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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.

Talk Time with Rachel – Meet Ryan

Meet Ryan

Ryan is a MRI Day Training Participant. He loves coming to Macon Resources and spending time with his best friend Robert. (Ryan wanted us to add, “Yes, we hug.”) Ryan also enjoys spending time with his group leader and case manager. He likes that they are, “helpful and trustworthy,” and above all, they are nice!

Ryan also likes sports! He enjoys football, basketball and, most of all, baseball. His favorite professional baseball team is the Chicago Cubs. During Ryan’s interview, when asked why they were his favorite team he simply replied, “Because Cubbies rule!” He enjoys taking walks in the park to see what activities are going on and to see the ducks at the pond.

All in all, Ryan sees himself as respectful, trust worthy and friendly. He is sure to put a smile on your face!

Read more “Talk Time with Rachel” interviews on the Blog.

December Employee of the Month

Joy Pullium

December Employee of the Month

December’s employee of the month was Joy Pullium! Joy is a life skills coach for people in the community. She truly enjoys her job and her passion for helping others is apparent. 

Recently, Joy was seeking out the history of someone on her caseload, searching for a better understanding of the significant life issue that person was facing. In the reports she received, the doctor overseeing the individual stated, “that’s just who she is and how things are.” Unsatisfied with the diagnosis, Joy set out on her own to discover how that person’s circumstance came about. Joy also sought to predict negative circumstances in that individual’s future with hopes of avoiding dangerous situations, and correcting current behaviors. 

Joy has earned employee of the month in December for her care for others. Her express for concern and treating everyone as equals is why we are proud to have Joy here at MRI. Congratulations Joy!!

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.

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!!

 

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