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NOV/DEC

2020

Garden Center Services

The View From My Chair A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Gerry & the guys at Moody House

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“These days cry out, as never before, for us to pay attention, so we can move through them and get our joy and pride back.� - Anne Lamott

INSIDE THIS ISSUE THE VIEW FROM MY CHAIR Page 1 WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO Page 2 GIVING TUESDAY Page 3 MORE NEWS Page 4

And what exactly should we be paying attention to? The fact that every day there are so many ways that people are demonstrating humanity’s indestructible goodness of heart! If our eyes and minds are open to it we can experience what anthropologist Stephen Gould calls “the

victorious weight of innumerable little kindnesses.�

energies towards the positives that are out there.

I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. -Stephen Grellet

Just connected to our agency and the awesome individuals we support there are stories where people have gone above and beyond to show us their love. We’ve had families purchase meals for some of the homes. Some of the masks that we asked for have been provided by families, friends, and community groups. The Knights and members of SRCA are already busy purchasing Christmas presents for the homes they support. And the Kunkes family that annually provides a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for our people that don’t have a place to go, are already making plans to get meals to the houses.

If you only allow your perspective of reality to be fed by the daily news streams filled with their stories of intolerance, divisiveness, and hostility, you can feel overwhelmed and powerless. That is why it is so important to give your attention and

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GARDEN CENTER FAMILY WHAT IS HAPPENING AT COMMUNITY DAY SERVICES? Direct Support Professionals who usually work in the Community Day Services program have been bringing their skills to GCS homes since July and programming at our State Road building resumed for individuals who live with their family this past September. Over the last two months, we have focused on topics including nature, space, fantasy, sports, superheroes and more. We have tried our hand at wacky hair colors, floor hockey, baking, science experiments, painting, yoga, meditation, and so many other fun activities. We are grateful for those of you who have donated crafts, activity boxes, and games. We have enjoyed them all! If you have games, craft, or activity kits that you would like to share, please contact Denise at dRau@GardenCenterServices.org. Thank you!

TENDING OUR GARDEN GCS Receives Two Important Grants! The Blue Island Community Health Foundation awarded Garden Center $25,000 in October to help cover the cost of increased maintenance required as a result of all services now being provided in the homes 24/7.

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The Coleman Foundation awarded Garden Center up to $12,500 as a threshold match for Giving Tuesday donations. The foundation will donate $125 to GCS for every Giving Tuesday donation of $125 or more made through Dec 1.


GIVING TUESDAY IS DEC 1 For the past seven years, Garden Center has participated in Giving Tuesday, a nationwide day of giving that falls on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. As we are unable to hold our annual Gala event due to COVID, this year’s Giving Tuesday is more important than ever.

We are excited to announce that an anonymous donor has committed to match all donations made to GCS through December 1st (up to $20,000). In addition, this year we have a new sponsor, The Coleman Foundation, who has pledged to give $125 for each donation of $125 or more during the same time frame (up to $12,500).

That means now through Giving Tuesday ...

All DONATIONS WILL BE DOUBLED and DONATIONS OF $125 WILL BE TRIPLED!

Read the insert to learn how you can create your own I GCS Story

Read the insert in this issue of The Leaflet to learn more!

IMPORTANT COMMUNITY DAY SERVICES NEWS The Community Day Program currently being offered at our State Road location will be closed beginning Thanksgiving day, Thursday, November 26, and not re-open until Monday, February 1st, 2021. With the upsurge of the coronavirus cases we believe this action is responsible and necessary as we continuously strive to protect the individuals we support. Thank you for your support and understanding.

GCS GEAR...IS HERE! If you’d like to grab some GCS gear to put under the tree, our store will be open soon!

Visit our website or gardencenterfall2020.itemorder.com NOV 6th - Nov 20th Orders will be shipped by December 4th just in time for wrapping! THIS IS NOT A FUNDRAISER Items are sold at cost and will be shipped directly to you.

THANK YOU for your recent donation of masks!

Thank You!

as amazing ation Week w DSP Appreci messages s, ur kind card thanks to yo nk you! ha T donations and gift card

Burrow Family, Head Family, Miller Family, Malloy Family, Mrs. Dziallo & Sewing Club, and Suburban Access Inc.

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Growing dignity and independence 8333 S. Austin Ave. Burbank, IL 60459 10444 S. Kedzie Chicago, IL 60655 phone 773-941-4151 email info@gardencenterservices.org web www.GardenCenterServices.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS President

John Dahlke

Vice President

Joan Strainis

Treasurer

Anthony Di Miele

Secretary

Florence Head

Members

Tom Beemsterboer

MORE NEWS Easy Ways to Support GCS While You Shop This Holiday Season Most of us will be doing our holiday shopping online this year. Don’t forget there are easy ways you can help GCS while you shop at no cost to you! Smile.Amazon.com Instead of going to Amazon.com, type in smile.amazon.com (the site, your account, items, prices, etc. are exactly the same). This tells amazon you want them to donate a portion of your purchase to charity. You will be prompted to choose your charity of choice - Garden Center Services! And then whenever you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon gives .5% to GCS. When we all do it, it really adds up! Already registered with AmazonSmile? Don’t forget to turn on AmazonSmile in your mobile app to earn money for GCS while shopping from your phone! You’ll find it under settings. iGive iGive works with over 2300 of the most popular stores you shop online. Just go to igive.com and register. And each time you shop online at stores like Walmart, Crate & Barrel, PetCo., Best Buy, etc., those stores will donate a percentage of your purchase to GCS!

Donna Blair Rep. Fran Hurley Dave Rauen Ava Rhodes - Smith Maria Zeimen, OSF

THANK YOU! A huge shout out to our friends, The Knights of Columbus #14553, who hold their annual Tootsie Roll Drive for GCS and other agencies that support adults with intellectual disabilities each October. This year the Knights battled rain and reduced volunteer (and drivers/donor) numbers due to COVID. They had to reschedule and even ended up creating a GoFundMe page to help the effort. We are so grateful for your ongoing support, Knights!

OUR MISSION Advancing lives of connection, contribution, and meaning for persons with developmental disabilities and the individuals that support them.

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And then there’s the incredible job done by our staff, up and down the line, day in and day out. I’m so impressed and thankful for the dedicated, compassionate care that Garden Center Services is able to offer, only because of our committed employees. And now they are doing this in the middle of an unknown and perilous pandemic, loyal care givers that know they could be putting their own health at risk. So my deepest wish for all of us as we head into the coming months is that we really look for the good that’s out there and the good that is within each of us. Please be safe and find ways to spread some kindness.

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