Header Left Social Icons
  • RSS feed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
Call Us
Call Us: (217) 875-1910
 
Category Archives:

MRi News

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

###

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.

###

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.

MRI & Millikin University Present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

MRI Drama Club & Millikin University students have been working hard to learn the ins and outs of show biz. Come check out their hard work as they present William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

WHO: The Superior Thespians of MRI
WHAT: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare
WHEN: Friday, May 4 @ 1:00 pm
WHERE: MRI Gymnasium, 2121 Hubbard Ave., Decatur, IL 62526
WHY: Come support the hard work of the Millikin students and MRI drama club in this amazing opening/closing night one-time spectacular show!
COST: FREE!

A note from our thespians: 
‘The MRI Drama Club and theatre students from Millikin University, will present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on May 4, 2018 at 1:00 pm. The students enrolled in a ‘Shakespeare Corrected” course elected to produce a dramatic presentation with our individuals served. Entertaining practices guarantee an interesting and comical production. Don’t miss this fantastic show!!”

CHECK OUT OUR ALL STAR CAST
Hermia: Amanda
Demetrius: Carl
Lysander: Joe
Helena: Shelly
Egeus: Andy
Theseus: Roger
Hippolyta: Wanda
Oberon: Robert “Stretch”
Titania: Tonya
Puck: Matt
Fairies: Chassidee, Judy, Roger J., Vicki
Servant: Tony
Quince: Chuck
Bottom: Damien
Flute: Dorothy
Starveling: Gregory
Snout: Michael D.
Snug: Candace
Other “Knuckleheads”: Ryan C, Joseph
Narrators: Lorraine, Caleb, Jason, and Tony

Meet Cameron

Get to know him

Cameron participates in the Discovery Depot child care center at Independence Pointe. At only two years old, he is a rambunctious ball of energy! When we went to visit Cameron to get a few photos for our Impact Story he was a bit shy. Granted, we arrived as he and his classmates were just waking up from their afternoon naps (Oops!). With the help of his teachers we were able to get him to crack a few smiles for the camera.

How has Discovery Depot helped?

When Cameron joined Discovery Depot, he was having both physical and developmental issues. Aside from the services provided by MRI he also visits a therapist to aid in developing his skills. After working with Cameron it was apparent that his poor vision was impacting his developmental abilities. Once he received his adorable glasses and began working in the classroom, he began to show great improvement.
In his classroom he and his classmates work on social and emotional learning. Some of the learning includes;

How is he doing now?

After speaking with his grandmother about Cameron’s progress, she had this to say, “Through Discovery Depot he has developed greatly.” She has noticed a big improvement in his social skills and his memory. When he enters the building at Independence Pointe he recognizes all of the staff and even knows everyone’s names!

 

Overcome Obstacles with MRI on April 27!

Join MRI, WAND TV and Cromwell Radio in overcoming obstacles in Central Park on Friday, April 27.

How can you help Overcome Obstacles? Click on one of the titles below to begin.
1. COLLECT PLEDGES TO COMPETE: Collect at least $25 in pledges to compete in our downtown obstacle course. Raise $50 for a free T shirt and raise $100 or more for a leg up in the race. Start your own fundraising page and collect donations for MRI.

2. PRE-ORDER: Krispy Kreme doughnuts ($7/dozen) or Downtown Decatur boxed lunches ($7/box) featuring Beach House, Wildflour & MRI Creative Catering.

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

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 msnively@maconresources.org

Thank you to our major sponsors:

 

 

 


Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Decatur Blueprint, Inc.
Cim-Tek Filtration
Decatur Coffee Connection
Decatur Earthmover Credit Union
First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust
J.L. Hubbard Insurance and Bonds
IBEW 146
Central Illinois Scale Company
Jerger Pediatric Dentistry: Bret M. Jerger, DDS
Star Silkscreen Design, Inc.
Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home, Cemeteries & Cremation Center
Moran & Goebel Funeral Home & Cremation Services
Pepsi Refreshment Services-Decatur

Spread the Word to End the Word

Join MRI as we Spread the Word the End the Word!

