Dear Friends of Indian Creek Foundation,
There are still a few days left for you to make a gift that will open doors to new opportunities for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.
Throughout the organization, our consumers are taking part in meaningful volunteer and work experiences in the community. Our homes have opened their doors to congregations and service organizations who are providing friendship and social interaction to our residents. Our behavioral health programs continue to encourage community engagement.
Our consumers are out in the community every day. They are gaining experiences like never before. As a result, many organizations throughout the area have benefited from increased volunteer participation. Of all of these, we are particularly excited about our growing partnership with Integrate for Good.
In November of 2017, our Day Services Department began a partnership with Access Services to provide the Integrate for Good program to seven individuals. Integrate for Good is a creative initiative designed to expand opportunities for people with disabilities to contribute their time and talent through participation in local volunteerism and civic engagement. In short, it opens doors to the community for those who participate.
Since this modest start, Integrate for Good has become a strong and vibrant part of our outreach efforts. In 2018, ten individuals took part in activities that connected them with organizations, people, and projects throughout Montgomery County. They regularly attend activities at the Senior Adult Activities Center in Norristown, the Indian Valley Library in Telford, and the Lower Providence Community Library in Eagleville. The group recently began creating sleeping mats for homeless people who are not in shelter programs. These mats are made from recycled plastic grocery bags and provide a degree of comfort and insulation from the cold ground.
This project is having a remarkably positive impact for all involved. This account of a recent visit to the SACC in Norristown by the Integrate for Good coordinator captures how special this program is:
I just had to tell all of you how AMAZING today was at the Senior Adult Activity Center in Norristown! There was absolutely no distinction between people with and without disabilities. The three individuals supported by Indian Creek (Murph, Jules and Codey) were doing three different activities based on their areas of passion and ability, all connected with our Sleeping Mat Project. They’ve been with us for a few weeks and didn’t need any retraining or instruction! They jumped right in with confidence!!
Mixed into the group were two wonderful seniors from the center. One senior, new to the center this week, is dealing with short term memory loss and depression. The Volunteer Director, Michele, our incredible ally in this work, said the project was incredibly beneficial for her. This is one of the ways we add value to our nonprofit partner sites. She lit up when she met our guys and can’t wait to come back.
Murph remembered the senior who had joined us the previous week and asked me to find Lily for him! When I spotted her sitting alone in the lobby, she got so excited when I said Murph was looking for her. She joined us for the full session and was full of energy. They shared stories about their families while we did the project and we laughed a lot! Indian Creek staff provided just the right amount of support…they are outstanding…we were all teaching, sharing and laughing with each other…Jules told us she crochets, so I am going to learn how to crochet myself this week so I can teach her to crochet the mats! I think she will be teaching me way more than I teach her!
The true highlight was the lunch we all share together every Friday. On Fridays, some of the seniors entertain with music and jokes. It was a show you could have paid a lot of money to see! It turns out two of the seniors are retired professional musicians and have played together since they were teenagers! They came off the stage to give Murph the microphone and he joined the band! It was the best rendition of “Ain’t No Sunshine” I’ve ever heard and I’m a huge blues fan! It was exquisite. We had a great conversation and the seniors said Murph is now an official member of the band. For the hour after lunch, he kept saying “I fit right in! I just fit right in!”
Doors are being opened, and our participants are walking through them into new community experiences and meaningful relationships. Your gifts to Indian Creek Foundation are making this happen for more people than ever before.
If you have already contributed to this effort, please accept our thanks. If not, you can still make a difference in the lives of our individuals by clicking on the button below and making an online gift.
Brett E. Wells
Director of Development
Indian Creek Foundation