, Marion worked for an NGO that specialized in providing direct care for their vulnerable population. She moved to North America in 2018, and her career path led her to Open Door.

Marion inspires life journeys by focusing on building relationships. She encourages individuals to create a positive routine, and offers ideas that help individuals accomplish their goals.

"I take a lot of pride in providing excellent direct care for anyone in need. My pride is what drives my passion to inspire life journeys." -Marion

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

Volunteer Spotlight

Sue and Cindy are volunteer rock stars! Our art studio can't run without clean brushes and they save so many.

Thank you, Sue and Cindy, for giving your time!

July 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

Carrol Gray, Mariama Shiaman-Barro, Neema Thomas

2 years

Boubacar Barry, Cassandra Miller, Emmanuel Asare, Hilary Nkwetta

3 years

Ayorinde Adeboye, Lesley Alexander, Selamawit Kubrom

4 years

Stanley Rice

5 years

Anne White, Betty Spradlin, Mark Conteh, Oluwaseye Makinde, Sahra Dualeh, Tamika Devins

7 years

Claire Smith, Maryan Mohamed, Nouhan Traore, Tracey Danley

8 years

Dorothy Gardner, Hadja Diallo, Margaret Beck, Ryan Rollins, Sean Moore

9 years

Antoinette Sheets, Venus Brooks

10 years

Eugene Takayi

11 years

Keiairra Fulks

12 years

Rose Ronoh

13 years

Gretchen VanNatta, Sonja Nunamaker

14 years

Abu Zola Bangura

15 years

Paul Kasunmu, Tina Unuigbe

17 years

Jane Kibera

18 years

Stacy McMullen

19 years

Ebenezer Ayer

20 years

Abdullah Mbai, Kelli Umbstaetter

25 years

Rebecca Sharp

26 years

Rosemary Humphrey

38 years

Kay Senft

July Employee Birthdays!

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

Alain Nsoh-Tabi, Alison Williams, Bilkis Henry, Carolyne Madoshi, Daeyana Norwood, Dorothy Gardener, Emmanuel Asare, Eric Opoku, Isaac Kumih, Jason Davis, Jeanine Ntakirutimana, Kathy Baker, Lynette Adams, Marina Alexander, Matandazo Mandebvu, Miranda Abston, Paige Wooten, Quanita Lee, Rose Nuro, Rose Ronoh, Stella Garshong, Tobi Joshua, Tricia Todd, Victor Yeboah-Adzimah, Wendy Marine, Yadhap Dahal

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 Open Door Advocacy Group for living out our mission, vision, and core values in their work:

Colton Delay: "Colton came over to the apartment and fixed our garbage disposal for us, and got it done for us in a timely manner. Thank you, Colton!" -Addison
Isaac Kumih: "Isaac helps out in the apartment when we are short. You don't have to ask...when you need help he will go in and help. I'm very thankful for Isaac." -Barbara
Sophia Jackson: "Sophia always demonstrates patience and kindness when speaking with our individuals and their families. She handles their concerns in a timely manner and with care and understanding. Sophia, you are a rock star!" -Kim