March is Disability Awareness Month

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March is Disability Awareness Month in Indiana.

Each March, Disability Awareness Month is celebrated throughout Indiana. And given that adults and children with disabilities represent slightly more than 19 percent of Indiana’s population, disability awareness is important for all of us. Led by the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, the goal of Disability Awareness Month is to increase awareness and promote independence, integration and inclusion of all people with disabilities. The Council develops a unique theme for this annual event and produces campaign materials that are available free of charge to Hoosiers who want to help make a difference.

The 2014 campaign theme is “Dream to Dare,” which inspires and encourages all of us to challenge each other to rethink and revitalize our communities. This year’s poster uses a simple, but meaningful, poem to frame our attitudes toward what we all want to achieve—communities that are sustainable, accessible, economically viable and encourage civic and social engagement for all. The text at the bottom of the poster challenges us to “be a force in our community” by learning more about smart growth as we rethink and revitalize our communities.

This is the 24th year for Disability Awareness Month. Won’t you join thousands of advocates and people with disabilities across the state by conducting community-based activities? Activities include events such as mayoral proclamations; art and essay contests; and awareness campaigns in schools, businesses and government agencies. See a list of activities below and contact information for how YOU can get involved!

Thanks in advance for your efforts to help raise awareness and understanding of disability issues in your home, business, school or neighborhood!

Events during the month of March and April to celebrate!

  • Spread the Word to End the Word – March 5th, 2014 – take the pledge today at www.r-word.org
  • 2014 Diversity Works Business Recognition Ceremony – March 27th, 2014 – 2:00 pm to 3:30pm – Fountain Square Ballroom. Eleven area businesses will be honored for outstanding support of employment for individuals with disabilities in our community over the past year. This event is free. See the honorees and more information on the invitation here.
  • Living with Autism: Diagnosis, Education & Treatment – April 1st, 2014 – 4:00 pm to 6:00pm – City Hall Council Chambers. A panel discussion will take place moderated by LIFEDesigns CEO Susan Rinne. This event is free. Light refreshments will be served. See panelists and more information on the poster here.
  • LIFEDesigns is hosting a drawing and essay contest for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Are you a student? Please contact your teacher for more information about how you can participate. Are you an educator? Please contact Leslie Abshier, labshier (at) lifedesignsinc.org or 812-332-9615 ext: 218, to find out how your students can participate.
  • Do you want someone from LIFEDesigns to come present to your employees about disability awareness? Please contact Leslie Abshier, labshier (at) lifedesignsinc.org or 812-332-9615 ext: 218, to find out how you can book us for a FREE inclusion and disability awareness educational training on your schedule at your place of work.

Also, follow us on Twitter, “Like!” us on Facebook and read our *NEW* blog to learn more about disabilities and what is going on this month to bring awareness to our communities!

Kids LEAP Summer Camp Sponsorships Needed

Swimming Kids LEAP

Can you help us support our Kids LEAP Summer Camp?

    
$500 will provide a scholarship to help a child with a disability attend the 2014 Kids LEAP Summer Camp!

From generous donors like you, we are asking for….

  • 10 people to provide a scholarship for a child this summer for $500
  • Or 20 people to provide a scholarship for a child this summer for $250

All gifts, in any amount, are appreciated and will make a big difference to a child who is able to attend camp because of your help. Your gift provides safe, qualified and professional care for children with disabilities over the summer. Can you provide a scholarship?

HERE’S HOW TO GIVE: Please click the “DONATE NOW” button on the right hand side of this page and donate securely. You can also mail a check made out to LIFEDesigns to LIFEDesigns, Inc., 200 E. Winslow Rd., Bloomington, IN 47401 with “Kids LEAP” in the memo. If you would like to, you can click here to download a donation card to mail in with your check or to give by credit card through the mail.

Kids LEAP is an inclusive summer camp for children with and without disabilities. What makes it unique? 

EXPERTISE
Working with people with different abilities: it’s what we do!

FLEXIBILITY
Kids attend any day/time during the week according to the family’s needs!

COMMUNITY FOCUS
Our activities get kids out and about as much as possible!

FRIENDSHIPS
Getting kids together is important to us, because we value social skills!

CHANGE
We want Kids’ LEAP to be the fresh, new alternative to a boring summer!

This year we are continuing our partnership part-time with the Boys & Girls Club at the Crestmont location to do some joint activities with them! We will still provide LIFEDesigns qualified, professionally trained staff to work with the children with disabilities who come to Kids LEAP through LIFEDesigns. However, this partnership will provide more than we have been able to provide in the past, allowing the program to be more inclusive, joining children with disabilities with children without a disability.

