Read Day 1 here.
Read Day 2 here.
Today I am thankful for...
The local services for adults with disabilities.
I know all cities have these services and are available to citizens that qualify, but I'm especially proud of the non-profit that I work for. This week the agency was awarded the Nonprofit Spotlight Award of 2011 which honors one agency in the state of Iowa that gives exceptional services to the citizens in our community with special needs.
A little bit more about the agency...
We serve adults mainly with intellectual disabilities, but some have cerebral palsy, autism, and other physical conditions. The company mission is "to provide people with mental disabilities opportunities to achieve their personal goals."
Each client has a "life plan" and "goals" that they update each year. Each time we work with a client we check these goals and help the clients work towards achieving them.
Some common goals are:
- Exercising more. Some goals are very specific and specify where, when and how to exercise.
- Learning how to cook. Most clients need assistance tracking calories and food intake, and many clients would like to learn how to cook new and different foods.
- Get out more in the community.
- Become self-medicating and independent.
- Make more plans with friends, and basically make friends in general, besides their staff.
- Self advocacy goals. Many of the clients are very passive, and rarely speak up.
I am an on call staff person, so I do not work with the same clients regularly, but most staff work with the same clients to establish that bond and maintain consistency. Since September I have been working with the same client who's schedule matches mine very well this semester, I call her C on Twitter if anyone has noticed. C attends a bible study each Wednesday night that is organized by a local church. The bible study is called "Friendship Class" and is specifically for adults with special needs.
At Friendship Class we spend about an hour and play games (they love Bingo!), have crafts time, eat a snack and have about 15 minutes of worship. The pastor that runs it is really young and lots of fun, he works so well with this special population of people and makes it enjoyable for everyone. I have a hard time *not* participating in the activities, (they're not meant for me!) so I usually spend the time reading, on my phone or helping the clients with crafts and games. The pastor is constantly teasing me because I'm on my phone all the time. He yells out, "Get off Facebook!" to which I reply, "It's not Facebook, it's Twitter!"
That get's everyone cracking up! It's all good fun. ;)
Well, last night at Friendship Class we celebrated Thanksgiving because we won't be having Friendship Class next week due to the holiday. After all of the clients ate dinner the staff passed out gifts to all the clients, which were these adorable lunch totes from Thirty-one! I was immediately jealous and thought I could totally use something just like that!
Then... almost right after I thought that, someone plopped this right in front of me....
Staff got one too!
Isn't that the sweetest?! I was so touched and grateful I had to quickly swallow the lump in my throat. Sometimes this job is so frustrating and you just want to snap at the clients because you just can't understand why they just can't understand and this came at JUST the perfect time.
It's a little sad that it took a cute lunchbox for me to remember that my work doesn't go unnoticed, but nevertheless, I DO know that. I know that I am serving a part of our community that regularly get's taken advantage of and needs more caring people to help.
Inside the lunchbox was all kinds of cute and tasty goodies, including Godiva chocolate, tissues, a Christmas cd and trail mix.
I'm so thankful for this reminder last night and thankful that we have such great agencies that are so dedicated in our area!
What are you thankful for today? Do you like monogrammed things? (I feel an addiction creeping up). Are you playing along for the Ten Days of Thanksgiving? Let me know so I can check out what you're thankful for!