The official opening celebration for our new playground and therapeutic playscape was held Tuesday, August 9th. More than 70 people gathered for a short program and a few games that hark back to our childhood! Hula hoops, bubbles, or hopscotch anyone? We also enjoyed hot dogs, ice cream, and (thankfully) some mild summer weather. More than $4,000 was raised in sponsorship naming opportunities for items in the new playscape. If you would still like to take advantage of a sponsorship naming opportunity, you can get more information here. Thank you to our volunteers and all who attended!
Innovative Services NW is proud to announce two $1,500 donations from the Ogden Neighborhood Association, in partnership with the Vancouver Watershed Alliance, for plants, planting materials and bark mulch in our new natural playground and therapeutic area. The Vancouver Watershed Alliance offers grants up to $1,500 for community projects that enhance sustainability through volunteer-driven, on-the-ground environmental work or education through local neighborhood associations in the City of Vancouver. The Ogden Neighborhood Association sponsored Innovative for two of these $1,500 grants for the playground project and acted as the pass through agency for the funds which will enhance our services for the children in our Early Learning program and the children, adults, and families in our Supervised Visitation, Adult Day Health, and Pediatric Therapy programs.
We hope everyone who participated enjoyed a cozy movie night at home on us. Innovative’s Non-event raised almost $36,000 and, because the minimal cost to put on this “event”, 96% of all donations are going directly to benefit Innovative’s programs and clients. A special thank you to Steve and Jo Marie Hansen for their $10,000 gift and to Columbia Credit Union, who turned their planned event sponsorship into a $10,000 grant award. We sent out just over 100 invites to our close friends for this event and invited friends to join on Facebook and through our e-newsletter. Thank again, to everyone who supported this unique approach to our annual spring event!
Melody has been working for Innovative’s Janitorial Services since 1998. Though she experiences autism, she has been cleaning the Public Service Center as part of the janitorial team for about six years. “Melody loves to work,” said Alyssa, Melody’s job coach. “She does a great job.”
“She loves the people out there, the people that she works with. Melody is very quiet but once you get to know her, she’s a very, very kind person,” said Cristina, Melody’s caretaker of 27 years. When she moved in with Cristina, her caseworker helped Melody get a job at Innovative. “She loves to clean up, everywhere she goes, even the store!” Cristina chuckled. “She’s very grateful that she has that job. Besides just getting out of the house, she really enjoys it. She’s excited to go to work.”
Melody sings along with her job coach while they work. “Her name fits. She sings along with the melody, and knows more songs than I do!” Alyssa laughed, “We love working with each other.”