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Overcome Obstacles with MRI on April 27!

Join MRI, WAND TV and Cromwell Radio in overcoming obstacles in Central Park on Friday, April 27.

How can you help Overcome Obstacles? Click on one of the titles below to begin.
1. COLLECT PLEDGES TO COMPETE: Collect at least $25 in pledges to compete in our downtown obstacle course. Raise $50 for a free T shirt and raise $100 or more for a leg up in the race. Start your own fundraising page and collect donations for MRI.

2. PRE-ORDER: Krispy Kreme doughnuts ($7/dozen) or Downtown Decatur boxed lunches ($7/box) featuring Beach House, Wildflour & MRI Creative Catering.

3. DONATE: MRI values the individuals we serve and your donations are what keep our doors open.

MRI helps over 800 children and adults with disabilities in our community overcome obstacles each day. We invite you to join us in celebrating their achievements and testing yourself in overcoming similar obstacles.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts ($7 per box) and boxed lunches ($7 per box) can be picked up at the event in Central Park or delivered (orders of 10 or more). To pre-order : CALL 217.875.8850 | EMAIL msnively@maconresources.org

Thank you to our premier sponsors:

 

 

 


Major Sponsors:

Decatur Blueprint, Inc.
Cim-Tek Filtration
Decatur Coffee Connection
Decatur Earthmover Credit Union
First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust
IBEW 146
Central Illinois Scale Company
Star Silkscreen Design, Inc.
Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home, Cemeteries & Cremation Center
Moran & Goebel Funeral Home & Cremation Services
Pepsi Refreshment Services-Decatur

Spread the Word to End the Word

Join MRI as we Spread the Word the End the Word!

Spread the Word the End the Word is a national campaign created by Special Olympics and Best Buddies. MRI is joining the campaign and spreading the word about how hurtful the R-word (retard or retarded) can be to individuals with disabilities.

On Wednesday, March 7 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, MRI will set up booths at MRI’s main campus (2121 Hubbard Ave.), Eisenhower High School and Millikin University’s new student union. We will have easily accessible ways to pledge, giveaways and the opportunity to hear first hand accounts about how the R-word affects from individuals with disabilities. Join us at any location to help spread the word!

Can’t make it out? You can pledge online too: https://www.r-word.org/r-word-pledge.aspx.

Talk Time with Rachel – Meet Karina

Meet Karina

Karina, a Day Training participant, is fairly new at MRI; however, she has made friends quickly. To be specific, she has made two best friends. Matt, who she loves because he is so unique, and Colleen, who she lives with. Karina is a MRI Ambassador and just recently represented MRI at Texas Roadhouse for a Special Olympics fundraiser. 

When she is not hard at work at MRI, Karina enjoys talking on her cell phone.

She also collects bracelets of all kinds, ranging from homemade to gifts to store bought.

She loves any kind of chicken, but especially fried chicken. Her favorite food to cook at home is chicken noodle soup.

 

Read more “Talk Time with Rachel” interviews on the blog! Unsure what Talk Time with Rachel is? Check out our first segment.

Meet Michel

Michel, a VISIONS participant, has been coming to MRI for about three months now. Referred to MRI by Decatur Manor, Michel spends his days in group, working in license plates and greeting his new friends. He comes in a little later than most because he leads the morning meeting at the Brick House Foundation, the sober living home where he currently resides.

Not only does Michel live there, but he is also a resident manager. This means he provides support for a lot of the new residents. Michel assists their recovery by teaching them about structure, which is a skill many recovering from addiction need help with. He establishes chore schedules, organizes legal papers and filing, attends legal matters, like drug court, with fellow housemates and assists with general life skills such as scheduling and keeping appointments. Basically, if there is an issue, anyone in the house can come to Michel for help resolving it.

So how has MRI helped Michel? I mean, it sounds like he’s got it all together! That’s easy, “MRI is stability for me,” he explains. Whenever he runs into issues such as trying to refill his necessary medication, he knows he can always call Lisa, his MRI case manger, and she will help. Most recently, Michel knew he needed more help than he was able to receive. He needed to admit himself to the hospital, but he was worried he would lose his job at MRI. He called Lisa and was relieved to hear her say, “I understand. See you when you get out!”

Michel was shocked. “Any other employer would have fired me for missing work, but Lisa understood.” Michel was able to get the help he needed and return to his job, which was still here for him. “Being able to have a job and contribute, that’s important to me,” says Michel. “That’s what makes or breaks my self esteem.”

