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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:

July Employee of the Month

Pamela Cunningham

July Employee of the Month

MRI’s first employee of the month is Pamela Cunningham from our Community Living Services department. Pam works at one of our group homes and was chosen as the winner from a pool of over 40 nominations. Pam’s fellow employees saw her going above and beyond, nominated her for her hard work and then chose her as the winner.

The winning nomination read, “Pam was more than happy to participate in an activity that most employees had no interest in. She also expressed very positive feelings about MRI and the work that she does.”

Pam was surprised at work early Friday morning with a bouquet of candy, balloons and a Starbucks gift card. She also has a reserved parking spot at each of MRI’s three locations.  You can see her reaction in the photo gallery below.

Thanks to all the employees who had such wonderful things to say about the people they work with every day!

#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.

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!

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