Angel Tree

ANGEL TREE PARTY pic

Now that Halloween has past, LIFEDesigns has begun to prepare for the holiday season. Each year, we do the best we can to include all our clients in holiday cheer. Typically we support about 40-50 people who do not have anyone in their lives to spend the holidays with. Our annual Angel Tree is our way of providing them with the holiday giving experience they so desire. The Angel Trees share these wish lists by our clients with the community. On Wednesday, November 13, LIFEDesigns will host an angel tree ornament decorating party where our clients will each decorate their personal ornament as a gift meant for the person from the community who fulfills their wish list. All are invited to volunteer to help our clients with this fun craft project. Contact Kristen King (kking@lifedesignsinc.org) if you are interested in attending the party.

More news to come on the dates and locations these trees will be on display out in the community. Each year we’re so honored to see how much support from the community is given through this project. Last year, German American bank hosted each of the trees with client wish lists, and the bank donated a little extra to cover purchases of gifts that weren’t taken care of by their staff or community members. Additionally, the South Central Indiana Kiwanis Club helped to sponsor several wish lists, and Royale Hair parlor collected cash donations for LIFEDesigns as well. We’re so grateful to everyone who helped last year, and look forward to building on these relationships for this year!  

Thank you Smithville and Jack Hopkins!

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LIFEDesigns is pleased to announce our new maintenance truck has arrived, thanks to two grants! This F-250 truck will be used to provide general maintenance service to our 5 group homes and our affordable housing apartments and duplexes. Smithville Charitable Foundation granted $10,000, and the City of Bloomington Common Council Jack Hopkins Social Services Funding Committee granted $16,084 toward the new maintenance truck. This coupled with the state minimum pricing discount Community Ford of Bloomington was able to offer us left only $5,565.25 of the truck for LIFEDesigns to cover.

The next step to this plan is to purchase a snow plow for $5,500. We do still need donations to help cover this cost. The snowplow will allow our maintenance team to handle our own snow maintenance, saving us about $12,000 every 3 years. 

We are humbled by the community’s support of this project and are especially grateful to the City of Bloomington Jack Hopkins Social Services Fund, and Smithville Charitable Foundation for their generous gifts. In the next few weeks we’ll be working to display proper recognition for these gifts by having their logos placed on the side of the truck. 

 

New Monthly Giving Program!

Monthly Giving Poster 2019

We are invested in supporting our clients in the things they want to do, even when the state doesn’t provide funding for it. Here are just a few examples of things that aren’t funded for our clients:

  • individualized support to learn how to drive – $5.00/month
  • traveling out of town to visit with family or have a mini vacation or excursion – $10.00/month
  • certain therapeutic activities like horse riding or swimming lessons – $25.00/month
  • individualized support to be paired with a mentor volunteer from the community – $50.00/month

Without your generous gifts, none of these activities would be possible. You can now choose a set amount per month to donate and provide ongoing support for these and more activities. In exchange we’ll thank you with some cool LIFEDesigns swag! Not only will you be making a difference in the lives of our clients, you’ll also get to showcase your love and support for people with disabilities. For a gift of $5 or more per month, you will receive a LIFEDesigns baseball cap and a bi-weekly email update as well as an annual thank you gift upon your renewal gift. For a gift of $10 of more per month, you’ll receive a really nice durable umbrella. For a gift of $25,or more per month, you’ll receive 5% off all LIFEDesigns event tickets and registrations and a high quality LIFEDesigns insulated cooler tote. Finally, with a gift of $50 or more per month, you’ll receive a LIFEDesigns jacket and 10% off all event tickets and event registrations.  To learn more about this program or to begin your monthly pledge, visit our monthly giving page on our website.

A Strong Partnership

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On Cory Ln in Bloomington sits a big brown lodge that tends to go unnoticed. Known as the Moose Lodge, this space may be one of the best kept secrets of Bloomington. While LIFEDesigns has many donors to be thankful for, we would like to highlight one of our biggest supporters, The Moose Lodge. The Moose Lodge is an international, family-friendly fraternity that holds several fun events for its members such as bingo and poker nights! With the slogan, “a burden heavy to one is borne lightly to many”, the Lodge’s focus is on philanthropy. The Local Order of the Lodge gives most of their proceeds to their orphanage MooseHeart and to the needs of the local community.  

The Moose Lodge has graciously partnered with LIFEDesigns for several initiatives. The Moose is one of LIFEDesigns biggest cash sponsors with an annual gift of $10k for the Art of Chocolate, $1250 for the golf scramble, and numerous other donations to projects. In addition, the Lodge lets LIFEDesigns use their space free of charge for employee meetings, parties, and daily client lunches. The Lodge has also hired many clients as kitchen and janitorial employees. When asked about the partnership between LIFEDesigns and the Moose Lodge, Governor Vern Hageman replied, “LIFEDesigns and our Lodge have the same mission. We both want to do something good for someone each day. We once had a client work here who didn’t socialize but now he says hi to everyone in the morning. The Moose is a safe place.”  

