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Meet MRI’s Fall Interns!

This fall semester MRI has had the privilege of having 4 great interns work with our persons served and gain real-world experience.

Meet MRI’s Fall Human Resources Intern, Ethan Meyer!

Ethan is a senior at Millikin University and is wrapping up his Fall HR Internship with MRI. He will be graduating May 2020 and is excited to begin his career in HR.

MRI sat down with Ethan and asked him how his Fall internship experience was before he finished.

“MRI’s overall mission and community involvement really stood out to me. I’ve always been about helping people and I really admire the organization. When my internship coordinator at Millikin told me that there was an HR internship available at MRI, I was completely on board! I want to go into Human Resources when I graduate so this was a great opportunity for me.”

After Ethan graduates from Millikin he would love to work in Human Resources out in California. “I have family in California and it would be great to be close to them and experience all the opportunities California has to offer.”

As for what Ethan has learned during his time at MRI, he says he has learned so much! “I’ve enhanced my public speaking skills as well as how to conduct myself in a professional work space. I’ve also gained new friends and overall had a great experience and can’t thank MRI enough!”

Also meet MRI’s Music Interns- Emily Kouzios, Kaela Adams and Demetri Sepsis!

Just beginning their freshman year at Millikin University, Emily, Kaela and Demetri want to begin real-world experience. After meeting MRI’s recruiter at a Career Fair at Millikin and realizing MRI was looking for a music intern, the three friends got together to start planning out the idea for a music internship program at MRI.

Emily, Kaela and Demetri have loved their internship experience at MRI so far! “We’ve really enjoyed getting to know the individuals MRI serves and seeing how much fun they have singing the songs we bring them each week.”

We wish Ethan, Emily, Kaela and Demetri the best of luck with their finals and future endeavors!

 

If you are interested in learning more about the internships MRI offers, please contact Lyric Smith – MRI Recruiter/Generalist at 875.8802 or lsmith@maconresources.org

Meet Dorothy

Meet Dorothy, an MRI Community Day Services participant. 

“MRI makes me feel like I can do and accomplish anything I want. I love it here!” ~ Dorothy

Dorothy has been attending MRI for over 22 years. Over that time, Dorothy has grown in her independence and confidence in herself and her abilities. Dorothy is so proud of the work she accomplishes every day at Macon Resources.

But Dorothy wasn’t always this thriving, amazing individual you see every day. When Dorothy started at MRI, she was very withdrawn, insecure and introverted. She didn’t want to work and she didn’t want to have friends. You do not see that personality today.

Over the years, the influence her supportive family, staff, and classmates she interacts with at MRI has changed her. MRI’s innovative programming that teaches Dorothy life skills, job skills, provides opportunities for creativity, and health and wellness has also benefited her and has allowed her to grow into a thriving productive and independent member of society.

Dorothy has a very busy schedule when she arrives at MRI. She holds several different jobs during the day, ranging from labeling license plates, assembling pack nuts, to taking birthday, anniversary or get well soon cards around for staff to sign and send. She loves any reason to celebrate!

Dorothy is also a gifted artist and enjoys spending time in Special Projects class creating art pieces for her friends and family.

While Dorothy faces many challenges, she does not let her disability define her. She always has a positive attitude and knows that with MRI’s help, she is going to be okay. Dorothy is going through nightly dialysis due to kidney failure, but you would never know that. She is on a waiting list and must lose 20 pounds before she can receive her new kidney. With the help of her case manager and family, she has found a healthy eating plan that works for her and is utilizing the exercise benefits of Meaningful Meadows every chance she gets.

“You wouldn’t know Dorothy has kidney failure,” said Leslie Pierce, Human Rights Manager at MRI. “She doesn’t miss a day of work, she’s active and she wants to lose the weight.”

Dorothy loves to walk the track with her friends and swing on the brand new swing set. She is also so excited to be able to use the splash pad when it gets hot outside next summer! Since it’s getting too cold to use Meaningful Meadows, she has moved her exercise routine indoors and enjoys walking laps in the gym and around the building to stay active.

