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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.

Program Highlight: Residential Services

The month of July is meant for celebrating independence and freedom, so what better program to highlight this month than MRI’s residential services!

MRI owns and operates nine CILAs (Community Integrated Living Arrangements), or group homes, in the Decatur community. Each home houses four to eight individuals and each individual has their own room. MRI provides 24 hour support staff to assist where needed and in case of emergencies.

CILAs provide adults with disabilities the chance to gain independence by living on their own and learning skills such as personal care, cooking & cleaning and social skills. Each CILA truly is a home for our clients and our staff are just visitors who are there to help.

Brook lives in one of our Mt. Zion area group homes. She loves that she gets to live with her friends, but has her own room all to herself. She enjoys the staff she sees on a daily basis and misses them when they’re gone. One regular staff member is returning from vacation today, so Brook hopes to celebrate when she gets home. Living on her own has allowed Brook to gain new skills, like cooking.

“I love to help staff cook dinner. I especially like to cook spaghetti,” Brook explains.

CILAs allow our clients to enjoy the same freedoms we tend to take for granted, like choosing our next meal or picking out tomorrow’s clothes. This weekend, Brook and two friends are going out to dinner, which she’s been excited about. Without MRI’s support to ensure she can get to dinner and back home, those options wouldn’t be available to her.

Talk Time with Rachel

MRI serves over 800 children and adults with disabilities each year. That’s a lot of people! But, what do you actually know about our clients here at MRI?

Every person who walks through the doors of MRI is unique, from employees to clients to parents and caregivers. We want to introduce you to the many faces of MRI, one person at a time. With the help of our up-and-coming journalist, Rachel, MRI will be bringing you new stories each week.

Rachel already interviews people around the building for our monthly newsletter, the Real Source. She writes her own questions and turns the answers into articles. When we decided we wanted to start a MRI blog, Rachel was our first thought. She is excited to see her stories online and share her interviewing skills, but first you ought to get to know the reporter herself!

Meet Rachel

Talk Time with Rachel is always fan favorite in the Real Source. Our clients and employees love seeing themselves in print! Rachel has been interviewing people at MRI for a few years now. She reluctantly started Talk Time with Rachel as a way to start conversations with others at MRI and to get to know them. Two MRI case managers encouraged the segment so she could overcome some of her shyness. While Rachel admits she is still shy and hesitant to start conversation, she enjoys getting to know new friends and learning about their likes and dislikes. Below, Rachel answers a few of her own classic interview questions.

Rachel enjoys drawing and prefers to focus on portraits of famous artists. Her favorite places to eat are Fuji and Panda Express. Rachel’s favorite animal is a cat. She loves how cats can be playful and full of purrs, but then in the next breath, they can be huge jerks. Rachel’s best friend is her case manager Amber. She admires how Amber will do anything for anyone. She is always nice, sweet and helpful.

Rachel loves pop music like Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera and Lifetime movies. Whenever she cooks dinner at home, she loves to make scrambled eggs. Rachel loves coming to MRI because she enjoys learning new skills and having a place to pursue them.

Rachel is just one of the over 800 clients and almost 300 employees at MRI. Stay tuned she introduces someone new each week!

#IlGive 2017

#ILGive to MRI

Join MRI on May 30 & May 31 for ILGive Community Fundraising Day!

What is #ILGive? It’s a day devoted to giving back to non-profits in your community. Join us and give back to MRI as we serve over 800 children and adults with disabilities right here in Macon County.

Donate today

Join us in building meaningful lives.

#ILGive to MRI

25th Annual MRI Charity Golf Outing

Join MRI as we hit the green to give back in the 25th Annual MRI Charity Golf Outing on Monday, June 5 at South Side Country Club. The $560 registration fee includes one team of four players, golf fees, carts, lunch, drinks, a goody bag and dinner.

*Four person scramble
*Registration and lunch begin at 11:30 am
*Shotgun start at 1:00 pm
*Dinner & prizes at 5:30 pm

Contact Melanie Bilbrey at 217.875.8850 or MBilbrey@maconresources.org to register.

All proceeds benefit MRI (Macon Resources, Inc.), the largest service provider for children and adults with disabilities in the Mid-West. Each year, MRI serves over 800 children and adults with disabilities in job placement, day training, after school care, inclusive day care, community involvement and more!

THANK YOU to our major sponsors:
3M

Silver sponsors:
Jerger Pediatric Dentistry
John & Rita Mickler
R.V. Evans Company
BKD

Bronze Sponsors:
Thrivent Financial
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Illini Pharmacy Services
Agri-Fab

Hole Sponsors:
PFE Corp.
R.D. McMillen
McLeod Express
Carroll & Kay Scrogin
Dunn Company
Parke & Son, inc.
Hickory Point Bank

Cart Sponsors:
Miles Chevrolet/Crown Toyota Nissan

Meet Tony

Tony 2Meet Tony, a MRI Day Vocational Training participant. Tony may be blind, but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing his passions, including music. Tony taught himself to play piano by ear at the age of five. However, his musical abilities don’t stop there! Tony can also play keyboard, auto harp and sing.