 

Toast of the Town and Golf Scramble Fundraising Report

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Fundraising events are important to LIFEDesigns, because they do help raise funds, but they also give us the opportunity to meet with people we otherwise may have never met before. It also gives people who want to donate through an experience a way to give and get an enjoyable experience in return. This summer we worked really hard on two events, the Toast of the Town 3 part tasting series, and the golf scramble.

The Toast of the Town events were sponsored by nimboIP. Bill Thompson of nimboIP volunteered his time to help promote the events and to spread awareness of LIFEDesigns mission with others. We plan to continue this relationship with nimboIP and Bill into the future! In addition to Bill’s efforts, LIFEDesigns had some help from a summer event intern named Sam. Sam recently graduated form the Tourism, Hospitality, and Event planning major at the IU School of Public Health. Sam was a joy to work with, and really helped to make these beverage tasting events a lot of fun for everyone who attended. We also were able to partner with WFHB toward the end of the series, and hope to give them a little more engagement next year! All in all, the events were held at Oliver Winery, Cardinal Spirits, and Upland Brewery. There were approximately a dozen guests at each event. LIFEDesigns earned a little over $1000.00 from the Toast of the Town 3-part tasting series. It is our hope that we can double that or better for next year!

The Golf Scramble was a HUGE success in 2019 compared with 2018. In 2018, the small golf committee (Tim, Terry, and Troy) with Stephanie’s support, raised just under $10,000 net profits. In 2019, the same committee worked diligently and recruited new sponsors, and more teams to play and ended up raising $14,646.00 net profits! The event was enjoyable to everyone who attended. We have many sponsors, donors, and volunteers to thank for all of this success. (See our golf scramble page to see the sponsors for the event.) The German American Bank team came in first place for the day…this was especially surprising, because I was able to help them out by sinking a challenging putt after their teammates had all tried and missed. There were of course other holes where they had amazing putts to bring them to the low score of 54, but this was so exciting for me because it truly was a magnificent achievement for me! The German American team in their outstanding generosity, donated back their prize money to LIFEDesigns. It was such a wonderful day all around. There were a lot of prizes and gift cards, and everyone enjoyed listening to the All Abilities Choir singing the National Anthem to start the event. Thanks to everyone for being a part of it. We hope to see many of you again next year!

For photos of the Golf Scramble go to our Facebook Album, To see our All Abilities Choir in action, check out our Facebook Live post on our Facebook page!

LIFEDesigns and United Way

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LIFEDesigns is a United Way Member Agency in Bartholomew and Monroe Counties. I believe many people wonder “what does it mean to be a United Way member agency?” It means that we are held to high standards and are certified every year by volunteers from the community and United Way board members who evaluate how our business is operated, and our financial strength.  It means that we’re connected with other agencies that serve the community to make it a better place for people to live. All United Way Member Agencies are agencies with some type of Human Services mission. We all play different roles in ensuring that all members of the community have their basic needs met: an affordable place to live, nutritious food, access to resources that help with financial stability, supports in place to find a job, and more.

This year, I’ve had the honor of serving as the President of (UWADA) or United Way Agency Directors Association. This means that I’ve had the opportunity to be the elected representative for member agencies, and I attend the United Way Board Meetings. This experience has helped me get to know and better understand United Way’s role in this community, and help to shape the direction the United Way of Monroe County goes in the future.  

Each year, LIFEDesigns runs a workplace campaign to support the United Way because the United Way does so much for our agency and many other local non-profits. This year, LIFEDesigns was awarded over $42,000 from the United Ways of Monroe and Bartholomew Counties.. The United Way of Monroe County helps to fund our supported living and affordable housing programs to ensure that our clients have safe, accessible, and affordable places to live, while the United Way of Bartholomew County funds our employment services to help people with disabilities find jobs.  

It’s so important to support the United Way for the work that they are doing with LIFEDesigns and so many other outstanding organizations in our communities. LIFEDesigns runs a workplace campaign to raise money for the United Way. Each year our employees hold a penny wars competition, a chili cook-off, pumpkin carving contest, and “jeans for a cause” all to support the United Way campaign. Generally, we’re able to raise around $400-500 to support the United Way.

This year LIFEDesigns was asked to present to Duke Energy employees about our services and how we help our clients. Huge Thanks goes out to Duke Energy for giving their employees opportunities and incentive to give donations and volunteer with local 501(c)3 non-profit organizations. We’re so lucky to live in a community where people care so much about each other.

See the United Way of Monroe County’s website or United Way of Bartholomew County’s website to learn more about the work they each do in the community they serve.