In Loving Memory

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Outside of the opportunities for independence, Jody frequently explored his love for music. At family reunions he could always be spotted with the musicians in Betty’s family, engaging in the harmonic atmosphere and soaking in his love for a beautiful melody. Jody even owned a banjo, guitar, and harmonica where he could practice and further this love. Angela Jeffrey, a staff member heavily involved with Jody, reminisced on some memories jamming out to Bluegrass with Jody. Through Angela’s time with Jody a friendship blossomed, they sang Johnny Cash songs while on car rides and in Jody’s living room they frequently sang and danced to Bluegrass. As staff devoted their time to promote Jody’s independence, they were introduced to his fun-loving and mischievous nature. He touched the lives of so many staff members and could always put a smile on their faces.  

We are so grateful for the many memories and relationships that developed throughout Jody’s involvement in the LIFEDesigns community. We could not be more thankful for all the generous donations that have been made on his behalf. A huge thank you goes out to the individuals who made these donations, including the Deckard family and the many staff members that had the honor of working with Jody.  

In loving memory of Jody Deckard. 

Meet Pj!

PJ Oheran

PJ O’Heran, a hard-working and humble employee, is an instrumental figure within the LIFEDesigns community. Beginning his career with the organization 14 years ago as a DSP, PJ now serves as the Service Coordinator for the various group homes. It is fitting to call PJ the group home guru, as his breadth of knowledge and involvement with his position allows him to answer any inquiry about the group homes where LIFEDesigns clients may reside.

PJ’s drive to pursue this occupation stemmed from his involvement in high school, where he first had the opportunity to work with individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. Based on his experience, PJ decided to pursue a degree in Special Education. This ultimately led to him seeking a part-time job with LIFEDesigns, which then led to his fulltime commitment as Service Coordinator.

As PJ’s current position requires him to oversee various group homes, he is responsible for house staffing, maintenance, and dealing with individual care. What PJ finds most rewarding about this work is how he has helped LIFEDesigns clients live meaningful lives. He goes the extra mile; PJ has not only helped promote independence for his clients but has assisted in finding employment opportunities. A couple of clients are now employed at C3, a local neighborhood bar, as PJ’s familial connection secured these positions.

Outside of PJ’s dedication to LIFEDesigns, he devotes his time to his family and his passion for woodworking. PJ loves staying involved in the lives of his 4 children, which is displayed through his involvement as a leader for his son’s boy scout group. Woodworking then provides a creative and relaxing outlet, as PJ’s commitments require substantial dedication.

Thank you, PJ, for your dedication to LIFEDesigns!

Thank you Vanessa McClary…

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Pictured: Vanessa McClary & LIFEDesigns Director of Community Relations, Kristen King, at the Kiwanis One Day Event in 2019

In honor of LIFEDesigns 40th anniversaryour committee has set a goal to get 40 new pledges of at least $40.00 per month for one year. Accomplishing this goal will help build a foundation of giving for the next 40 years of providing supports to people with disabilities. We are so thankful for Vanessa McClary, who is the very first person to help us accomplish this goal by committing to a new monthly gift! Vanessa is actively involved in her community as a member of the Kiwanis Club of South-Central Indiana. She also helped charter several other clubs including Kiwanis Aktion Club, which many LIFEDesigns clients are proud to be member of. Her gift will help one person receive staff support to work on their personal goals each month! If you want to make a difference in someone’s life and make a lasting impact in the community, click this link to support the campaign and make a pledge to LIFEDesigns for one year! 

Donor Spotlight: Mutual of America

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Mutual of America Financial Group believes that every worker is important. For 75 years their mission has been to provide stability and security in a world of change and uncertainty. They have a strong sense of social responsibility and are dedicated to helping workers by giving them the tools and resources needed to be on top of their finances. They serve a broad range of diverse communities and they give back with a customer-first attitude. Nearly all of their employees actively volunteer in the community making a bigger difference than they know.

Not only do they personally volunteer, but Mutual of America has a Matching Gift Program through which they give their employees freedom to choose how and when they volunteer because their work goes even further when they are giving back to an organization they are passionate about. We are thankful for Mutual of America Financial Group and the generous gift they have given us among all the other ways they have impacted our community. They gave a $750 for our Holiday Party Gift and we couldn’t be more thankful. Thank you from everyone here at LIFEDesigns!

Donor Spotlight: Cummins/Toyota Join Forces!

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In 2018, Cummins Inc. and Toyota Material Handling North America decided to join forces and donate a total of $20,000 to four charities per year. They are two of the biggest employers in Columbus and wanted to help make a difference in the community. Each organization they choose is awarded $5,000, $2,500 from each company, to make the holiday season brighter. These two companies are making the impossible possible by giving the chosen organizations a chance to use their funds to make a difference in the communities they serve. We are so excited to announce that LIFEDesigns have been chosen to receive their gift this yearWe were surprised by this blessing on “Giving Tuesday” this past December 1st, 2020Their funds will go toward our programs in Columbus, IN where we serve over 300 clients.  

Gifts like these are so important to furthering our mission and giving LIFEDesigns the ability to serve even more individuals with disabilities. LIFEDesigns provides staff to work with people individually and teach them life skills, employment skills, and social skills. This gift will greatly impact the lives of these individuals, as Medicaid does not cover all the support that is needed in order for them to be independent and LIFEDesigns has no other way of supporting them financially. Their gift will help support 30-40 individuals with disabilities seeking employment and about 10 individuals who need daily life skills staff support in Bartholomew County. Any gift, no matter how great or small, can make the biggest difference in the lives of everyone involvedSo, thank you Cummins Inc. and Toyota for helping us in our mission to provide services for those in need! 

German American Spotlight Story










German American Bank is always there when we need them, and we’re sure our community would agree. The ongoing support they provide to local businesses and organizations is inspiring and uplifting. Apart from their services in banking, they are determined to help individuals, families and businesses achieve greater prosperity and quality of life, which is evident by the many ways they have generously given to LIFEDesigns. 

Recently, German American opened a new branch in Bloomington. Being the gracious supporters they are, they hosted a special give-away campaign in honor of their new branch opening in November and December of 2020. A total of $10,000 was going to be given to 3 local non-profits in Bloomington. German American Regional President, Cindy Kinnarney, stated “As we continue to strengthen our commitment to Bloomington with the opening of our new 3930 South Walnut Street office, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give back to some of the organizations who are vital in strengthening our community.” Read the full Press Release here.

We are so humbled by their support and couldn’t be more thankful for the way they are impacting our community. LIFEDesigns was lucky enough to be on the list of non-profits and even more lucky to be in the top 3 and receive $3,333 from German American Bank! Thank you to German American, our employees, and community members for taking the time to visit and vote for LIFEDesigns and helping us win this amazing give-away contest. 

Thank you, German American Bank!