We will spend 2 to 3 days a week doing some joint activities with the Boy & Girls Club, using their facilities and resources, which are supported by their generous donors. Due to our high ratio of qualified, professionally trained staff to Kids LEAP children, we will be able to provide quality support to children with disabilities while including them in some of the fun curriculum that the Boys & Girls Club specializes in. This partnership benefited both groups of children last year and we are excited to continue it this year, building a more inclusive community.

This year, LIFEDesigns also received a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County to write curriculum for camp that focusses on knowledge retention over the summer months. This will greatly enhance the programming provided to the student participating and allow them to achieve greater levels of success when they re-enter school in the fall. Thank you CFBMC!

LIFEDesigns provides transportation, food, supplies, space and qualified professional staff for Kids LEAP. We provide services to children with disabilities with Medicaid or a Medicaid Waiver for no charge to the families. However, there are some children that come to us who do not have Medicaid or a Medicaid Waiver and must private pay. We are asking for individuals LIKE YOU to help us provide scholarships this summer for these children to come to the 2014 Kids LEAP Summer Camp.

  

Ready to give? Can you give $500 to sponsor a child throughout the summer to come to our 2014 Kids LEAP Summer Camp. From generous donors like you, we are asking for….

  • 10 people to provide a scholarship for a child this summer for $500
  • Or 20 people to provide a scholarship for a child this summer for $250

All gifts, in any amount, are appreciated and will make a big difference to a child who is able to attend camp because of your help. Your gift provides safe, qualified and professional care for children with disabilities over the summer. Can you provide a scholarship?

Again, HERE’S HOW TO GIVE: Please click the “DONATE NOW” button on the right hand side of this page and donate securely. You can also mail a check made out to LIFEDesigns to LIFEDesigns, Inc., 200 E. Winslow Rd., Bloomington, IN 47401 with “Kids LEAP” in the memo. If you would like to, you can click here to download a donation card to mail in with your check or to give by credit card through the mail.

THANK YOU!!

  

“Cheers” to you!

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Donor Reception eInvitation 2014

LIFEDesigns‘ 2014 Donor Reception is this Thursday, January 30th 5pm to 7pm at Oliver Winery’s downtown Bloomington location on the square.

Have you donated to LIFEDesigns in 2013? Did you attend the Art of Chocolate? If so, we want to celebrate the work your donations accomplished this past year. Come mingle with other supporters of LIFEDesigns and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and wine courtesy of Oliver Winery and LIFEDesigns. You will learn about what your generous contributions made possible in the lives of the people with disabilities LIFEDesigns serves.

Thank you for giving and please join us this Thursday, January 30th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm for our 2014 Donor Reception.

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Week of chocolate Logo (2)

The Week of Chocolate 2014 is finally here!!

January 25th – 31st, 2014

Join us! More at www.weekofchocolate.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
#weekofchocolate #chocolateforacause #WOC2014

Sundaes on Saturday
Saturday, January 25th 2013 at 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Benefiting The Monroe County Historical Society, Inc.
Held at the Monroe County History Center – 202 East 6th Street, Bloomington, IN 47408
Admission is the museum admission: Adults $2, Children age 6-17 $1, Members free. A FREE sundae will be given with admission.

Each year the Monroe County History Center invites you to join them to design your own sundaes with Hartzel’s Ice Cream and lots of chocolate toppings.  Attendees will learn the history of ice cream making, and enjoy old-time music. The museum abounds with activities from Monroe County’s past.  Guests can also be a part of the 1880’s living history interpretations in the museum’s log cabin and one-room school.  The History Center is a great place to enjoy the historical exhibits and let Monroe County History come alive. Learn more about the Monroe County History Center at www.monroehistory.org

 The Art of Chocolate Gala
Sunday, January 26th 2013 at 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Benefiting LIFEDesigns, Inc.
Held at the Indiana University Art Museum – 1133 E. 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405
Admission is $40 pre-sale. Student tickets are $35 pre-sale. ALL TICKETS will be $50 at the door.
Tickets available at LIFEDesigns, all Bloomingfoods locations and BCT Box Office.

*SPECIAL GUEST* Del Sroufe, “Forks Over Knives” Cookbook author will be featured at the event

