Latest News & Events

 

AmazonSmile

Attention Amazon shoppers!

You can now enjoy your online shopping with Amazon AND support people served by Choices In Community Living and Resident Home Association.. We are now part of the amazonsmile Foundation, a program operated by Amazon that generates donations for nonprofit organizations like ours.

When making your purchases note that you would like to support Choices In Community Living in their amazonsmile effort. They will then make a donation to us that will support Partners, Choices and Resident Home.

Remember that you can also support us by participating in the Kroger Community Rewards program. See more information about that program on our website.

 

It’s TALENT SHOW time

Nancy and AndrewOur performers for our 2014 Choices Talent Show have been hard at work with rehearsals so that this year’s event will make sure all our guests have a great time. They invite you to be their guests as our Talent Show gets underway at 6:30 on Friday, October 10, at Northview School, 8114 North Main Street.

There will be dancing, comedy and musical interpretations of some oldies but goodies as well as current hits. It’s a community tradition more than two decades in the making.

At the helm of our Show this year will be the greatest emcee in the Miami Valley and our great friend Nancy Wilson, of K99 Radio. It wouldn’t be a Talent Show without her, our great performers, judges and enthusiastic audience.

Nancy is pictured with Andrew following his performance at our 2013 Talent Show.

 

EXPECT – EMPLOY – EMPOWER

 

Did you know that people with disabilities have the highest rate of unemployment in the United States, with only an estimated 12% employed in integrated community jobs?

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that the 2014 theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October is Expect – Employ – Empower. The goal of the national recognition is to raise awareness about disability employment issues and to celebrate American workers with disabilities.

We honor employers in our region and across Ohio who support employment opportunities for hard-working, dependable and loyal employees with disabilities.

 

A hug from a hero

Bill and John Cena

Bill and John Cena

Bill Eakman (Resident Home Association) won’t soon forget what happened to him when he attended the WWE Smackdown at the Nutter Center. Amanda Wallace and Kenneth Hilliard took some die-hard wrestling fans on the outing at the Nutter Center, where everyone had a great night.

No one had quite the night that Bill had. He considers WWE star John Cena one of his personal heroes and just seeing him in person was a big thrill for him. An even bigger thrill came when John Cena spotted Bill in the audience and came over, gave him a hug, and posed for photos. It’s a moment Bill will never forget and now John is even more of a hero to him, just as Bill, who was inducted into the Developmental Disabilities Hall of Fame this April, is a hero to so many people.

It’s not the big things that matter most in life – it’s the smallest and warmest of moments that linger in our hearts. Bill’s heart is overflowing with excitement and joy from a small and warm moment spent with one of his heroes.

Thank you, John Cena, for bringing him so much happiness!

 

Protect Critical Human Services

Did you know that funds from the Montgomery County Human Services Levy directly impacts the lives of people served by Choices In Community Living and Resident Home Association?

The Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services in one of the agencies supported by the county-wide levy, with funds then channeled to agencies like Choices and Resident Home for residential, transportation and adult day services.

On November 4 you can be a part of continuing that funding by voting for the Human Services Levy. If the levy passes, most critical services will continue. If it fails, about $750 million a year – more than half the funding for our county’s human services – will be lost. Voters are being asked to renew the current 7.2 mill levy and to add one mill, which is about $3.00 more a month on a $100,000 property. Remember, early voting starts on October 7. For more information, go to www.ProtectHumanServices.com.

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If you would like to be a part of helping with the community effort for passage of this important Levy by serving as a phone bank volunteer, please contact Mary Berger at (937) 837-9213.

 

 

Breaking News

breaking news

Chris, Derek, Jeff and Thomasine broke their all-time best soap making record of 75 gallons in just over 3 hours! A concerted effort by the team got everyone working together to get the job done! Thomasine was quoted as saying “we’re going to get to 3000”. There is no stopping this team of dedicated workers. Chris stated “we’re out of labels” but even that minor delay did not slow anyone down today. Their temporary supervisor Nafeesa was overheard saying there were no clean towels, but again another snafu did nothing to impact the teamwork going on at the RHA office. Derek was seen staying on task the entire day, while Jeff has completely rebounded from his recent illness.

Congratulations to this team of dedicated workers!

 

The Soap Factory: Jeff, Thomasin, Derek and Chris stand proud with their record breaking 75 gallons of laundry soap.

The Soap Factory: Jeff, Thomasine, Derek and Chris stand proud with their record breaking 75 gallons of laundry soap.

The Soap Factory started out as a brainchild of Kris Bergman, who is Home Manager at RHA’s  Garber Road home. She found a recipe somewhere, either online or in a newspaper, about how to make inexpensive but good laundry detergent. She experimented by making detergent for the Garber home a couple of years ago.

Last summer we were looking to add a small day hab program (Adult Day Services) and Kris’ idea seemed to be just what we were looking for. Program Manager Vicki Servais and Day Services Coordinator Amanda Wallace approached the people we serve to see if any of them would be interested in making laundry detergent, which would include being paid for doing it.

We had a yes from four people, Thomasine Hill, Chris Martin, Derek Landes and Mike Wood. They came up with the name for their company and thus The Soap Factory was established. They meet every other Friday in our offices to make their detergent, which is then used in all of our homes in place of detergents purchased from stores. Not only does it save us money for laundry supplies, Thomasine, Chris, Derek and Mike are now Resident Home paid employees, with Amanda serving as their supervisor.

