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April 20, 2022 eNewsletter

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Together, let's make a collective sigh of relief (unless it will cause more wind!).

Spring is finally sprouting and we could not be happier, right? Hearts (and moods) are lighter. We definitely earned this one so let's enjoy the new earth rebirth together!

 

They Know When to Hold 'Em

 

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Is anyone else thinking the word 'shark'? It appears it was a friendly enough game although staff reported that it was quite competitive.

 

The Circle

 

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Millie had a special day when she turned 92. One of her gifts was to meet Donna Menzia's (our own Recreation Coordinator) new daughter born on Valentine's Day.

Millie's smile says it all.

 

It's About Attitude

 

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Susan is nonverbal but that doesn't stop her from communicating. One of her favorite activities is when she is riding in a van and the van hits a pothole. She also loves going for walks outside in her wheelchair, especially when the sidewalk is rough and bumpy. Some people can find joy in things you and I complain about!

 

Growing Together

 

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The first winter after opening Longfellow Center, we invited our surrounding neighborhoods to join us in our new gardening program. Erik and Natalie Kafka were the first to respond and have grown with our gardens every year since. They partnered with Shirley and the three of them have also seen their friendship grow throughout the years. Erik, Natalie, and Shirley not only help plant the gardens, they help tend them and stay with them throughout harvest. They were recently acknowledged for their outstanding service by receiving the Spirit Of Volunteerism Award from the Helpline Center.
Pictured L-R: Joe Dvorak (Director of Day Services), Jennifer Smith Hoesing (Director of Development), Donna Menzia (Recreation Coordinator and nominator of Kafkas), Erik Kafka, Nathan Stallinga (Executive Director), Natalie Kafka, and in front is Shirley.

 

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Shirley made the most of the volunteer event by sharing her views - and smiles - with Mayor TenHaken.

She now has this photo laminated on her wheelchair's lap board.

 

You Spoke. We Heard You.

 

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Over the last month we distributed two surveys. One was for the families and friends of the people we support and the other was a Community Satisfaction survey. Thank you for taking the time to complete them. We learned a lot from you!

  • Over 84% of you gave us a favorable or very favorable reputation in the community
  • 70% to 100% are familiar with the services we offer
  • 73% to 90% of you are aware of all our Meaningful Day activities
  • We gained new volunteers as a result of the surveys
  • You believe our mission is worth supporting financially.
  • You appreciate and enjoy our eNewsletters and quarterly newsletters
  • Family and Friends were asked to rate the care their loved ones receive between 0 and 10 with ten being the highest. The average rating given was a 9
  • You told us you wanted more stories about the people we support and more staff introductions

Thank you for letting us know your thoughts! You also shared great anecdotes with us about your loved ones. We are looking forward to sharing them with you.

 

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Are there DakotAbilities staff members that consistently go above and beyond? Nominate them for our Living the Mission award by clicking on the above logo.

 

Do You Think We Are Eager to Garden?

 

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This is a new billboard in Longfellow Center. We are dreaming of seeds and dirt under our fingernails. Gardening and all of the other Meaningful Day activities we offer are only because of you. Thank you!

 

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Working together, we create opportunities and meaningful lives for people with disabilities.



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