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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

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 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.

27th Annual MRI Charity Golf Outing

Join MRI as we hit the green to give back in the 27th Annual MRI Charity Golf Outing on Monday, June 3 at South Side Country Club. The $500 registration fee includes one team of four players, golf fees, carts, lunch, drinks, a goody bag and dinner.

*Four person scramble
*Registration and lunch begin at 12:00 pm
*Shotgun start at 1:00 pm
*Dinner & prizes at 5:30 pm

This year, funds raised will help bring the game of golf to people served at MRI!

Contact Rachel Barter at 217.875.8850 or RBarter@maconresources.org to register or fill out this online form.

All proceeds benefit MRI (Macon Resources, Inc.), the largest service provider for children and adults with disabilities in the Mid-West. Each year, MRI serves over 800 children and adults with disabilities in job placement, day training, after school care, inclusive day care, community involvement and more!

THANK YOU to our major sponsors:

Gold:
3M

Silver sponsors:
Jerger Pediatric Dentistry
Refreshment Services Pepsi
Christy-Foltz
BKD

Bronze Sponsors:
DECU

Hole Sponsors:
R.D. McMillen
Decatur Custom Tool
Tee Jay Central
Carroll & Kay Scrogin
Parke & Son
Hickory Point Bank

Cart Sponsors:
Carroll and Kay Scrogin

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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