Christmas is the time for giving. This year we want to encourage as many people as possible in the community to give back in one way or another. To help inspire you we have come up with a list of simple ways to help spread holiday cheer this time of year.
Buy Gifts for Families in Need
Many local organizations provide easy ways to either donate toys or adopt a family in need. Some places request new toys and others will take gently used toys. Giving can go far beyond toys though as many of these families also need new clothes and sometimes even food for their holiday meals. If you don’t know where to find a family to help, your local place of worship should be able to assist you.
Volunteer Your Time
Extra help can be hard to find this time of year but is very much needed. Places like nursing homes, food pantries, and churches all get busier this time of year and rely on help from wonderful volunteers to make the holiday season magical for everyone.
Make a Monetary Donation to a Local Organization
Sometimes the best gift you can give to an organization is a monetary one to go towards goals and projects they are already taking on. Below you will find a list of local non-profits that are currently taking donations. These organizations do so much for our community and now is our chance to give back.
Champaign County Historical Society
Champaign County Preservation Alliance
West Liberty Historical Society
Mental Health, Drug, and Alcohol Services Board of Logan & Champaign Counties
These are just a few ways you and your family can give back this year. Make it a yearly part of your holiday season. Pass on traditions to your families that help those in need and remind everyone that Christmas is about more than just presents, it is about spreading love and kindness, and helping those in need.
The West Liberty United Methodist Church hosts their Annual Ice Cream Social every July with the intent of raising money for a local family in need. This year, because of restrictions and precautions due to COVID-19, they had to cancel this event. The event usually involves many local churches and organizations, as they call come together for one cause. The highlight each year is the homemade ice cream but there are always other great things to enjoy like sandwiches, homemade chicken and noodles, a variety of desserts, and live music!
Last year, during a difficult time in the Berry’s lives, WLUMC dedicated their Ice Cream Social event to helping raise money for them. The love and support they show local families during difficult times does not go unnoticed. The Berry family was extremely touched by the generosity last year. Ryan has attended this event his entire life and being on the other side last year made it even more special for him and his family. The Berry family can’t wait for next year to be able to attend the event and give back to another family or individual in need.
Although the event this year has been cancelled, the church is looking forward to 2021 and making the next one even better. Make sure you don’t miss the next Ice Cream Social by following the West Liberty United Methodist Church on Facebook to keep up to date on all of their upcoming events.
Along with the Ice Cream Social, the WLUMC supports the community in many other ways. Once a month they partner with the Food Resource Bank of Springfield to distribute food to families and individuals in need. They also prepare hot meals for the Caring Kitchen in Urbana on the fourth Saturday of each month. To learn about more ways the WLUMC helps the community, you can visit their website. If you are interested in becoming involved with the church, and the many ways they help the community, you can contact them by phone at 937-465-3732 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are so excited to introduce our client, Champaign Residential Services, Inc. (CRSI). Their mission and philosophy are “To empower and support individuals with challenges to provide an opportunity to develop their maximum level of independence as they choose. It is the intent of CRSI to value lifestyles and choices by all individuals served.” Their corporate office is right here in Champaign County, but they provide services to 22 different counties in Ohio.
They work hard to build support systems for the individuals they serve. One of the important roles in this system is the Direct Support Professional (DSP). These are the people that work directly with individuals with developmental disabilities to help them realize their full potential. This role is not about caregiving but is about helping people learn to live their lives to their fullest and learn new skills to make their lives easier. DSPs help people become integrated and engaged in the community in ways they might not have been before.
This week, September 14-19th, is Direct Support Professional Week. To celebrate this important career, we want to highlight some of the things that these individuals do every day to improve the lives of those they help. Starting first thing in the morning the DSP helps individuals get ready for the day by assisting with personal care and making breakfast. Each individual requires different attention based on their care plan, preferences, and progress. Once they are ready for the day, the DSP is their transportation to and from work and activities. Once the day is done, they help them get ready for the night by making them dinner, helping them get ready for bed and then spending time with them doing whatever they like to do to wind down.
On the surface it would seem that a DSP has a clear-cut job, but looking a little further there is so much more that goes into it. Many DSPs know that their attitude will affect the attitude of the individuals they help so they like to start their day off the right way with a positive outlook. They also provide friendship and companionship for these individuals and help them create those connections with others in the house or in the community. They learn so much about the individuals they help like their food preferences, their favorite music, and if they have family that comes to visit them on holidays. Sometimes the DSP plays a much bigger role in these individuals lives than they expected to, and amazing lifelong bonds are formed.
All of these things combined create the job of a DSP. At the end of the day they are there to help individuals with their personal growth in daily activities, communication, personal care, and so much more. Watching someone start to excel at something they couldn’t do before brings great joy and pride to one DSP, Tonya Van Winkle, at CRSI. She cites her time spent serving as a DSP at CRSI as one of the main reasons why she decided that once she graduates as an occupational therapist that she wants to continue to work with adults.
CRSI is an amazing resource right here in our own community. They help so many people live their lives to the fullest by giving them choices and providing options to them that they may not have had before. Their core values are positivity, respect, empowerment, teamwork and ownership. These values help the team at CRSI connect with all the individuals they serve in the best way possible providing an amazing space for growth and happiness. To learn more about CRSI, their core values, or how to join the team and start changing lives visit their website at https://www.crsi-oh.com.