Spread the Word the End the Word is a national campaign created by Special Olympics and Best Buddies. MRI is joining the campaign and spreading the word about how hurtful the R-word (retard or retarded) can be to individuals with disabilities.

On Wednesday, March 7 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, MRI will set up booths at MRI’s main campus (2121 Hubbard Ave.), Eisenhower High School and Millikin University’s new student union. We will have easily accessible ways to pledge, giveaways and the opportunity to hear first hand accounts about how the R-word affects from individuals with disabilities. Join us at any location to help spread the word!

Can’t make it out? You can pledge online too: https://www.r-word.org/r-word-pledge.aspx.

Meet Angie

If you were to visit MRI (Macon Resources, inc.) out on Hubbard Avenue, there is a good chance you would be welcomed by a big smile from Angie. Angie has been with MRI for over 33 years, and has witnessed many changes throughout those years! She has held multiple employment positions around the building; however, working as an Agency Greeter is her most recent achievement!

Growing up, Angie faced bullying throughout school. It was difficult for her to find a place to fit in, and as a result she moved from school to school. As she progressed through school, the bullying intensified and all of the harassment took a toll on her. Eventually she shut herself off from everyone to avoid the negativity. At the age of 17 Angie was able to utilize the services provided by MRI and she finally found a place of belonging. She slowly began to open up and become the kind and caring person she is today.

“I want to be more independent. I want to try stuff on my own.” -Angie

We sat down with Angie one afternoon and had a wonderful time listening to her describe the events of her past that have led her to where she is now. Her early years with MRI were highly supervised. Angie received an escort to help her into, and throughout the building. Once she warmed up to the atmosphere and the people, Angie soon noticed she was receiving more attention from staff than she needed. One night Angie expressed to her mother, “I want to be more independent. I want to try stuff on my own.” and the next day Angie escorted herself into the building. This moment was the first step Angie had taken towards becoming more independent for herself!

As more time passed and confidence in herself grew, Angie wanted to push her sense of independence even further. She wanted to get a job and start earning money on her own. Angie recalls her first job at MRI as stuffing newspapers. During that job she learned valuable skills such as work ethic and money management. With the help of MRI’s employment staff, Angie has held multiple jobs both within MRI and in the community.

Aside from working, Angie also is involved with volunteering! A few years ago Angie was informed that McKinley Court Care Center had multiple opportunities for volunteers at their building in Decatur. Angie took it upon herself to find them in the phone book and give them a call to see where she could help. After receiving the Volunteer of the Year award for three years in a row at McKinley Court, Angie was offered a job there! Her duties consist of; participating in bingo with the residents, socializing and completing paperwork. 

Angie is very thankful for the services MRI provides and the skills she has learned along the way. She looks forward to what lies ahead of her and the places she will go.

Meet Michel

Michel, a VISIONS participant, has been coming to MRI for about three months now. Referred to MRI by Decatur Manor, Michel spends his days in group, working in license plates and greeting his new friends. He comes in a little later than most because he leads the morning meeting at the Brick House Foundation, the sober living home where he currently resides.

Not only does Michel live there, but he is also a resident manager. This means he provides support for a lot of the new residents. Michel assists their recovery by teaching them about structure, which is a skill many recovering from addiction need help with. He establishes chore schedules, organizes legal papers and filing, attends legal matters, like drug court, with fellow housemates and assists with general life skills such as scheduling and keeping appointments. Basically, if there is an issue, anyone in the house can come to Michel for help resolving it.

So how has MRI helped Michel? I mean, it sounds like he’s got it all together! That’s easy, “MRI is stability for me,” he explains. Whenever he runs into issues such as trying to refill his necessary medication, he knows he can always call Lisa, his MRI case manger, and she will help. Most recently, Michel knew he needed more help than he was able to receive. He needed to admit himself to the hospital, but he was worried he would lose his job at MRI. He called Lisa and was relieved to hear her say, “I understand. See you when you get out!”

