In the world of non-profits, one needs to be an optimist – and see the glass half full as much as possible, and also be a realist when you are presented with few options. EP!C is optimistic that we will continue to be paid for services provided but we are realistically aware of the ongoing dire financial situation of the State.
I would like to report our first round of conversations (Town Hall Meetings) with EP!C families, guardians and advocates went well, lending to our optimism! Twenty-two stakeholders attended the town hall meetings offered at the end of June. Terry Waters, Chair of EP!C’s Operating Board of Directors along with Lorenz Evans, Vice Chair of the Board provided information on EP!C’s current financial status, challenges and strategic initiatives. The Executive team requested those in attendance complete a survey that
included educational information of interest to families and most importantly a list of volunteer options for families to pick from. Together we are all building and stabilizing the wellbeing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities into the future.
Thomas Bridgeforth became part of the EP!C Family in 1983 where he quickly stole the hearts of everyone he worked and lived with. This was nothing new to his family, as evidenced by his sister Jan’s poem, “My Little Brother.” Through his tenure with EP!C Tom was able to work at several different
locations around town, thanks to our Job Placement Program. This is how he met Shirley Carrol, his job coach.
Shirley remembers Tom fondly, noting that he had an incredible work ethic and would do anything for anyone. He was always smiling and looked forward to his weekend’s home with his family. Despite his challenges due to CP, Tom loved playing basketball, working at Taco Bell, and helping around his home with dinner chores. And mostly, Tom loved to laugh.
“Sharon is always thinking outside the box and going above and beyond the call of duty, no matter the home she is working at.” These words were shared from Sharon’s supervisor and are one of the many reasons we are excited to share with you that Sharon is EP!C’s Employee of the Year!
Sharon shows exemplary leadership skills among her peers and the individuals she works with just adore her. She exudes compassion and continually strives to put her best foot forward. In her free time this past Christmas, Sharon helped one of our individuals write, illustrate and publish a short story!
When Mary suddenly became guardian of her nephew Pat, she wasn’t quite sure where to turn for answers. She knew Pat needed a home where he would receive meaningful opportunities that met his needs. The place Pat was currently living in was closing, so Mary turned to EP!C for help. According to Mary, EP!C was truly her lifesaver. The staff talked her through all of the options and made her feel comfortable, and she felt as if she could ask any question.
Pat now resides in an EP!C Host Home, works on the Delivery Crew, and couldn’t be happier! It is a true comfort to Mary and her family, knowing Pat’s needs are being taken care of, he’s safe, and part of a family. Mary volunteers with EP!C and believes being a strong community advocate are the best ways she can give back to the organization that gives Pat so much.
For more information about how you can get involved visit epicpeoria.org/get -involved or contact Jen at 309-689-3771.
Beth Force has worked at EP!C for over 12 years. To say she’s seen it all is an understatement!
Beth has worn many hats in her tenure. She started as a job coach, working in the community alongside our individuals. She then became a staff supervisor in two of our homes and now she utilizes her talents in the Seniors program. She has truly loved each position for different reasons, but now her heart lies within this program, working one-on-one with individuals ensuring that they have safe, fun filled days.
Our Seniors Program focuses on activities that strive to keep our individuals mentally healthy and physically active. Beth knows she is beyond lucky because she truly enjoys waking up each day to come to work and no day is completed without hugs, laughter and most of all, singing! Music is the highlight in her classroom-the oldies being the preferred set of tunes-and with music always comes dancing and smiles!
For more information about our programs visit us online at epicpeoria.org/programs or contact Jen at 309-689-3771.
Every year, a select group of businesses and organizations “set the pace” for the rest of the Peoria community by running their United Way employee campaigns ahead of the traditional fall time frame. This group brings great excitement into the annual fall Campaign Kickoff breakfast where their totals are announced to the public. Together, they set the standard for excellence, leadership, participation and enthusiasm.
EP!C is very proud and honored to be one of the Peoria Area Pacesetter Campaigns! Our kickoff week sent us on a journey through time as we went “Back to the Future” to raise funds! From the ‘50’s to the ‘80’s and everything in between, we enjoyed bags tournaments, raffles, a cookout and pies in the face! We met our fundraising goal for the year, and are proud to be able to give back to the United Way!
Volunteers are an integral part of our EP!C family. Our success is directly linked to the many volunteers who generously give of their time and hearts. Whether you have a lot of time on your hands or just a few hours, the time you spend as an EP!C volunteer can and does impact and change the lives of our individuals. We welcome volunteers in all of our programs and can support all types of projects: whether they are a one-time project, ongoing hours each month, or as a day of service for an organization or business.
We want to extend a very special thank you to all of the groups and individuals who have donated their time to our EP!C Harvest program over the year. Our garden wouldn’t be nearly as successful without you!
Interested in volunteering this summer or fall? Feel free to reach out to Jen at email@example.com.
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