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Fulfilling Our Mission

Inside this month’s Leaflet you will find an article speaking about the accrediting body, the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL). We decided to seek out this accreditation to ensure that the focus of our programs and supports at Garden Center Services will always be on each individual that we serve, and will be driven by what each person wants as we give the utmost respect to the inherent rights and personal choices that every individual has. We believe that we have a really strong and positive culture at our agency, but we can always do better, and I am very pleased and proud that we have taken this step and are now accredited by CQL. This formal status is recognized widely as an agency’s commitment to offer the best practiced programs and services to this population and will be helpful as we go forward applying for grants and financial assistance from charitable foundations and major gift donors. 

I also wanted to gratefully announce that the Illinois’ legislature has once again demonstrated their understanding and support of disability services in our state by voting in a $1.00 an hour increase for our Direct Support Professionals in the coming fiscal year budget. Even though Governor Pritzker’s original projected budget contained no increase for services like ours, the intense work and advocacy of our professional associations, our families and supporters, our staff themselves, convinced the House and Senate of the importance of providing a decent living wage for those employees that provide compassionate assistance to persons receiving services. 

In terms of fulfilling our mission statement here at Garden Center, I am also pleased to share that all the final items have been addressed regarding our Permanent Supportive Housing project that will be located in the town of Worth will begin construction this August! This beautiful apartment building will provide a home for 16 individuals with disabilities that can live independently in the community with minimal support. I am very grateful for the support that we have had from so many for this project, and really appreciate how this enhances Garden Center’s view as an agency fully committed to all persons with disabilities. 

Finally, I want to express so much gratitude for everyone that found ways to support our recent fundraiser, the Sunny Smash softball tournament. Or, as some of us have been saying, the Soggy Smash tournament, due to the rain that visited us on the day of the event. I’m pleased that even with the drizzle and rain we were able to get some games in, had numerous raffle prize won, enjoyed delicious food provided by Calabria Imports and Cravings Ice Cream Shop, and people were able to stick around and enjoy each other’s company. Even with the inclement weather we overshot our financial goal and raised over $45,000 for the agency programs. I want to specifically give a well deserved shout out to Anne McFerron  and Shannon Voves, the two staff that put a lot of time and energy into planning and running the event!  

Please be safe out there and continue to enjoy what I hope will soon be a cicada free summer.

Peace,

Gerry

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Fulfilling Our Mission

Inside this month’s Leaflet you will find an article speaking about the accrediting body, the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL). We decided to seek

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