MRI clients and employees can hear Tony’s music around lunchtime. Monday – Friday from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm Tony plays piano outside the cafeteria so those who are eating lunch can enjoy some smooth tunes. Tony enjoys playing the piano because other people enjoy it. One of his favorite things to do is make new friends and he feels he does this best through music.

Tony used to travel around to various nursing homes and libraries to play piano for the guests. He hopes to start doing that again soon so he can continue meeting new people. His current goal is to create a CD and hear himself on the radio.

When Tony is not playing one of the various instruments he enjoys, he can be found bowling with his friends, hanging out with his girlfriend or watching a classic Western film.

Tony 1

Shop Local this Holiday Season

If you are looking for a unique gift this holiday season, consider shopping local at MRI (Macon Resources, Inc.). Each novelty gift purchased directly supports disability services in our community. MRI offers custom license plate signs and art and engraved signs and coasters. MRI’s Etsy page has a few already made designs, but can take custom orders of any type.

Likewise, MRI Independence Pointe is selling all remaining Ornaments of Hope for $5 each. The Ornaments of Hope, also known as the official city ornaments, depict various scenes around Central Illinois including the Oglesby Mansion (1995), Caterpillar (2011) Wabash Depot (2013) and more. See below for a full list of available ornaments.

Shopping local ensures the money you spend stays within your community. By shopping at MRI, your gifts directly support programs like job training, Autism services, speech & language therapy, day vocational training, home visiting and more.

To order a sign or ornament, contact MRI at 217-875-1910 or visit MRI’s Etsy page.

Available ornaments include:

• 1995 Oglesby Mansion
• 1998 Coles County Courthouse
• 2000 Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center
• 2001 Decatur Memorial Hospital
• 2002 Charleston Carnegie Public Library
• 2004 Celebration of Faith (St. James, First United Methodist, St. Paul’s Lutheran)
• 2008 Abraham Lincoln
• 2010 Central Park
• 2011 Caterpillar
• 2013 Wabash Depot
• 2014 First Responders

 

Meet Larry

With the support of MRI’s intermittent CILA, Larry is able to live by himself in his apartment and maintain his independence. 

Larry with keyLarry has lived in his own apartment for four years with the support of MRI’s intermittent CILA. Before living on his own, Larry lived in a strict group home where many decisions were made for him. Things like when to eat meals and when to go to bed were determined by the group home. Larry knew he was capable of making decisions and wanted to live his life the way he wanted to live it, so he reach out to MRI’s intermittent CILA program. MRI’s intermittent CILA allows Larry to be independent and live independently while still providing needed life and safety supports. He is now able to plan his days around what he wants to do. Larry enjoys exercising, cooking his own meals and going to church. Larry is very active in his community and has made many friends during his daily walks around Kroger for exercise, trips to Taco Bell and weekly church visits.

Larry with Cook book 2

Twenty two years ago Larry made the decision to become a vegetarian. He did so as a way to become healthier and has diligently stuck with it.When Larry began to have health issues because he was not getting enough iron, MRI staff supported him in meeting with a doctor so he could learn how to add more iron into his diet, which he is now able to do. Larry uses his vegetarian cook book to plan meals for himself. During the fall and winter, his favorite meals to make are soups and vegetarian chili because they are easy to reheat he can eat it all week long. It is safe and easy for Larry to cook in his own apartment. If anything were to go wrong, Larry has MRI CILA staff just a phone call away.

larry calendar writingLarry is not only strict with his vegetarian diet, but also with his work out routine. He takes daily walks and works out three times a week. This type of organization and precision can be seen in other aspects of Larry’s life as well. He keeps a calendar on his wall and at the end of every day he writes down exactly what he did that day. Because Larry is so structured himself, adding another layer of daily structure does not work. He does best when he has the freedom to organize his day based on what he determines to be priorities in his life, which is what MRI is able to provide.

Now that Larry has an apartment to call his own, he has new goals. He already saved money and bought a new couch. Now he is saving money to go on a trip with his friends this fall. Larry decided to put part of his monthly spending money in the bank and cut back on his trips to Taco Bell in order to save for the trip. With the help of MRI, he is in charge of his own finances, which means he has taken on the responsibility of setting money aside for food and bills.Larry outside house

Larry creates his own schedule and spends a lot of time in the community and with his church family. The staff at Kroger, Taco Bell and his local Subway enjoy seeing Larry about town. Many people know Larry because of his regular visits.  In fact, they tend to worry if he does not show up for a few days. Larry has been able to thrive since moving into his own apartment with the support of MRI. He has discovered new things he enjoys doing, new places he had never been and he has made new friends in the community.