The best work day was when these employees made 70 gallons of detergent in one day. The average is 30 gallons a day. They make their detergent for about 70 cents a gallon. Ingredients include shredded bar soap, Fels Naptha, Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and lots of water. According to Amanda, the product has really been welcomed at all the homes. “It does as good as or even a better job than expensive brand name laundry detergents,” she said. “It really gets out our difficult stains.”

 

What makes a garden grow?

John Grove 3For John Grove (Choices In Community Living) there are special memories associated with his garden in the back yard of his Huber Heights home. They are the memories of the mother he lost last year. When there is too much sadness thinking of her loss or when it’s not been the best of days, he goes to his garden, sits on the bench, looks at the garden sign and there finds a measure of comfort.

John has had a long-time interest in gardening in all its aspects, from planting to maintenance to the last of each season when there is the harvest. He and his roommates live in a home that is operated by Choices In Community Living. While his housemates don’t have any interest in gardening, John has shared with his staff how much he likes it. They helped him prepare for his garden, which included two community volunteers who made the raised beds for him. This season he has planted radishes, carrots and cucumbers. He is looking forward to sharing them with his roommates for many dinners to come.

John Grove 2He first tried his hand at gardening last year but it didn’t grow as he had hoped it would. There was something different this year, as can be seen in how well his “crops” are doing. Still grieving the loss of his mother, his Program Administrator Chrystal Goines bought him a plaque in her honor and was with him as he placed it in his garden in her memory. His garden is now a place of comfort for him. He enjoys the hard work – all the mulching and weeding. What he enjoys most is sitting by himself on a beautiful summer afternoon where there is stillness and plants growing and that sign to help him focus and to remember. It is those memories that are making this one garden grow this summer. It is those memories in the quiet time that surround John, those memories and the support of Chrystal and his staff who continue by his side. What makes a garden grow? What makes this one small garden grow are the memories and the promises – memories of loss tinged still with sadness - promises of acceptance and of the harvest yet to come.John Grove on bench

 

The Gifts of Autism and Alzheimer’s

Nancy RederWhile taking care of his mother with Alzheimer’s, Ken Routson noticed in her characteristics and behaviors similar to those in people with autism. He was very familiar with autism, as he has worked in a variety of positions in the field of developmental disabilities for over 35 years. He saw within those shared characteristics and behaviors the value of sharing stories that gave new insight to both disabilities – not the negative ones we so often associate with them, but the hope, possibilities and the gifts that come with them.

Ken approached his friend Nancy Reder, RN, who, like him, had years of service in support of children and adults with developmental disabilities, and together they have authored The Gifts of Autism and Alzheimer’s: Stories of Unconditional Love & Self-Determination. The authors are the first to acknowledge that the title might seem at odds with the way we usually view autism and Alzheimer’s, but that the stories within the book will indeed open eyes and hearts to see that even within these challenges there can be gifts.

In a ringing endorsement of the book, renowned Alzheimer’s expert Dr. Peter Whitehouse shared these words, “a revolution is underway and this book is an exciting part of it. Positive human stories are a powerful response to the negative words that our unhealthy medicine and unthinking science try to label us with as our brains and bodies age. True hope lies in community and caring, not in the hype of and false hope of molecules and money.”

Ken Ritchey, senior partner of Public Policy Impacts of Washington D.C. and former director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, says this of the book. “I wish that this book had been available when I was first learning that my daughter had a disability. I loved the personal comments, as they made the reading both interesting and well worth the time.”

Both of the authors are from the Dayton area and dedicated their professional careers to individuals and families throughout this region. Their book is available at Tulip Press by calling 937-3009 or by email at tulip2252@aol.com. It is also available on amazon.com and from Ken Routson at 513-594-5489 or by email at kenroutson1@aol.com.

The forward to the book was written by Raun Kaufman, whose family was depicted in the award-winning NBC TV movie “Son Rise: A Miracle of Love.”  He said this of the book. “It is a spectacular marriage of psychology and physiology – of attitude and emotion – of biology. One of the most moving and indispensable aspects of the book is the beautiful collection of first-person stories. You will get so much from these people!”

Note: Nancy is one of our most dedicated Partners volunteers.

 

 

Thanks to George C. Martin Funeral Home

Bowl-A-Thon participants Trinity and Nate take an important minute from the lanes to say thank you George Martin and the George C. Martin Funeral Home, event sponsor for our 2014 Bowl-A-Thon. They have served as the sponsor of our Bowl-A-Thon for many years. Thank you to George and his staff for all the fun and competition!

Bowl-A-Thon participants Trinity and Nate take an important minute from the lanes to say thank you George Martin and the George C. Martin Funeral Home, event sponsor for our 2014 Bowl-A-Thon. They have served as the sponsor of our Bowl-A-Thon for many years. Thank you to George and his staff for all the fun and competition!

 

A favorite Summer getaway – King Island

The clouds parted, the rain went way and the sun came out to provide the perfect backdrop for a day of enjoying all that Kings Island has to offer for people served by Choices In Community Living in Clark and Madison Counties. Kings Island is one of their favorite getaway spots during the summer.

The clouds parted, the rain went way and the sun came out to provide the perfect backdrop for a day of enjoying all that Kings Island has to offer for people served by Choices In Community Living in Clark and Madison Counties. Kings Island is one of their favorite getaway spots during the summer.