Thank you to those who purchased or leased a new Subaru last winter and made Innovative their charity of choice! Each purchase or lease resulted in a $250 donation to Innovative, totaling $6,000. Thank you to Dick Hannah Subaru for choosing Innovative for the Share the Love Event!
Thank you to Terri Klinski and the Women Entrepreneurs Organization of SW Washington for your donation to Innovative Services NW and the clients and families we serve!
Kathryn started volunteering in Innovative’s Early Learning program about a year ago. She has more
than 45 years of experience volunteering in schools, working with children of all ages. “My purpose in life is to make a difference every day,” Kathryn said, “I tell myself that in the morning, and I ask myself ‘what kind of difference have you made today’ in the evening.”
Our Early Learning team is truly grateful for her service. “She tries to visit and engage with as many children as she can while she’s in our class,” said Kay, an assistant teacher in the classroom where Kathryn volunteers. “She offers support to the teacher by engaging with children that are having a challenging time. We can always count on her being there.”
Thank you for your service, Kathryn!
If you may be interested in volunteering in any of Innovative’s programs, including Early Learning and Child Care, please contact Donna Heimbuch at 360.892.5142, extension 345 for more information.
“I look at my life sometimes, and I don’t understand how I got here. I was sleeping on the streets six years ago. It took me a long time, a lot of hard work, and a lot of self-evaluation to get to a place where I felt worthy of this life that I have today, because of my past.”
Jeffrey works as a Juvenile Probation Associate, manages his apartment complex, and is a full time, single father of his two girls, Oceanna and Laili. He regained custody of them after completing almost a full year of supervised visits here at Innovative. He began fighting for custody when he noticed disturbing bruises on his youngest daughter’s body, as an infant. At the time, Jeffrey was homeless and unemployed, but wanted to keep his daughters out of danger, so he petitioned the court and had placed them in his mother’s custody. To achieve legal custody, because of his troubled past, he was ordered by the court to participate in supervised visits here at Innovative.
During this time, Jeffrey began attending school at Clark College to earn his Associate’s Degree, and then moved to WSU Vancouver to earn his Bachelor’s in Human Development, all the while building and maintaining a better relationship with his daughters through visitation. At the end of a year he received copies of the notes taken at their visits, all with good remarks, and he took them to court as further proof that he was capable of being a responsible parent. Over time, through continued hard work, Jeffrey earned the right to be granted custody of his daughters.
Having experienced the system himself, Jeffrey was inspired to help others in the community. He applied for a job at Innovative, and worked in the Supervised Visitation Program for a little over a year. “It was really overwhelming for me. The first time I walked into one of those visitation rooms and sat down to take notes, it was a room that I had gotten my visits in. It was a really humbling experience to come full circle like that. Being on the other side taught me a lot about working with people. The reality of it is that we’re not here to keep people from their kids, we are here to help people become more responsible parents and move towards getting their kids back.”
Today, Jeffrey is grateful for the reunification of his family, and his ability to support them. Oceanna is taking voice lessons, Laili is starting soccer, and their family makes plenty of time to spend with each other, especially on the weekends. “I learned that if I want to keep what I have, I have to give of myself. The only way I know how to do that is in service to others, by making myself a productive member of society. I have to practice this principle in all of my affairs. It worked for me, and I believe that still to this day.”
Supervised Visitation is a program which provides a safe, neutral environment for visits between a non-custodial parent and his/her child(ren) under the supervision of an objective, trained Community Support Specialist (CSS). The CSS stays with the child(ren) the entire time and provides written documentation of the visit while protecting the child(ren) from any form of harm, threat or manipulation. Learn More.
- Fun bingo prizes (please refrain from food items due to dietary restrictions/allergies)
- Durable markers
- Art paper (sketch, cardstock, multimedia, watercolor)
- Small canvases
- Acrylic paints
- Paint brushes
- Duct tape (different colors & patterns)
L-R:Brenda Tyrrell, Clark County Parent Coalition Assistant Coordinator; Maria Rangel, Multicultural Outreach Coordinator; Jamie Burch, Clark County Parent Coalition Co-Coordinator; Darla Helt, Executive Director
Innovative Services NW would like to welcome PEACE (Parents Empowered and Communities Enhanced) to the Mary Firstenburg Family Center! PEACE advocates for families who have children of all ages who experience disabilities or other developmental delays. They can help families and their children with schools, therapy, employment, housing and other resources, questions or issues. PEACE is a free service, whose goal is to help individuals have a full and meaningful life.
[Left photo] L-R:Dena Strong, VP of Client Services; Colleen Estlick, Job Coach II; Launda Carroll, President & CEO; [Right photo] Colleen and several of the participants that she assisted during her career at Innovative.
Congratulations to Colleen Estlick, of Innovative’s Employment Services Program, on 30 years of service! Last Friday, friends, family, participants, co-workers, and community members gathered to celebrate Colleen’s retirement from Innovative. Colleen started out, in the late 1980’s, working with individuals in our sheltered workshop program and at a group job site. She later became a Job Coach for the Individual Employment Services Program. She has helped more than 100 individuals with employment barriers find meaningful work; some she has coached for more than 20 years. Our Employment Services Program will miss her dearly and we wish her the best in her retirement!
Innovative Services NW was nominated for Best Childcare and Best Employment Services in Clark County! Please consider hopping over to the Columbian’s website (handy link provided below) and voting for us!