This year the 10th Annual Art of Chocolate Gala will be better than ever! The Art of Chocolate Gala is an elegant evening filled with decadent hors d’oeuvres and chocolate creations from the finest local chefs such as Scholar’s Inn, Peacetree Mountain Truffles, Underground Cupcakes and Cafe, The Rail, Big Woods Brewery, Joan’s Caramels, Rainbow Bakery, IMU, and more! Beverages from Oliver Winery, KRC, Angles Cafe and Malibu Grill will also be served. Entertainment provided by IU Jacobs School Vocal Performance Alumnus Rusty Shields will fill the air and entertain guests as they browse the silent auction. The Art of Chocolate’s unique silent auction has an art theme! Along with more traditional silent auction items (i.e. vacation packages, event tickets and restaurant gift certificates), the evening will feature a variety of visual artwork by local artists. The sale of all artwork in the Art of Chocolate silent auction will benefit both LIFEDesigns (40% of the sale) and the artist (60% of the sale). This is a great way to help support local artists in our community and LIFEDesigns! Artwork is on display for sale throughout Bloomington NOW at the Showers Building, Lennie’s restaurant, all Bloomingfoods locations, local salons, various medical offices, and other locations around town. Want to buy art you have seen around town? Contact Leslie Abshier at LIFEDesigns at art@lifedesignsinc.org or 812-332-9615 ext: 218 to discuss your purchasing interests. The world famous IU Art Museum galleries are also open for viewing that evening. Votes for People’s Choice for chefs and artwork will take place as well as many other new surprises this year! Maybe there will even be a model this year…but you’ll have to come and see! Come join us at the Art of Chocolate Gala 2014! Learn more about LIFEDesigns at www.lifedesignsinc.org or by calling 800-875-9615

Chocolate Bingo
Monday, January 27th 2013 at 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Benefiting the Bloomington Moose Lodge #1081
Held at the Bloomington Moose Lodge #1081 – 840 S. Cory Ln., Bloomington, IN 47403
Basic package was $20

The Moose Lodge is having it’s annual special night of bingo, with a chocolate theme! With each winning bingo, the lucky players will be rewarded with cash and a delicious chocolate treat. As always, Bingo players enjoyed a scrumptious meal with drinks made to order. Friends and family, people of all ages are invited to come out to the Moose to experience Moose hospitality and play bingo to help a good cause! The Moose donates proceeds to charity. Learn more about the Bloomington Moose Lodge at www.lodge1081.moosepages.org

 Posh Ganache
Wednesday, January 29th 2013 at 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Benefiting Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard
Held at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard – 1100 W. Allen St. Suite A, Bloomington, IN 47403
Admission fee is $45.00 per person

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard is a new participating agency in the line up for the Week of Chocolate in 2014! To add a wonderful dimension to the week’s events the agency will host a class called “Posh Ganache”. The class includes preparing, dipping, and rolling truffles. Participants will take home samples of each and enjoy appetizers and sip Oliver wine while learning the art of truffle making! Learn more about Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard at www.mhcfoodpantry.org

Chocolate Prom: A Prom for Everyone
Friday, January 31st 2014 at 8:00pm to 11:00pm
Benefiting Rhino’s
Held at Rhino’s Youth Center and All-Ages Club – 331 S. Walnut St., Bloomington, IN 47401
Admission is $10 per person or $15 per couple

Put on your best threads, grab your dancing shoes , invite all your friends, and bring your sweetheart to an event made especially for you. Enjoy a variety of free chocolate treats and dance the night away to live music (formal dress is optional). Learn more about Rhino’s at  www.rhinosyouthcenter.org

Year End Gifts

Year-End Gift

Only a short amount of time left to get your end of the year gift to LIFEDesigns!

To receive a tax deduction for 2013, your gift must be postmarked by 12/31/13. Otherwise, it will be deductible for 2014. If you give online, the gift must come in by 11:59pm on 12/31/13 to receive a tax deduction for 2013. Otherwise, you will have to claim it for 2014.

DONATE today to make a difference!

Thank you for your gift! Your gift matters!

LIFEDesigns’ Holiday Party Thursday

LIFEDesigns' Holiday Party Invite 2013-4

We are having a Holiday Party and you are invited!

The Men of the Moose Lodge #1081 in Bloomington are graciously hosting and feeding us this year on Thursday, December 12th from 5:30 to 7:30pm for the Annual LIFEDesigns Holiday Party. The men of the Moose Lodge are donating the location and the food for the evening. How wonderful! The Women of the Moose Lodge #1081 in Bloomington are volunteering that evening to serve and providing gifts for everyone. The women of the Chi Delta Phi sorority are also going to volunteer that evening to serve and are bringing gifts as well! DJ’s Frank and Amy of the Moose Lodge #1081 in Bloomington are donating their time and talent to provide music and entertainment for the evening. Without all of these generous groups, this party would not be possible. Thank you so much!

The Moose Lodge #1081 in Bloomington is located at 840 S. Cory Ln. Gifts will be given out to everyone who attends and Frank and Amy will entertain us all with their holiday music medley! Come join us as we enjoy wonderful food, the company of friends and dance the night away to celebrate the holiday season. We hope you will join us! To arrange for a ride, please call 800-875-9615 as soon as possible.

Click here to see the full LIFEDesigns‘ Holiday Party Invitation.

To donate gifts for us to give to the individuals with disabilities we support, please contact us at support (at) lifedesignsinc.org or call 812-332-9615 and ask for Leslie Abshier. Thank you for the gifts you give to our customers this holiday season!