Michel is just one of the many adults who attend MRI daily. Click here to learn more about MRI’s VISIONS Mental Health program.

Talk Time with Rachel – Meet Janet Smith

Meet Janet Smith

Janet Smith is an employee here at MRI.

What Janet likes best about herself is her strength, independence, and happiness because it takes a strong person to be able to appreciate a lot things in life.

Janet is a big fan of the arts! Some of her favorite movies are Precious and Pursuit of Happiness. Her favorite singers are Keyshia Cole and Mary J. Blige. When she’s in the car she loves to listen to Hip Hop and Rap because it puts her in a good mood. She’s also quite creative herself. Janet also enjoys making key chains!

Janet considers her daughter her best friend and she loves spending time with her. One of Janet’s favorite things to do with her daughter is to play games. She loves how it adds to their quality time. When Janet is with her daughter, she is ensured knowing they are having fun and creating quality memories!

What Janet likes best about her job are the clients and the daily challenges. Each day is different and you just never know what’s going to happen. It keeps the job exciting!

If Janet could go anywhere in the world, she would love to see Africa. She would love to see the difference of how she lives versus the way people in Africa live and see if it’s really how people describe it.

Read more Talk Time with Rachel interviews on the blog! Unsure what Talk Time with Rachel is? Check out our first segment.

 

Talk Time with Rachel – Meet Dolores

Meet Dolores

Dolores is a MRI Day Training participant. This means she spends her weekdays at MRI learning new skills and participating in classes like Sign Language, Literature and, her favorite, Music. Rachel interviewed Dolores a few weeks ago and we got to know a little more about her.

When Dolores is not here at MRI she enjoys spending time on the computer and collecting baby dolls and ink pins. Dolores also loves listening to music in her free time, with Bruno Mars being her favorite singer. She also loves movies and television! Her favorite movie to watch is Look Who is Talking Now and her favorite TV show is Leave it to Beaver! Dolores is also a big fan of Chinese cuisine. Yum!! One of Dolores’s favorite games to play is the card game Uno. She is competitive when playing and always strives to win!

Dolores is also a lover of animals, with dogs being her favorite! If she had a dog she would name it George.

When asked about what she likes about her case manager at MRI, Dolores said, “I think that my case manager is nice to me and she makes me happy.” She also had to say about her group leader, “She makes me happy and she is funny too!”

When asked about being able to travel anywhere she wished, Dolores says she would love to go to Florida. She would love to be in Florida swimming in the water!

What Dolores truly enjoys about MRI is that they give her an opportunity to make money. Through Community Employment Services (CES) and employment opportunities at Macon Resources, individuals have the option to earn a wage executing various tasks. See more information on MRI’s employment program here.

Overall, Dolores sees herself as a nice and funny individual and we all think so too!

Read more “Talk Time with Rachel” interviews on the blog! Unsure what Talk Time with Rachel is? Check out our first segment.

MRI Speech Club

 

Every Wednesday at 1:00 pm our Speech Club gathers together. Each week our participants are given a new discussion topic to help our clients practice their speaking skills. Speech Club is full of all sorts of fun and surprises! Along with their sense of humor, the participants bring a punch card with them every week. With each attendance, they get 1 hole punch and an additional hole punch if they decide to speak. Once the punch card is filled, that participant earns a surprise! 

Speech Club isn’t just about speaking. It’s also a place for fun & games!! Here we can see our speech group learning about the fundamentals of volleyball during that week’s speech topic, SPORTS!

 

Some of the speech topics discussed in the past include: 

    • This is how you play my favorite sport.
    • If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
    • Who is your hero and why?
    • What animal would you like to be for one day and why?
    • What are your favorite things about fall?And so many more!!

 

Every week we have a guest speaker that joins us. Our guests can be anyone. We’ve had guests that were staff at MRI, family members of staff, other clients, just about anyone that would like to guest speak is more than welcome. Some of our guest speakers teach our participants how to be formal, what to wear and how to address a formal audience; while other speakers are more relaxed and just sit down for a conversation or demonstration. 

Speech Club consists of about 10-12 individuals. Some of our weekly participants include.. 