 

Meet Elden

“Our lives – especially Elden’s – will forever be more meaningful thanks to Independence Pointe.” -Jenell, Elden’s mother

Elden Bowling ShrinkJust before his third birthday, Elden had been receiving Early Intervention speech and language services through Independence Pointe. As his Early Intervention services were about to end, Elden’s mother, Jenell, was worried about his future. That December, she was invited to Independence Pointe’s Christmas Party. After attending the party and meeting the Independence Pointe staff and other families receiving services, “all those anxieties went away.”

Since that first meeting, Elden has been enrolled in various services offered at Independence Pointe. He is currently in speech therapy, which he began right after turning three. Elden had been non-verbal until he was almost four. Thanks to Independence Pointe’s speech therapy program, Elden spoke his first words at age four. “To hear him now at the age of six,” Jenell explains, “you would never guess he was ever non-verbal.”

Through his hard work and the guidance of the amazing Independence Pointe ABA staff, his social awareness and skills gave grown leaps and bounds.” -Jenell, Elden’s motherbowl-a-thon3-min

Shortly after beginning speech therapy, Elden was diagnosed with Autism. That summer, they began Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at Independence Pointe. Elden spent the summer at Independence Pointe working hard to improve his social skills. He used to enjoy watching other kids play, but now he wants to join in as well! Independence Pointe has even helped out at home. Jenell explains, “we’ve learned more about what triggers his meltdowns and how to effectively calm him down.”

Recently, Elden’s parents also started attending Parents Night Out, a program designed to give parents a night out while Independence Pointe teaches and entertains their children. While the parents get a short break from parenting, the children work on social skills by playing games, enjoying guest performers, and taking field trips into the community.

“Parents Night Out is more than just getting an occasional night out with my husband. Elden gets essential social interaction and play. He gets to experience activities and friends in a setting that I know is safe.” -Jenell, Elden’s mother

Elden-minIndependence Pointe provides services to promote the growth of individuals who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Children’s Autism Services at Independence Pointe include Speech and Language Therapy, Child Care for children of all abilities ages 0-18, Social Skills Camp, Social Skills Support, an Autism Resource Room, and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA provides instruction to improve the day-to-day life of children with ASD or other developmental disabilities.  ABA instruction, typically offered in a one-on-one setting to meet the needs of each learner, is focused on teaching skills and decreasing behaviors that interfere with learning.

For more information on MRI Autism Services for children, click here.

MRI Celebration Day

On Friday, April 29, join us in celebrating the impact MRI has made on the community and the over 800 children and adults that benefit from the MRI programming.  With the help of WAND 17 and The Cromwell Group, we will be celebrating all day in downtown Decatur, across from the ADM City Center. Come on out and learn more about what we do! There will be Krispy Kreme doughnuts and lunch from Hickory River Smokehouse, which you can pre order today!

MRI is the largest service provider for children and adults with disabilities in the region. We provide services that promote the growth, independence and self-worth of children and adults with disabilities. Our programming includes Job Training, Case Management, Home Visiting through Bright Start, Speech Therapy, Autism Services, Inclusive Child Care at Independence Pointe, Homeward Bound Pet Shelter and more.

FOUR WAYS TO GET INVOLVED:

  1. TODAY- Donate!
  2. TOMORROW – Pre order Krispy Kreme or Hickory River Smokehouse boxed lunches.
  3. THE MONTH OF APRIL – Spread the message.  Share MRI’s impact.
  4. FRIDAY, APRIL 29 – Join the celebration!

Flier with DECU-min

 

Come learn more about what we do, and celebrate the achievements of the individuals we serve!

Krispy Kreme boxes can be picked up/purchased at the event in downtown Decatur, at MRI (2121 Hubbard Ave.), or MRI Independence Pointe (2715 N 27th St.). Hickory River Smoke House lunches can be picked up/purchased at the event in downtown Decatur.

To pre-order your doughnuts and lunch today or for more information, call 217-875-8880 or email mbilbrey@maconresources.org.

We want to thank our major sponsors!CEFCU
wand17HD logo

Cromwell 5 Stations Color

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Thank you to our vignette and event-day sponsors:

  • Swartz Properties
  • Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home, Cemeteries & Cremation Center, Moran & Goebel Funeral Home & Cremation Services
  • Curry & Associates
  • Becker Chiropractic Clinic
  • Staley Credit Union
  • IPI Wealth Management Services, Inc.

 

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