LifeROOTS Fall 2011 Newsletter

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Ribbon Cutting Launch CeremonyBring the Holidays to Life

LifeROOTS has just launched a beautiful new line of holiday cards for the 2011 holiday season. The cards were designed, created and produced by members of the LifeROOTS program – and showcase the tremendous dedication, commitment and talent of our clients who are all living with a disability … and who have found their passion in art.

LifeROOTS Holiday Cards are available in a package of 12 cards priced at $20, and are available as both Christmas/Hanukkah cards and New Years cards. Each card was designed and created by the loving hands, kind heart and diligent, passionate work of a person living with a disability.

Cards are available to order online at LifeROOTSnm.org. In addition, to request an order form, call 505-255-5501. For more information about the 2011 LifeROOTS Holiday Cards, and to view sample cards and designs, visit LifeROOTSnm.org. 

Board Chair Carol GuerraThe Advantages of Hiring People with Disabilities

October marked the annual celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month — bringing to light the important role that people with disabilities can, and should, have in today’s workplace. This designated month is a valuable way to spread the word about the value of hiring people with disabilities; however, the issue of disability employment is something that needs to be recognized year-round.

Hiring people with disabilities makes sense for so many reasons. First and foremost, supporting a community of people that are an integral part of our community — and giving them the same opportunities as everyone else — is just, simply, the right thing to do. People with disabilities pay taxes, they volunteer in the communities in which they live and, most importantly, they want to work. Not only do they want to work, but they do their work exceptionally well – with studies showing that 90% of people with disabilities rated average or better on job performance, 98% of employees with disabilities rated average or better in work safety … and 86% of people with disabilities rated average or better on attendance.

When businesses hire people with disabilities, everyone wins. Businesses tap into a pool of highly motivated, skilled and hardworking employees with the highest quality of workmanship. Company morale goes up. Most importantly, people with disabilities get the opportunity to not only secure an income, but to foster their independence, gain a vital social network – and feel a true sense of happiness and “belonging” as they work in meaningful, productive jobs within the community.

Let’s continue to raise awareness about the benefits of employing people with disabilities – and continue to benefit from the skills, talent — and dedication — that people with disabilities
can bring to the workplace.

LifeROOTS Client BrianLifeROOTS Client Spotlight: Natalia Ortega

Natalia Ortega is a young girl that has been in the LifeROOTS Early Intervention program since July of 2010. She started in our program when she was just over 1 years old. With open arms, the Loidolts accepted Natalia into their home in May 2010 when, because of abuse in her home, she was removed from her biological parents.

The family’s pediatrician referred Natalia to LifeROOTS for a developmental evaluation due to her low weight and her underdeveloped motor skills. When she first came to the Loidolt’s home she displayed very little or no emotion, she was very small, she suffered from night terrors and she lacked communication skills.

Through speech therapy, occupational therapy, vision services, nutritional support and infant massage that was performed by LifeROOTS, she has caught up to her developmental milestones and has become a happy and functioning member of the Loidolts family. The Loidolts are grateful for the partnership they have had with LifeROOTS and feel that they could not have positively changed her life if it wasn’t for the support from LifeROOTS.

Memorial Tiles for TomorrowEmployee Appreciation Night

On September 30th LifeROOTS hosted an employee and client appreciation night at Explora, the science museum and learning center in Albuquerque. Employees, clients and their families were able to tour the museum and enjoyed food and drinks with co-workers and clients. Explora’s exhibit activities engage people of all ages with small-scale materials and equipment in personal spaces where they can communicate comfortably with family and friends, manipulate a wide range of physical variables, and develop their own thinking about what they are experiencing.

City of Albuquerque SealInternational Association of Workforce Professionals of New Mexico Conference

On September 30th LifeROOTS was asked to participate in the 2011 International Association of Workforce Professionals of New Mexico Conference in Albuquerque, NM. Interim CEO Kathleen Cates discussed the importance and advantages of hiring people with disabilities to professionals in human resources and workforce development. Client and employee Gloria Silva told the inspiring story of her disability and the challenges that she has overcome with the assistance of LifeROOTS. Founded in 1913, The International Association of Workforce Professionals (IAWP) is a professional association for members who work in public and private workforce development programs.

Feed Me Now PosterRio Rancho Ribbon Cutting

We had a great turnout at our Rio Rancho Ribbon Cutting and we are thankful for the support that we received from our clients and their families, our staff, the Rio Rancho Chamber of Commerce, Rio Rancho Mayor Swisstack and all the others who attended, Thank you!

Stephanie HanoshLifeROOTS Takes First Place in 4th Annual Cookie Contest

This year’s winning cookie was a Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treat with Chocolate Icing. The members worked under the direction of Susan Roman, day habilitation supervisor at LifeROOTS. This is the second year that LifeROOTS has won the cookie contest – in 2009, the Career Discovery group at LifeROOTS was presented with top honors.

Stephanie HanoshEagle Scouts Troop 166

Michael Taylor of the Eagle Scouts Troop 166 arranged and participated in the painting of LifeROOTS Menaul Day Habilitation Center as part of his community and volunteer service for the Eagle Scouts. Michael fundraised, enlisted other volunteers and together they painted the center. We are extremely thankful for Michael, his troop and the people that volunteered on this project. The walls look wonderful and the center is now a brighter, more colorful and better place for us to continue serving people with disabilities.

Stephanie HanoshCommunity Friend Raiser Flea Market a Success

On Saturday, September 24th, LifeROOTS hosted a Flea Market Community Friend Raiser to raise funds to purchase wheelchairs to be used at the LifeROOTS facilities.

LifeROOTS is Seeking Volunteers and Donors Who Want to Make a Difference in the Lives of Those with Disabilities

Volunteers and donors are considered “the heart” of LifeROOTS and among its most valuable resources. They help to make a real impact on the lives of people living with disabilities in our community. Volunteers and donors who join LifeROOTS can serve in a variety of roles:

– Painting a Day Hab center or classroom; helping to organize • the manpower and funds to paint the rooms our clients use the most.
– Helping raise money for wheelchairs for the Day Hab Many of • our clients do not need wheel chairs, but we require them in the case of an emergency exit is required.
– Provide tickets to events around the city. The Day Hab, Literacy • and Career Discovery clients take field trips daily. Many of the clients only have a $20.00 budget for entertainment. Donations of tickets to the museums, exhibits at the museums, zoo, botanical gardens, and aquarium, Explora, events at Santa Ana Star Center, convention center and others are greatly appreciated.
– Organize a small group of 5 to 7 individuals to bring a program • to our Day Hab, monthly, for approximately one hour. Such as snack and karaoke, drum circles, science classes, yoga and more.

LifeROOTS can’t achieve its mission without help from the community. Caring individuals who are interested in working with people with disabilities can contact Kathleen Cates at 505-255-5501 ext. 1800.

Stephanie HanoshFeed Me Now Update

LifeROOTS recently embarked on the “Feed Me Now” program — giving people with disabilities another great option for not only working — but helps to teach them pertinent skills such as communication, organization — and more. This opportunity allows our clients to practice customer service, social interaction and money handling. Currently, we are providing Feed Me Now mobile snack carts to three area US Banks, Year Out Mechanical, Imaging Concepts, SupllyOne, WH Pacific, Whitener Law Firm and the UNM Center for Developmental Disabilities.

Contact Jon Chavez at 505-255-5501 Extension 1009 to learn more about this program and to learn more about making an impact on the lives of people with disabilities.

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