“Meaningful Meadows is nice and pretty. I like walking with all my friends.”

Today, Dorothy is proud of herself. She is social and has many friends at MRI. She has found her value and confidence, and is working hard to lose weight so she can get her new kidney and continue living a happy and meaningful life.

We asked Dorothy if she would like to say anything to the people who took the time to read her story and she said “Yes! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” and “Go MRI!” – 

MRI Day Training Participant

United Way Campaign Week

  

What a busy, but fun week at MRI!

October 28th – November 1st was the United Way Campaign Week. The week was designed to raise money for the United Way internally.

MRI had so many fun activities to help raise money for United Way, but also had fun activities that their individuals served were able to participate in.

  • Monday, October 28: MRI Spirit Day & Chili Cook-off
  • Tuesday, October 29: Pajama Day & Family Feud
  • Wednesday, October 30: Wacky Tacky Day & Dessert Cart
  • Thursday, October 31: Happy Halloween Trick-or-Treat & Dance
  • Friday, November 1: Fan Favorite Day & Talent Show

It was such a fun week spent with friends and so many new memories were made. United Way supports MRI throughout the entire year so it was amazing to see all the support MRI was giving back to United Way.

Check out our photos from the week below!

      

November Employee of the Month

 

Happy November! With a new month beginning that means MRI has chosen a new employee of the month.

Congratulations to Doug Carlson, MRI’s November Employee of the Month. Doug is a member of our maintenance department at MRI.

Doug was nominated by several people in the Admin and Production department. He was nominated because “he is always willing to help others, no matter what the request. Doug has the best attitude and is extremely caring and has great relationships with the individuals we serve.”

Congratulations again, Doug! We are happy to call you MRI’s employee of the month!

 

MRI Production Week

Production Week 2019

 

It was another busy week at MRI!

Last week, MRI celebrated Production Week for all of their production staff. This covers a wide variety of employees that MRI has from janitorial and lawn care fields, packaging, maintenance and manufacturing license plates. The production division includes more than 30 workers!

“They are like the offensive linemen of the world,” said Brad Auten, director of sales and production. “They do a lot of the work, but the quarterback gets the interview.”

MRI spoiled their production team by surprising them with daily treats; doughnuts on Monday, bags of candy on Tuesday, cookies from Sunrise Bakery on Wednesday, specially designed MRI t-shirts on Thursday, stainless steel water bottles and a pizza party for the finale on Friday.

The packaging assembly division prepares materials used for packaging in local businesses. Fuyao GlassCim-Tek Filtration in Bement and Mueller Company have benefited from the production employees at MRI. The janitorial department manages five rest areas in Central Illinois. The employees clean, mow and perform other duties at the facilities. Janitorial work is also utilized at other state-managed buildings. The production facility also makes all the license plates for the State of Illinois.

Sixty percent of MRI’s employees have developmental disabilities. Employees gain work experience and a paycheck. “Ideally so they can find a way out on their own and lead a more independent life,” Auten said.

Check out the photos from Production Week below!

 

Mt. Zion High School & MRI Field Day

Last Friday was a blast!

30 high school students from Mt. Zion High School visited MRI last Friday, September 27th to spend the day with individuals served at MRI. Individuals served like Wanda had the best time spending the day with the student she was paired with for the day.

There were multiple different activities happening in several areas at MRI. The individuals served were so excited to be able to show the Mt. Zion students Meaningful Meadows. They played games on the new basketball court, a round of mini golf course as well as walking around the track. Inside they were able to make a collaborative collage together in the Special Projects room and were so excited to play a competitive round of Wii Sports in the Big Activity Room towards the end of the day.

MRI can’t thank Mt. Zion High School enough for having some of your students spend the day at MRI.

Scroll below to see more pictures from the Mount Zion & MRI Field Day!

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October Employee of the Month

It’s a new month, which means a new employee of the month!