Michel was shocked. “Any other employer would have fired me for missing work, but Lisa understood.” Michel was able to get the help he needed and return to his job, which was still here for him. “Being able to have a job and contribute, that’s important to me,” says Michel. “That’s what makes or breaks my self esteem.”

Michel is just one of the many adults who attend MRI daily. Click here to learn more about MRI’s VISIONS Mental Health program.

MRI Named Non-Profit of the Year

Each year, the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce holds an awards luncheon to celebrate local organizations making a positive impact in our community. This year, MRI was named Non-Profit of the Year. MRI’s Executive Director Amy Bliefnick and MRI Day Training participant Karina Hayes accepted the award on behalf of all staff and individuals served.

September 21st was a great day for MRI, and more specifically for everyone who makes this organization what it is. On that day, MRI was recognized by the Decatur Chamber of Commerce as the Non-Profit Organization of the Year.

While I was honored to publicly accept this award, I feel it’s important to note that I did so on behalf of countless individuals whose influence over many years has led us to where we are now.

MRI did not happen overnight. Years of strong leadership from former Executive Directors Kay Scrogin and Dreux Lewandowski, as well as many past and present Board members, have been the driving force behind the agency’s growth and excellence. Our staff – which is over 250 strong – takes each day as an opportunity to show compassion and inspire others to do the same.

And let’s not forget the support this organization receives from the businesses, civic and social organizations, and leaders of Decatur and Macon County. In my opinion, this is the greatest community anywhere, and we’re fortunate to call it home.

Finally, I have to acknowledge the most important contributor to MRI’s success – our clients, both past and present. I want to thank them, their parents, family, and guardians for allowing us the privilege of being a part of their lives. For myself, and every member of our staff, there is no greater joy than to play a role in their continued success. They are the reason for everything we do.

Again, September 21st was a great day for MRI. And, we can’t wait for many more!


Amy Bliefnick
MRI Executive Director

 

The Decatur Craft Beer Festival

The Decatur Craft Beer Festival is back & bigger than ever! This year MRI and the Decatur Area Arts Council (DAAC) are teaming up to bring craft beer back to downtown Decatur.

This year, The Decatur Craft Beer Festival will be Saturday, September 30 from 1-5 pm on N. Water Street outside the DAAC. We’ll have over 100 unique craft beers & ciders, local breweries from across the state, live music and food trucks.

Festival tickets are $25 and include admission to the event, 8 tasting tickets, a souvenir glass, live music and access to the on-site food trucks.

2017’s VIP event ($100 tickets) will be held on Friday, September 29 from 7-10 pm inside the DAAC. At the VIP event, you will find rare and hard to find beers and ciders not available at the festival, delicious hors d’oeuvres, exclusive auction items, a VIP goodie bag and ticket holding lanyard, entrance into Saturday’s festival, double the tasting tickets, souvenir glass and more!

TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT www.decaturcraftbeerfestival.com.

All proceeds stay in the Decatur community by benefitting two local non-profits:
1. MRI (Macon Resources, Inc.) – provides programs and services for over 800 children and adults with disabilities each year
2. Decatur Area Arts Council – introduces and promotes the arts, enhances arts educational opportunities, and increases the impact of and access to the arts to improve the quality of life in the community

Thank you to our major sponsors:
Neuhoff Communications
Decatur Digital Solutions
Busey Bank
Land of Lincoln Credit Union
Wasserbrew
Brechnitz Group of Raymond James
Coziahr Harley-Davidson
Cim-Tek Filtration
Decatur Earthmover Credit Union
Alan & Beth Frigy
Jerger Pediatric Dentistry
Brechnitz Group of Raymond James
First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust Decatur North Water
R.V. Evans Company
Flora Gems
Heckman Healthcare

Page 1 of 4123...Last »