I’ll start with a couple of “thank yous” sent our way from some families who have received grants from our Family Support team. Families may request these grants to help pay for the extraordinary costs of caring for a family member who has a developmental disability. The funds may be used to help pay for respite care, professional services, medical and dental expenses, transportation, assistive technology, home modifications, and parent and sibling support. So far, in the first two grant runs of our fiscal year, we have funded 247 grants for a total of $478,154.07. We have heard from so many families this year who have expressed extreme gratitude for this assistance, especially in light of the troubled economy:
“I have no words to thank you. You have helped us in the past and now again. Beyond the financial relief, the feeling that we are not alone and that we have partners in this journey we were forced to take is priceless. Thank you again for everything!”
“Our dear friends at Imagine: Thank you for providing us with this year‘s grant funding. We very much appreciate your generosity and support. This year’s grant will pay a few older medical bills and start a cushion for summer care. We hope you know and understand the huge relief your support provides. Thank you for all you do for us!”
I’ve spoken before about Imagine!’s Dayspring department’s Community Calendar activities. These activities introduce families to places in our community that offer great activities and opportunities for children to meet their goals through fun and play. All activities encourage motor, sensory, social-emotional, cognitive and speech-language development. Dayspring recently mailed out surveys to all 110 families that attended Community Activities in 2010.
A couple of quotes I’d like to share with you from those survey responses:
“This is a great program that helps children grow and meet their goals. It also provides families with experiences they may not otherwise have had. It opened our eyes to near adventures. My son has been attending Sprout House at Sunflower Farm ever since we visited there with CCA. Thank you for all you do to better the lives of children.”
“I so appreciate all of the activities. It helps us feel normal in a world where that doesn’t always happen. And connects us to other special needs families, which is awesome! Keep up the great work and invaluable to helping my child feel like he fits in too.”
Finally, I’d like to share a letter of support written by an individual who receives services from Imagine! for the nomination of one of our employees, Linda Rogers, for the ANCOR 2011 Direct Support Professional Recognition Contest. Linda has been an Employment Specialist with CORE/Labor Source, Imagine!’s supported employment program, for 11 years. Linda truly enjoys teaching. She is always generous in sharing any recognition she receives with her coworkers and the people we serve. Linda is living proof that great things can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit, and she inspires her coworkers and the people we serve to have that same attitude about the value of teamwork. I don’t know if Linda will win an award from ANCOR, but I think you can tell by the letter below she has already won the hearts of those she works so hard to serve.
"My name is Jessica and I am a consumer with Imagine!. Linda Rogers is one of the Employment Specialists who supervise me at my jobs, and she has worked with me for more than 10 years. Linda and I hit it off right away. We got our work done and she told me she was proud of me. We’re good friends. She always comes to my birthday parties and when she goes out of town she picks me up a key chain or a post card for my collection.
We have worked many jobs together, mostly at restaurants like the Hungry Toad, Oskar Blues, and Conor O’Neill’s. Linda treats everyone well, she is kind, patient, and friendly.
She helps me by taking me to stores so I can spend some of my money on paper, envelopes, stamps, and drawing utensils so I can make cards for my family and friends. We also go to ice cream stores sometimes.
What I like best about work is that I get paid while working and spending time with my friends."