The Imagine! Foundation's blog is designed to keep donors, consumers and their families, colleagues, and friends up to date on recent donations, grants we've received, programs we're involved in, and the people who make the Foundation work. We hope you will suggest topics you would like to see here. We look forward to hearing from you!
This blog post was submitted by Gary Stebick, Imagine!'s Communications Coordinator.
Recently I was at Foothills Group Home taking a photo of one of the staff members for a newsletter article about an award she received. When I was leaving, Robert, one of the residents of the home, was near the front door and politely asked if there was anything he could do to be in the Imagine! newsletter. I told him I was certain there was, and asked him what his interests are. He mentioned art, and said he had a picture in his bedroom that he drew in high school that I might be interested in seeing.
Robert proceeded to show me the art and told me the process of how he decided what to draw in the picture. Robert‘s art teacher at Jefferson High School suggested that Robert find some pictures that he liked in magazines and use them for models for different parts of his art. Robert started by choosing to draw the picture with charcoal and pencil. He saw a picture of mountains that he liked, so mountains was the first thing he drew. Then he drew the large ship, fashioned after a large ship he saw in a photo. Then he found a photo of a man in a rowboat which he liked so he drew a man in a rowboat next. As he continued looking through magazines, he saw a picture of a helicopter and decided to put a helicopter into his drawing. Finally, since there were two ships in the picture he added the ocean, and that’s how he came to draw this wonderful piece of art.
Robert’s interest in art began when he was a child drawing in coloring books. Navy blue is his favorite color, followed by red and orange. Animals are his favorite thing to draw. When asked what he likes to do, Robert replied, “I like to help people, that's my favorite thing to do.”
The piece of art shown here has sentimental value to Robert. He wrapped the picture and gave it to his grandfather as a present. Unfortunately his grandfather died unexpectedly soon afterwards. Robert’s grandmother knew the artwork was special to Robert and she returned it to him to serve as a reminder of his grandfather, a former Marine whose picture hangs on Robert’s wall near his artwork.
This piece of art that he drew in high school hangs over Robert's bed.
Today we’d like to send a big “thank you” to the City of Lafayette, CO, for its recent grant of $1,500 to Imagine! for Emergency Funds.
The grant was given as part of the City’s “One Lafayette” program, which finances a community fundraiser to help local nonprofit organizations provide essential services.
Items that One Lafayette grant recipient programs help provide include:
• Food, shelter, and other emergency family assistance programs
• Medical care for low-income families and the uninsured
• Support and services for at-risk children
• Transportation, support, independence, and dignity for the elderly, developmentally disabled, and physically challenged
• Tutoring, mentoring, and leadership programs for young people
Funding from One Lafayette will be used to cover a portion of Imagine!'s Emergency Fund distributions to Lafayette residents with developmental disabilities during Fiscal Year 2013. Through the Emergency Fund, Imagine! provides limited financial assistance to help individuals served by Imagine! meet urgent or extraordinary needs not covered by Medicaid or other funding sources. For example, over the past year, with support from the City, Imagine! provided $9,646 in emergency support to 25 residents of Lafayette for dental work, respite care, bed bug extermination, appliances, groceries, diapers, and a high chair for a young child receiving Early Intervention services.
Overall, Imagine! distributed $97,317 to grant 156 Emergency Fund requests throughout Boulder and Broomfield Counties during the last year.
The City of Lafayette will be distributing checks to all of the recipients of One Lafayette funds at their next City Council meeting, to be held Tuesday, October 2, beginning at 5:30.
Thank you, City of Lafayette, for your demonstrated commitment to some of your community’s most vulnerable citizens.
Imagine!’s very own Abhaya Gurung is a finalist for the Irwin Siegel Agency Direct Support Professional (DSP) of the year! This is a very prestigious national award, and Abhaya was selected out of many nominations because of his unwavering commitment to the individuals he serves.
Platinum ($10,000 +)
Walt Pounds -- 18 file cabinets, seven lateral files, one 5-foot round table, several rectangular work tables, three work stations, and 40 chairs, plus transportation, moving, and assembly of all items at two Imagine! sites
The Community Calendar Activities (CCA) program brings children aged 0-3 with developmental disabilities and delays (and their families) into community facilities such as recreation centers, dance studios, and children’s museums for group play, educational opportunities, and fitness activities with the support of an Imagine! Pediatric Occupational Therapist and an Early Childhood Special Educator. Each session is geared toward encouraging motor, sensory, social, emotional, cognitive, and/or speech and language development. As the Therapist and Educator assist the children, they model for parents the behaviors that encourage and support each child’s individual development in a community play setting. CCA helps build the confidence of parents as their children participate in activities in the community, while empowering community businesses and nonprofits to feel comfortable about welcoming children with special needs.
Dayspring would like to acknowledge the following for their generous support of Community Calendar Activities, which would not be possible without their ongoing help.
September 9 - 15 is National Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Recognition week, and in conjunction with that, Imagine! has submitted a nomination for 19th Street Group Home Residential Counselor Abhaya Gurung for the Irwin Siegel Agency’s 2012 DSP Recognition Award. Thanks to Innovations’ Marie Handlin and Vanessa Bishop for submitting outstanding letters of support for Abhaya, pictured here with one of his favorite people, Dasha.
Below are just a few of the comments taken from the nominations for Abhaya.
Marie Handlin, Innovations Host Home Coordinator wrote, “Abhaya brings hard work, great care, respect, and professionalism to his job on a consistent basis. He is one of those guys who does it all, and does it well and with a smile on his face. The care he provides is kind, compassionate, and with great efficiency. I know he is a consumer favorite, too, as you will hear one of the consumers who lives at the 19th Street Group Home saying his name repeatedly in adoration whenever he is on shift.”
Vanessa Bishop, Innovations Host Home Coordinator wrote, “Abhaya advocates for the consumers at 19th Street Group Home like they are his family. He spends an extra 15 minutes here and there on Activities of Daily Living sheets, not because he has to, but because he genuinely enjoys spending time with consumers and knows the importance of making people smile. Every morning he would greet one of the residents with a, “Buenos Dias senorita”, and her face would light up with a huge smile.”
And in stating why it is important to him to be a Direct Support Professional, Abhaya wrote, “I feel that showing love, empathy, and compassion towards your fellow human beings is a very important virtue to have. I get this opportunity while caring for the residents at 19th Street Group Home, and the experience also enriches my life. So many of us are never happy with what we have. We always want more of the material things which we think will make us happy. But after working with people with developmental disabilities, I don't take the things I have for granted. I cherish the good health, family, friends, and life that I have, and try to enjoy them to the fullest. I do confess though that sometimes I wish I would win the Powerball jackpot; but deep down inside, I know that I have won it may times over.”
Congratulations Abhaya, and thanks to all Imagine!’s DSPs. Please know that you and your work are highly valued and appreciated.