A HELP Foundation First
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Welcome to HELP's First Edition E-Newsletter!

As a leading provider of quality residential and support services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we at HELP are constantly adapting to incorporate the best strategies to benefit our consumers. Our newest initiative will include keeping the donors, supporters, and friends of the foundation updated on our achievements through an E-Newsletter! We hope you will find this E-Newsletter to be informative about our agency and the opportunities through which you can better engage with HELP and with our consumers.
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CEO's Letter

At HELP’s heart is our commitment to providing the highest quality services and supports for the individuals that we are so proud to serve. When our founders began our mission they were concerned with the lack of appropriate and supportive housing for children who had developmental disabilities. Serving this need led to the establishment of the first HELP Home for Children which provided for 12 children and young adults. Today we serve almost 500 individuals each year in ways that our founders could never have dreamed of. HELP has a legacy of continuing to evolve with the field of developmental disabilities to meet the needs of our consumers and I am proud to report that we are continuing that tradition as we develop and revise services and programs.
You will find this newsletter filled with information on our newest initiatives and the work we are doing to meet the needs of our consumers and fulfill our mission "HELP Foundation empowers individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through residential, day support, vocational, and summer education programs to choose services and opportunities as respected and valued members of the community."

This year we took the steps to open a second Adult Day Support & Vocational Program in Northfield to serve consumers in Summit County based on the model of our very successful Euclid program. The opportunity to expand our program is a direct result of our reputation, the quality of programming we have been able to provide over the years, and the continuing needs of our consumers to have a place to spend their days that will provide adequate, appropriate, and supportive programming. I am incredibly proud of the work our staff do each day to empower our consumers to reach their goals and live their best lives.

In addition to day support we have been able to expand our vocational services this year by creating the HELP U Crew which provides landscaping and facilities maintenance experience to participants.  Just as with all of our HELP U Shred vocational programs this new program pays consumers the full State of Ohio minimum wage while they are learning valuable, real-world job skills. This crew maintains the grounds at our day programs, administrative campus, and all of our residential facilities. As we continue to grow vocational services through our own programs we have been selected to participate in a workplace Discovery Program in Summit County and Career Exploration in Cuyahoga County to help individuals identify employment paths as they begin their adult lives.

Our partnerships do not end with vocational and career exploration. We recently wrapped up another year of the HELP Summer Program in collaboration with our partners at Cleveland Metropolitan School District, the Cleveland Catholic Diocese and more than a dozen other regional school districts. Over the summer months we served 250 students with our specialized school-based program designed to prevent the loss of their personal and academic progress during the out of school months.

Thanks to your continued support HELP is able grow and meet the many critical needs of those we are honored to serve. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve these individuals and thankful for your assistance in making that possible.





2016 Golf Outing - August 28th

Join us for this year's golf outing at Fowler's Mill Golf Course on Sunday, August 28th. Foursomes and sponsorships are filling up quickly - but there is still time for you to participate! Click below to register or find out more about sponsorship opportunities.




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What's New in Northfield

HELP's 2016 Annual Meeting was held at our brand new Adult Day Support & Vocational Training Program in Northfield. We were thrilled to give you all the opportunity to visit our new digs, hang out with some of our consumers, and see the Summit County HELP U Shred location!

Our Day Support Program, serving about 100 consumers daily, is a community-based full day program dedicated to providing our consumers a stimulating and enriching environment. The themed monthly master schedule is a collaboration between staff and our Consumer Council who are elected by their peers as leaders of the day program. Our programming is driven by the needs of our consumers, so daily activities reflect consumers' interests, goals, and service plans. At our day programs we work through any combination of the following categories: skill development and reinforcement, socialization, self-direction, community integration, personal care, assessment, and recreation or leisure. Opening a second Day Support Program will allow us to empower even more individuals with disabilities to explore their communities, interact with peers, and reach their full potential to live the best lives they choose.




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Our vocational programs are expanding! In 2015, we introduced the HELP U Crew - a dedicated, hard-working group of men who maintain the grounds at many of our HELP facilities. They are responsible for mowing, landscaping, painting, carpet cleaning, snow removal and general maintenance tasks.

We are extremely proud of the consumers who have embraced the HELP U Crew. Many of these men formerly participated in our HELP U Shred program so moving to the HELP U Crew was a quite a big change. The shredding work has a continuity from day to day but with HELP U Crew these guys never know what they will face! These men have stepped up to the plate when situations were tough, learned new tasks and trades, and even worked to clean up our residential grounds after Mother Nature took her toll.

Offering effective vocational programs and job training is focus of ours, but we are certainly not alone in the pursuit to provide this type of service to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The State of Ohio has prioritized quality job training programs and we are proud to provide such a necessary service in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Summit Counties.

Discovering Poss-ABILITY

Do you remember your first job? The process of determining which abilities you have to make you successful? Do you remember exploring your career interests and finding a good fit? We are happy to announce that we now have the opportunity to explore this process with our consumers! HELP was selected as one of three provider agencies in Summit County for the state of Ohio's Discovery Program through the Employment First initiative. We work with consumers in a 1:1 setting to identify their abilities, interests, and job prospects.

The photo above is one of our clients exploring her interest of working with animals. She bathed and dried therapy dogs while working at a local pet store.

Partnerships to Grow Potential

Pictured above are three gentlemen who came to HELP via a summer program initiative with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Job & Family Services. This program was dedicated to finding meaningful summer employment for adolescents with disabilities in the Akron area.

These three spent their summer months working for Keep Akron Beautiful. They worked hard to maintain parks all over the area. Tasks included weeding overgrown areas, cleaning different areas of the park, and providing landscaping services. In the photo, they are cleaning out grass between stone pavers. We got to see the before and after photos and we assure you they did an INCREDIBLE job!




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Second Annual Run For Awareness 5K

HELP hosted our second Annual Run For Awareness 5K on May 21st, 2016. The event was a huge success! We saw runners, walkers, and rollers take to the course and complete the race to show their support for HELP. Thanks to everyone who attended - stay tuned for a date announcement for next year.




Charity Tuesdays at Beach Club Bistro

Live, work, or play in Euclid? Join us every Tuesday in August at Beach Club Bistro for Charity Tuesdays. All food sales from 4pm - 9pm will be donated back to HELP if you show a flyer. Click below to be re-directed to the event flyer on Facebook. Hope to see you there!





Neighbors Make a Difference

This summer, KeyBank employees visited our Adult Day Support program for the annual Neighbors Make a Difference Day. They worked with our HELP U Crew to clean, weed, and plant fresh flowers. We are extremely grateful for their support and the hard work they put in to help our program. And to our friends at KeyBank - don't you worry - - the HELP U Crew continues to maintain the flowerbeds and they still look great!




Give to HELP U Crew

Each month we will conclude our newsletter with a need that we have and a way for you to help! Maintaining our residential facilities is a huge task and we are grateful for HELP U Crew for taking on the challenge. In order to grow our HELP U Crew, help them transition to fall and winter with appropriate equipment, provide for the changing needs of the program, and address the ongoing need for equipment replacement, we are asking for financial contributions to support the crew. We are proud of these men and elated to provide them with this meaningful work experience that they enjoy so much. If you are able to contribute to this incredible program, please use the link below to do so. We thank you for your continued kindness and support!

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