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disabilities

Tie Dye Tuesday

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for tie dye! Sonya’s Day Training group spent Monday and Tuesday tie dying t shirts to wear to the client conference in September. First, we had to twist and wrap all the T shirts.

Next, Karina helped Sonya spray each shirt so it was damp. Then it was time for the fun part: dying them! Everyone got to choose their own colors. The trick is to soak them with dye so it dries really bright. Matt used so many colors, Karina had to step in the help.

Once the shirts were dyed, they went in a grocery bag to sit for 8 hours. Today, they will be washed, dried and, the best part, worn!

 

National Joke Day

it’s National Joke Day and we are definitely celebrating at MRI! Check out some of our favorite jokes and jokesters below.

Knock Knock” “Who’s there” “Who” “Who who?” “Who you!”- Tonya

 

“Why did he throw the alarm clock out the window?” “To see time fly!”

“Where does the vampire keep his money?” “The blood bank!”

“What kind of watch does a witch wear?” “A witch watch!”

– Michael

Knock knock” “Who’s there?” “Banana” “Banana who?” “Let’s split!” – Reene

“What did the cow say to the farmer?” “Mooooooooooooove it!”

“How come the alligator couldn’t see where to go?” “He had no glasses!”

“If the red house is on the left and the blue house is on the right, where is the white house?”
Washington, DC!” – Becky

 

Knock knock” “Who’s there?” “Hello” “Hello who?” “Hello my hairy leg!” – Greg

 

“Did you hear about the man who stole all the plumbing from the police department?”
The police had nothing to go on!” – Noah

 

“Why is a bad joke like a pencil?” “Because it has no point!” – Morgan

 

 “How do all the oceans say hello to each other?” “They wave!” – Janet

 

Knock knock” “Who’s there?” “Apple” “Apple who?” “Do you want a candy apple?” – Chasidee

 

“Susie came home from school and her mom said, ‘what did you learn in school today?’
and Susie said, ‘not enough because they want me to come back tomorrow!'” – Amy

 

Talk Time with Rachel – Meet Rodney

Meet Rodney

Rodney is a MRI Day Training participant. This means he spends his weekdays at MRI learning new skills and participating in classes like Sign Language, Music and, his favorite, Bible Study. Rachel interviewed Rodney a few weeks ago and we got to know a few of his favorite things.

Rodney loves cats, in fact, they are his favorite animal! His best friend is fellow Day Training participant and Agency Greeter Lynn. He enjoys running outside and watching TV. Rodney’s favorite color is red, which he expresses through clothing. 

When asked what makes him happy, Rodney answered, “going to church and eating, drinking Pepsi, listening to music and helping others.” 

Something Rodney enjoys that he did not mention is his pen collection. Rodney collects all kinds of pens! He has thousands of working and non working pens in his collection. A few weeks ago, an MRI visitor even donated a large envelope of pens to him! (You can check out that story here.) His favorite pens are Papermates.

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

Volunteer Awards Day

MRI’s ECNO (Empowering Community Networking Opportunities) program gives our clients a chance to give back to the community through volunteer opportunities like delivering Thrive and Decatur Magazine and Meals on Wheels, cleaning MRI classrooms and vans, working at the Good Samaritan Inn, playing games with our SAT (Specialized Adult Services) individuals, stocking supplies at Northeast Community Fund and more.

Once a year ECNO tallies up the total hours each participant has volunteered that year and celebrates. Everyone who volunteers gets an award for their hard work and the top ten participants with the most volunteer hours receive an extra award and a special outing for just those ten members. This year’s special outing is an all day camping trip, complete with lunch cooked over the campfire and swimming at the beach.

This year, the top volunteer was Ryan with 109 hours! His favorite volunteer activity is Meals on Wheels. All together, ECNO volunteered for 1,466.5 hours from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. That’s a lot of hours!

Since all of ECNO is already together, it’s also a great time to celebrate everyone’s birthdays! All ECNO participants vote on their six favorite cake flavors. Then, together they make a grocery list and purchase all the materials needed for the cakes. The day before the celebration, they bake the cakes in one of MRI’s apartment-style classrooms. After the award ceremony, everyone sings happy birthday and eats cake and ice cream! This year’s overwhelming favorite was chocolate lava fudge.

 

 

Check out all of our wonderful volunteers with their awards:

#WednesdayWisdom

We asked some MRI clients for a little #WednesdayWisdom. Here’s what we came up with:

 

“Help people out by making them feel better and being there for them.” – Darwin

Also, as we noted in his shirt, “Every little thing is gonna be alright.”

 

 

 

 

 

“Take your time, think it through, and discover life as it is. Learn how to empower yourself.” -Carl

 

 

 

“If a friend is having a bad day just help them out.” -Lorraine

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Sometimes you just need to walk away and take a moment to settle down. Assure your friend that they’re a good person.” -Julieanne

 

 

 

 

 

“When I’m feeling down, I like to do physical activities like swimming, biking, and playing basketball.” -Bob

 

 

 

 

“If you’re having a bad day, make it a good day.  Going on outings, seeing movies, getting out in the community makes me feel better.” -Kenny

 

 

 

 

 

 

“If you’re having a bad day, talking to a friend about it will help you feel better.” – Greg

 

 

 

 

 

“Something that always makes me feel better is going to church, praying and smiling.” -Rodney

 

 

 

 

 

“When I’m having a bad day, I like to lie down, cool off and have some quiet time.” – Dorothy

 

 

 

 

 

“If someone is having a rough day, cheer them up and feel happy.” -Tonya

“Tell somebody what is bothering you. let them know that we can work it out together.” -Andy

 

 

 

 

“Sticking together with people who are going through the same troubles as you will help you get through anything.” -Colleen

 

 

 

 

 

“If somebody ever needs to talk, they can come talk to me. I’ll make you feel better.” -Shawn

 

 

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.

#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

Meet Olivia

MRI’s Our Voice Through Art has allowed Olivia to gain confidence, make friends and think outside the box.  Through the class, she has been able to explore various materials, which has shown her how to look at the world differently.

Olivia’s communication skills have also improved as she becomes more comfortable asking for help, sharing materials and complimenting others’ work. She even carries on conversations with her peers as they complete their artwork.

But most importantly, her mom explains, “she feels a part of something. She feels important.”

 

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