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Rachel Barter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2019

Media Contact:
Rachel Barter
MRI PR and Development Manager
217.875.8850
rbarter@maconresources.org

GT and First Christian Churches in Partnership with Macon Resources to Host Night to Shine Prom for People with Special Needs Sponsored by Tim Tebow Foundation

Decatur, IL – GT Church and First Christian Church in partnership with Macon Resources announced today that they will serve as one of nearly 500 churches around the world already registered to host Night to Shine 2019, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, simultaneously on Friday, February 8. Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older, hosted by local churches in all 50 states and across the globe all on one night. GT, First Christian, and Macon Resources are excited to be a part of this worldwide movement that God is using as a catalyst to change how culture embraces people with special needs and to rally the church worldwide to stand up for those who are differently-abled.

“As an agency that provides services to over 800 individuals with special needs in Macon County, MRI couldn’t be more grateful to support GT Church, First Christian Church, and the Tim Tebow Foundation in this event” said Amy Bliefnick, President and CEO of Macon Resources. “This world-wide event is changing the way people with special needs are viewed, and what better way to celebrate them and their talents by hosting an unforgettable prom night experience.”

Every guest of Night to Shine enters this complimentary event on a red carpet complete with a warm welcome from a friendly crowd and paparazzi. Once inside, guests receive the royal treatment, including hair and makeup stations, shoe shining areas, limousine rides, corsages and boutonnieres, a catered dinner, karaoke, prom favors, a dance floor… all leading up to the moment when each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom.

“I am blown away by how we are seeing God use the Church to step into this space as an advocate for people with special needs. It’s not about my foundation or the churches themselves, but about communities coming together to love and celebrate people with differences. Every town, every village, every state, every country needs a Night to Shine for their special needs community – a chance to be a part of something significant and life-changing…and to be blessed in the process,” said Tim Tebow, founder of the Tim Tebow Foundation.

As sponsor of Night to Shine, the Tim Tebow Foundation will provide each host church with the official 2019 Night to Shine Planning Manual, the official Night to Shine Prom Kit, complete with decorations and gifts for the guests, and personalized guidance and support from a Tim Tebow Foundation staff member. The foundation also has committed millions of dollars in financial support to hundreds of churches needing assistance in hosting the event.

“We are excited to host Night to Shine for the first time in our community alongside GT Church with the support of MRI”, said BJ Leonard, Missions Pastor at First Christian Church. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase God’s love for all people, especially those with special needs.”

“First Christian Church is thrilled to provide support and help for some of the most special people in our community. Jesus expected his followers to care for people of all social settings and levels. This joyous event will reach into the lives of some of our deepest friends and family members. It’s a win for both those who are served as well as those who serve” said Wayne Kent, Lead Pastor at First Christian Church.

When Night to Shine launched in 2015, 44 host churches and 15,000 volunteers worked together to honor more than 7,000 kings and queens of the prom. This past February, 537 host churches and 175,000 volunteers came together to celebrate 90,000 honored guests with special needs. Now in its fifth anniversary year, the Tim Tebow Foundation is seeing new churches sign up continuously and the event is expected to take place in over 700 locations this coming February.

“Night to Shine is a wonderful opportunity to show those with special needs that they are valued and loved by God”, said Pastor Matt Samuels, Lead Pastor at GT Church. “People with special needs do not often get the opportunity to attend an event like this, so it is a wonderful experience to make this night happen for them, as this is what serving Christ is all about.”

Night to Shine 2019 will be from 6-9pm on Friday, February 8th at GT Church. For additional information on the Night to Shine and how to register visit http://nighttoshine.gtchurch.com or https://www.firstdecatur.org/serve/nighttoshine/

For more information on the worldwide movement of Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, visit: http://www.timtebowfoundation.org/index.php/night-to-shine/

ABOUT GT CHURCH
GT Church exists to help people Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose, and Make a Difference.

ABOUT FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH
The mission of First Christian Church is to develop devoted followers of Jesus Christ by growing and serving together. This includes serving in the community and caring for people in Jesus’ name.

ABOUT MRI
MRI is a non-profit organization in Decatur, Illinois, that provides services to promote the growth, independence, and self-worth of children and adults with developmental disabilities.

ABOUT TIM TEBOW FOUNDATION
The Tim Tebow Foundation exists to bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. That mission is being fulfilled every day through the foundation’s seven areas of outreach, including W15H, Timmy’s Playrooms, Orphan Care, Adoption Aid, the Tebow CURE Hospital, Team Tebow and Night to Shine. For more information on the Tim Tebow Foundation, please visit www.timtebowfoundation.org

Give to Meaningful Meadows on #GivingTuesday

 

This #GivingTuesday MRI is raising funds for Meaningful Meadows, our new innovative outdoor activity center for adults with developmental disabilities. Meaningful Meadows will provide our individuals an inclusive space to create new experiences, provide new opportunities to learn, promote their physical well-being, boost creativity, reduce stress and anxiety, and connect to their community, all while being accessible.

We are hoping to break ground this fall and every donation will bring us closer to our goal. Meaningful Meadows will give our individuals new opportunities to explore their passions, grow, be more independent, and achieve a higher sense of self-worth.

Make a donation: https://www.ilgive.com/organizations/mri

Fundraise for MRI: https://donations.fb.com/giving-tuesday/

Thank you for your support in helping us build meaningful lives!

