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developmental disabilities

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.

Tie Dye Tuesday

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for tie dye! Sonya’s Day Training group spent Monday and Tuesday tie dying t shirts to wear to the client conference in September. First, we had to twist and wrap all the T shirts.

Next, Karina helped Sonya spray each shirt so it was damp. Then it was time for the fun part: dying them! Everyone got to choose their own colors. The trick is to soak them with dye so it dries really bright. Matt used so many colors, Karina had to step in the help.

Once the shirts were dyed, they went in a grocery bag to sit for 8 hours. Today, they will be washed, dried and, the best part, worn!

 

#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.

#IlGive 2017

#ILGive to MRI

Join MRI on May 30 & May 31 for ILGive Community Fundraising Day!

What is #ILGive? It’s a day devoted to giving back to non-profits in your community. Join us and give back to MRI as we serve over 800 children and adults with disabilities right here in Macon County.

Donate today

Join us in building meaningful lives.

#ILGive to MRI

25th Annual MRI Charity Golf Outing

Join MRI as we hit the green to give back in the 25th Annual MRI Charity Golf Outing on Monday, June 5 at South Side Country Club. The $560 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 11:30 am
*Shotgun start at 1:00 pm
*Dinner & prizes at 5:30 pm

Contact Melanie Bilbrey at 217.875.8850 or MBilbrey@maconresources.org to register.

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:
3M

Silver sponsors:
Jerger Pediatric Dentistry
John & Rita Mickler
R.V. Evans Company
BKD

Bronze Sponsors:
Thrivent Financial
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Illini Pharmacy Services
Agri-Fab

Hole Sponsors:
PFE Corp.
R.D. McMillen
McLeod Express
Carroll & Kay Scrogin
Dunn Company
Parke & Son, inc.
Hickory Point Bank

Cart Sponsors:
Miles Chevrolet/Crown Toyota Nissan

Meet Tony

Tony 2Meet Tony, a MRI Day Vocational Training participant. Tony may be blind, but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing his passions, including music. Tony taught himself to play piano by ear at the age of five. However, his musical abilities don’t stop there! Tony can also play keyboard, auto harp and sing.

MRI clients and employees can hear Tony’s music around lunchtime. Monday – Friday from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm Tony plays piano outside the cafeteria so those who are eating lunch can enjoy some smooth tunes. Tony enjoys playing the piano because other people enjoy it. One of his favorite things to do is make new friends and he feels he does this best through music.

Tony used to travel around to various nursing homes and libraries to play piano for the guests. He hopes to start doing that again soon so he can continue meeting new people. His current goal is to create a CD and hear himself on the radio.

When Tony is not playing one of the various instruments he enjoys, he can be found bowling with his friends, hanging out with his girlfriend or watching a classic Western film.

Tony 1

Meet Olivia

MRI’s Our Voice Through Art has allowed Olivia to gain confidence, make friends and think outside the box.  Through the class, she has been able to explore various materials, which has shown her how to look at the world differently.

Olivia’s communication skills have also improved as she becomes more comfortable asking for help, sharing materials and complimenting others’ work. She even carries on conversations with her peers as they complete their artwork.

But most importantly, her mom explains, “she feels a part of something. She feels important.”

 

MRI Announces New Leadership

The Board of Directors of Macon Resources, Inc. (MRI) announces the selection of Amy Bliefnick to succeed retiring Executive Director, Dreux Lewandowski. Ms Bliefnick is a Decatur native who has served as Director of the Illinois State Fair from 2004 – 2015, Board Chairman and Director of Richland Community College, Director of Development for St. Teresa High School, and Illinois State Special Olympic Board of Directors.

 

Mr. Lewandowski began his tenure at MRI in 2004 and has been working in disability services for 35 years. Under his direction MRI expanded services to both children and adults in the areas of childcare, early childhood prevention, community living and job training programs.

Meet Larry

With the support of MRI’s intermittent CILA, Larry is able to live by himself in his apartment and maintain his independence. 

Larry with keyLarry has lived in his own apartment for four years with the support of MRI’s intermittent CILA. Before living on his own, Larry lived in a strict group home where many decisions were made for him. Things like when to eat meals and when to go to bed were determined by the group home. Larry knew he was capable of making decisions and wanted to live his life the way he wanted to live it, so he reach out to MRI’s intermittent CILA program. MRI’s intermittent CILA allows Larry to be independent and live independently while still providing needed life and safety supports. He is now able to plan his days around what he wants to do. Larry enjoys exercising, cooking his own meals and going to church. Larry is very active in his community and has made many friends during his daily walks around Kroger for exercise, trips to Taco Bell and weekly church visits.

Larry with Cook book 2

Twenty two years ago Larry made the decision to become a vegetarian. He did so as a way to become healthier and has diligently stuck with it.When Larry began to have health issues because he was not getting enough iron, MRI staff supported him in meeting with a doctor so he could learn how to add more iron into his diet, which he is now able to do. Larry uses his vegetarian cook book to plan meals for himself. During the fall and winter, his favorite meals to make are soups and vegetarian chili because they are easy to reheat he can eat it all week long. It is safe and easy for Larry to cook in his own apartment. If anything were to go wrong, Larry has MRI CILA staff just a phone call away.

larry calendar writingLarry is not only strict with his vegetarian diet, but also with his work out routine. He takes daily walks and works out three times a week. This type of organization and precision can be seen in other aspects of Larry’s life as well. He keeps a calendar on his wall and at the end of every day he writes down exactly what he did that day. Because Larry is so structured himself, adding another layer of daily structure does not work. He does best when he has the freedom to organize his day based on what he determines to be priorities in his life, which is what MRI is able to provide.

Now that Larry has an apartment to call his own, he has new goals. He already saved money and bought a new couch. Now he is saving money to go on a trip with his friends this fall. Larry decided to put part of his monthly spending money in the bank and cut back on his trips to Taco Bell in order to save for the trip. With the help of MRI, he is in charge of his own finances, which means he has taken on the responsibility of setting money aside for food and bills.Larry outside house

Larry creates his own schedule and spends a lot of time in the community and with his church family. The staff at Kroger, Taco Bell and his local Subway enjoy seeing Larry about town. Many people know Larry because of his regular visits.  In fact, they tend to worry if he does not show up for a few days. Larry has been able to thrive since moving into his own apartment with the support of MRI. He has discovered new things he enjoys doing, new places he had never been and he has made new friends in the community.

 

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