Congratulations to October’s Employee of the Month, Andy Gaither. Did we mention he is an individual served at MRI? Andy started at MRI back in 1994 and will be celebrating his 25th anniversary this October as a license plate technician.

Andy was nominated for employee of the month by fellow coworkers back in license plates. Andy was nominated because “he is very friendly and tries his best at everything he does. He is always willing to help others even when not asked. He goes above and beyond in the plates area”.

Congratulations, Andy! You deserve this award!

Meaningful Meadows Mural

 

It was a fun summer at MRI! While the finishing touches were happening on MRI’s Meaningful Meadows, the 1.5 acre innovative outdoor activity center, the individuals served, MRI staff, volunteers from the community and Eric Weatherford got started on the beautiful mural concept that Eric and all the persons served created and decided upon back in June.

“Eric did a great job in designing an artistic piece that really affected the child in us but was not for children,” said Amy Bliefnick, CEO/President at MRI.

With the help of MRI staff, volunteers and persons served at MRI, the project took about a week to complete, with Eric taking a second a final week finishing the fine details of the mural.

It turned out wonderful! Eric did an amazing job capturing what Meaningful Meadows is and the individuals served were so happy and excited to help Eric bring the mural to life. MRI can’t thank Eric enough for his amazing work in Meaningful Meadows!

This program was partially supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and the Decatur Area Arts Council.

Scroll below to see pictures from the process of painting the mural to the final product!

 

 

   

Meaningful Meadows Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

 

Macon Resources, Inc. (MRI) held their ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday, September 24, for their innovative outdoor activity center for adults with developmental disabilities, Meaningful Meadows.  Meaningful Meadows is one of the most unique inclusive recreational areas offered in the state of Illinois for adults with developmental disabilities.

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

  • Exercise – features include a walking path, basketball & pickle ball court, splash pad, and putting green
  • Sensory – includes a waterfall, chimes, butterfly garden, plants and flowers, a sound board, and human“car wash”
  • Escape – features several different quiet and relaxing areas around Meaningful Meadows

“Exercise, physical fitness, fresh air, all helps with the education,” said Amy Bliefnick, CEO/President of MRI. “It helps us to be sharper and smarter, learn easier, and helps us enjoy life a little more.”

Karina Hayes, a client at MRI said “It gives us a chance to experience what nature is and interact with others.”

300 guests joined MRI to help celebrate the grand opening of Meaningful Meadows. It was a fun-filled day full of smiles, laughter and tons of fun activities happening in the outdoor activity center once the ribbon was cut. The persons served were playing basketball and pickle ball on their new basketball and pickle ball court. Families enjoyed swinging together on the wheelchair swings and playing with the musical chimes. Snack stations were placed around the entire walking path for guests to enjoy and giving them the chance to see what Meaningful Meadows has to offer for adults with developmental disabilities.

It was an amazing day at MRI!

Click here to learn more about Meaningful Meadows!

Continue scrolling to see more pictures from the ribbon cutting ceremony of Meaningful Meadows.

Overcome Obstacles with MRI on April 26!

Join MRI, WAND TV and Cromwell Radio in overcoming obstacles in Central Park on Friday, April 26. This year we have a goal of raising $50,000 and funds raised will go towards a new basketball court and other inclusive outdoor recreational opportunities for the people we serve in Meaningful Meadows. Learn more about Meaningful Meadows.

How can you help Overcome Obstacles? Click on one of the titles below to begin.
1. COLLECT PLEDGES TO COMPETE: Start your own fundraising page and collect donations for MRI! Know someone who receives services at MRI? Pledge for them!

2. PRE-ORDER: Krispy Kreme doughnuts ($7/dozen) or MRI Creative Catering boxed lunches ($7/box) including a pulled pork sandwich, potato salad, chips, cookie, and a Pepsi product.

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

4. SPONSOR: Is your business interested in sponsoring an event that provides services and opportunities to individuals with developmental disabilities in Macon County? Click SPONSOR to see opportunities available.

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 rbarter@maconresources.org | ONLINE ORDERING

Thank you to our major sponsors:

 

 

 



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