MRI Celebrates National Kindness Day

Wednesday, November 14 MRI Celebrated National Kindness Day!

MRI’s Day Training groups spent National Kindness Day by spreading kindness throughout the building! Individuals had the opportunity to write positive messages on sticky notes and post them throughout the building, and we even had a booth set up where they could write a kind message on the table. One of the Day Training participants had the idea to write letters thanking members of our military so we had a table for that as well.

It was a great day of spreading kindness!

national kindness day macon resources

 

MRI Announces Outdoor Activity Center, Meaningful Meadows

Decatur, IL – Macon Resources, Inc. (MRI) held a kickoff event on Thursday, October 4 to celebrate their newly renovated gym and announce a new addition to the MRI campus, Meaningful Meadows, an innovative outdoor activity center for adults with developmental disabilities. Meaningful Meadows will be one of the most unique inclusive recreational areas offered in the state of Illinois for adults with developmental disabilities. Construction on the activity center will start this fall with plans for completion by the start of summer 2019.

Meaningful Meadows will include the following features throughout the acre and a half park:

  • Exercise – features include a walking path, basketball court, and splash pad
  • Sensory – includes a small pond, chimes, butterfly garden, plants and flowers, a sound board, and “car wash”
  • Occupational – includes bird baths, planters, and a weather station, which will give clients the opportunity to be employed through feeding the birds and taking care of the grounds
  • Escape – features several different quiet and relaxing areas around the grounds
  • Social – consists of sitting areas, an outside classroom, and a spot for yard games

“This outdoor activity space is an innovative, creative and exciting addition to the services we offer for the people we serve,” said Amy Bliefnick, CEO/President of MRI. “The ability to utilize the outdoor space with sensory and exercise opportunities is much needed and highly anticipated.”

“The activity center will be very incredible,” said Carl, a client at MRI. “I like all of the activities we have at MRI, and the new outdoor activity center will help us be better physically and spiritually.”

ABOUT MRI
MRI is a non-profit organization in Decatur, Illinois, that provides services to promote the growth, independence, and self-worth of children and adults with disabilities. Established in 1988 through the consolidation of Progress Resource Center and Macon County Rehabilitation facilities, today, MRI has grown to be the largest provider of services for adults and children with cognitive, intellectual or developmental disabilities in the region with 270 employees that serve over 800 adults and children through programming such as: children’s prevention and home visiting, day care, after-school care, summer camps, case management, residential services, life skills training, vocational training, job placement, and volunteerism to achieve a meaningful place in our community.

Contact: Rachel Barter
MRI PR and Development Manager
(217) 875-8850
RBarter@maconresources.org

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Macon Resources Achieves Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation

Decatur, IL – The CEO of Macon Resources (MRI), Amy Bliefnick, today announced that MRI has been awarded the four-year Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation from CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. This award confirms that the organization embraces person-centered solutions to improve the quality of life for people receiving supports and services.

MRI is a non-profit organization that provides services to promote the growth, independence, and self-worth of children and adults with disabilities. MRI is the largest provider of services for adults and children with cognitive, intellectual or developmental disabilities in the region with 170 employees that serve over 800 adults and children through programming such as: children’s prevention and home visiting, day care, after-school care, summer camps, case management, residential services, life skills training, vocational training, job placement, and volunteerism to achieve a meaningful place in our community.

“We strive everyday to promote the growth, independence, and self-worth of children and adults with disabilities”, said Bliefnick. “On behalf of the 270 employees at Macon Resources we are so proud to receive accreditation as this validates that we provide the best standards and quality of care that we can for the individuals we serve.”
When MRI partnered with CQL to pursue accreditation, it undertook a rigorous process to review and improve supports and services.

The efforts of MRI were focused on empowering the people who receive supports to pursue what really matters in their lives, and achieve their personally-defined outcomes.
MRI has been awarded CQL accreditation as a result of demonstrating proficiency in the following areas:

  • Basic Assurances® Ensuring fundamental safeguards related to health, safety and human security
  • Personal Outcome Measures® Supporting and empowering people to achieve their goals and dreams
  • Person-Centered Excellence Demonstrating organizational commitment to continued enhancement of systems

“CQL commends MRI for its success in increasing the quality of life for the people it supports. We are pleased to partner with them on this journey of ongoing organizational transformation,” states Mary Kay Rizzolo, president and CEO of CQL.

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Contact: Rachel Barter
Public Relations and Development Manager
p. 217.875.8850 | e. rbarter@maconresources.org

CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership is an international non-profit, virtual organization dedicated to the definition, measurement and improvement of personal quality of life. CQL’s vision is a world of dignity, opportunity and community for all people. Learn more about CQL by visiting: www.c-q-l.org

MRI is a non-profit organization in Decatur, Illinois, that provides services to promote the growth, independence, and self-worth of children and adults with disabilities. Established in 1988 through the consolidation of Progress Resource Center and Macon County Rehabilitation facilities, today, MRI has grown to be the largest provider of services for adults and children with cognitive, intellectual or developmental disabilities in the region with 270 employees that serve over 800 adults and children through programming such as: children’s prevention and home visiting, day care, after-school care, summer camps, case management, residential services, life skills training, vocational training, job placement, and volunteerism to achieve a meaningful place in our community.