  • Andy- soft spoken but very intelligent and creative.
  • Angie- very sweet and funny, but isn’t afraid to tell you how it is.
  • Shawn- the best listener in class! Always respectful to the individual speaking.
  • Caleb- Caleb brings the
  •  laughter and stories to class.
  • Brook- without Brook, speech club wouldn’t be nearly as fun and lively. Brook is always there for someone if they’re struggling with a topic or having a hard time speaking about something.
  • Tonya- always very excited about speech each week!
  • Jill- the bubbliest person you’ll ever meet. Always smiling and spreading a smile on other’s faces.
  • Matt- also very excited about our weekly meetings, always willing to share a story or experience with the club.
  • Lynn- Lynn is very in tune with all safety precautions. She is very cautious and informative.
  • Dorothy- You can always count on Dorothy for a good laugh and a sweet compliment. She enjoys speech club and enjoys socializing with her peers.

 

 

CAPS and the motorcycles!

MRI’s CAPS (Community Awareness Possibilities & Supports) program allows our day training individuals to learn more about the community they live in by volunteering and exploring local businesses. CAPS also allows members of the community to interact with individuals with developmental and physical disabilities.

Today, our CAPS members took some time in between bowling and lunch to go visit Harley Davidson and check out some motorcycles!Look at that awesome CAPS group! Thank you so much Harley-Davidson for having us today!!

 

MRI Creative Writing Class presents “Beneath the Mask” !

At MRI we offer a vast array of fun and interesting programs for our clients to utilize and explore. This week we would like to take a look at our Creative Writing Class!

So what exactly is the Creative Writing Class? It is a special writing class available to any and all interested in the art of creative writing! The class currently consists of about 6 regular members, but any and all are always welcome! The class is typically given a topic or prompt and then given free rein to express themselves however they want!

This month our Creative Writing Class has taken on the theme of “Beneath the Mask” with their writings. The theme “Beneath the Mask” gives the members of the Creative Writing Class an opportunity to talk about the metaphorical “masks” that they wear to hide themselves from the world around them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Reene! Reene loves art, knitting and arts & crafts in general so it’s no wonder she would be apart of our Creative Writing team. Renee enjoys writing to express her feelings and to show everyone how she feels. Renee is a very creative individual with a large heart to show it!

 

 

Chris is another one of our awesome Creative Writing team members. Chris enjoys spending his time blacksmithing, woodworking, and sewing. Wow!! Chris likes to write because he gets to put his feelings into words.

 

 

 

Another one of our AWESOME Creative Writing members is Katy. Katy loves to sing and dance and has also done her share of acting. Writing helps Katie express herself when she’s having trouble elaborating on her feelings. She is a very unique individual and she has so much to be proud of!

 

 

Karina is another one of our talented Creative Writing team members. Karina loves music, dancing, working, and hanging out with her boyfriend. Karina likes to write because it allows her to relieve any stress she might have. She loves using music as a means to calm herself down too! Karina is very nice and downright awesome!

 

 

We here at MRI are always excited to see what our Creative Writing Class is working on and we are all very excited to see what is next for them!

 

MRI Named Non-Profit of the Year

Each year, the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce holds an awards luncheon to celebrate local organizations making a positive impact in our community. This year, MRI was named Non-Profit of the Year. MRI’s Executive Director Amy Bliefnick and MRI Day Training participant Karina Hayes accepted the award on behalf of all staff and individuals served.

September 21st was a great day for MRI, and more specifically for everyone who makes this organization what it is. On that day, MRI was recognized by the Decatur Chamber of Commerce as the Non-Profit Organization of the Year.

While I was honored to publicly accept this award, I feel it’s important to note that I did so on behalf of countless individuals whose influence over many years has led us to where we are now.

MRI did not happen overnight. Years of strong leadership from former Executive Directors Kay Scrogin and Dreux Lewandowski, as well as many past and present Board members, have been the driving force behind the agency’s growth and excellence. Our staff – which is over 250 strong – takes each day as an opportunity to show compassion and inspire others to do the same.

And let’s not forget the support this organization receives from the businesses, civic and social organizations, and leaders of Decatur and Macon County. In my opinion, this is the greatest community anywhere, and we’re fortunate to call it home.

Finally, I have to acknowledge the most important contributor to MRI’s success – our clients, both past and present. I want to thank them, their parents, family, and guardians for allowing us the privilege of being a part of their lives. For myself, and every member of our staff, there is no greater joy than to play a role in their continued success. They are the reason for everything we do.

Again, September 21st was a great day for MRI. And, we can’t wait for many more!


Amy Bliefnick
MRI Executive Director

 

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