fbpx
Celebrating Pride Month!

Celebrating Pride Month!

Home » Stories

Celebrating Pride Month!

Celebrating Pride Month June 2021

Diversity and inclusion have been at the core of our Agency’s mission for many years.  This month we celebrate our support for employees and the people who receive our services that are part of the LGBTQ+ community. The Agency is proud to be an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.  An Ally is a person who supports the
self-advocacy, equality, respect and equal treatment of all people.

The best way to start getting involved is to visit https://buffaloprideweek.com/events/month/. You will find various free events to attend both in person, and virtually in the Erie and Niagara County area!

Quality pay for quality care

Quality pay for quality care

Home » Stories

Quality pay for quality care

Our industry is in crisis. Many businesses have experienced firsthand the shortage of workers in today’s economy; however, when we are short staffed, the disabled community suffers tremendously. Our current employees are putting in extra hours and fighting to make ends meet. And while it is heroic and necessary, it shouldn’t be. This is where mistakes can happen and crisis begins.

On May 24, Community Services for Every1 joined its Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY) peers to sound the alarm to New York State. We are no longer asking for funds, we are demanding a living wage that is just and equal to the work that is required. Our industry has not seen a fair adjustment in over a decade, all while legislators fight for a higher wage for fast food workers – a wage higher than what they allocate for our direct support professionals. It’s discriminatory and unjust.

This crisis isn’t going away without the State’s intervention. Until we see change, this movement is only the beginning. We ask our friends, followers, and supporters to join us in sounding the alarm. We are in crisis. Please help us! Call on the Governor and ask your State Representatives for a 35% increase for direct support professionals. We need to start providing quality pay for quality care!

In the media:

Day Hab gets creative with their art studio

Day Hab gets creative with their art studio

Home » Stories

Day Hab gets creative with their art studio

Our Abbott Day Hab group recently finished painting a beautiful abstract wall for their new Abbott Art Studio! The art studio is funded through a 2020 mini-grant, which has been used to purchase chalkboard paint, chalk, standing art easels and tabletop easels, canvases, acrylic paint and other art supplies.

The art studio will be used as a space where people can express their creativity, participate in art classes and projects, and learn new art techniques.

The group’s first big project was painting the abstract wall. They spent several weeks taping the design and painting different colors to create a fun, colorful wall to inspire them during future projects. Everyone had a great time using their creativity and were beyond excited to see the outcome of their hard work.

The Day Hab group’s next project will be painting their chalkboard wall and hosting some fun art classes. Great job to everyone involved! We look forward to seeing future creations from our Abbott Day Hab!

A young man we support paints part of the wall design
A young man we support concentrates on painting part of the wall design
A man we support begins taping the abstract designs on the wall
Three of the guys who helped paint the wall pose with the finished product
A picture of the finished wall with its newly painted design

Recognizing our Nurses!

Recognizing our Nurses!

Home » Stories

Recognizing our Nurses!

Although Nurses’ Week was observed earlier this month, we are grateful for our Nursing Team all year round! Our Nursing Team is incredible, especially with how they’ve handled the additional challenges brought on by the pandemic.

They are always willing to chip in and help one another out as well as other departments. They volunteer to teach the med class, pick-up additional sites or just help with general support and triage.

Throughout the pandemic, they were monitoring the status of the individuals they support, providing in person check-ups for positive cases, and helping to cover vacancies. They have volunteered to not only give vaccines at our clinics but also to monitor those post-vaccine during the clinics.

Director of Clinical Services Michelle Rechin said, “I have sheer gratitude for everything they do day in and day out, as well as how they’ve helped us through this pandemic by being leaders, role models and caring for everyone’s overall well-being.”

Thank you to our amazing Nursing Team for your hard work and your dedication to keeping those we support safe and healthy!

We love our Nurses social post

Easy Eats for Every1 kicks off

Easy Eats for Every1 kicks off

Home » Stories

Easy Eats for Every1 kicks off

With our new Culinary Arts Coordinator in place, Meredith Schork, we have hit the ground running. Our project is layered with learning opportunities for both people we support and our DSPs.

We have launched Easy Eats for Every1, which is our take on Hello Fresh. It offers healthy meals available in one of three options:

  • Heat and Eat – Ready for the microwave/oven.
  • Prepped just Prepare – Everything is measured and chopped, it just needs to be  put together. Great for people who want to learn to cook but haven’t mastered some of the basics.
  • From Scratch – Raw ingredients typical to the Hello Fresh model.

Each healthy meal kit comes with written instructions and a QR code to our Easy Eats for Every1 YouTube channel. Here, Chef Meredith provides a tutorial for people we support on how to prepare your kit. This allows anyone we support to try a healthy meal while working on skills for independent living.

All of this is done within our culinary classroom with those we support in Employment Services. Having a true demand for prepping, cooking, and portioning allows for authentic learning and work experiences.

Our first Easy Eats kit was 150 Thanksgiving meals for people we support. It was delivered to those living in the community that were alone for the first time, families that didn’t have the means to cook all the fixings, and to some of the folks and staff in our IRAs. The menu included: turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, green beans, roll, and homemade sweet potato pie.

We recently featured a two-ingredient pizza dough packed with protein. We have 50 people we support receiving the Heat and Eat option and 148 people receiving the Prepped just Prepare kits.

Recently, Community Prevoc made 1,200 cookies to be packaged into cookie kits just in time for the holidays. In addition to the traditional sugar cookie cut-outs, there was a gluten-free/vegan option.

We hope to continue this model and expand the kits being available to all the people we support and staff.

Chef Meredith shows a completed Thanksgiving meal kit
A person we support works on packaging a meal kit in our culinary prep classroom
A young man poses with the pizza he prepped in our culinar prep classroom

Adopt a Family Campaign brings cheer to families

Adopt a Family Campaign brings cheer to families

Home » Stories

Adopt a Family Campaign brings cheer to families

Like many events this year, our Adopt a Family campaign looked a little different. To follow safety guidelines, we did not do the Holiday Store this year, but had each of our families adopted by our generous donors. Donors adopted more than 50 families this holiday season to help more than 200 people have a brighter holiday.

We would like to thank our amazing individual donors as well as M&T Bank, Molly and Kate, and Hamburg Schools. We would also like to thank Barb Burgstahler for once again donating her beautiful handmade blankets.

Our Adopt a Family Campaign is one of our favorite traditions at Community Services, and we are thrilled that the WNY community has once again shared their generosity to make this holiday season merry and bright for so many families. We cannot thank you enough!