Meet Steve!

Steve is an employment client here at LIFEDesigns. He is originally from Shelbyville, IN, but moved to Columbus, IN in 1979 to receive services from ResCare. Steve is currently working towards living independently and having his own place. In his free time, he likes to go fishing, camping, horseback riding, farming, talking on the phone with his sister & nephew, and hanging out with sister.

Prior to his current job, Steve worked on a farm, which he really enjoyed. Unfortunately, after Steve’s father passed away, he had to take time away from that job to help his mom around the house. However, Steve still had goals of living on his own, and he knew he needed to work to achieve those goals. With our employment services and some help from a few LIFEDesigns Employment Coaches, Steve landed a job at Goodwill, where he has now been employed for almost 4 years! He helps with stocking, cleaning, making sure items are in the correct places, and helps wherever it’s needed. 

When we asked Steve how LIFEDesigns has impacted his life, he responded “LIFEDesigns helped me get this job at Goodwill. Without my employment coach, I would not have gotten this job. LIFEDesigns never gave up on me. At first, I just volunteered at Goodwill. Then, they offered me a job. I did not expect to get offered a job.”.

We see first hand how difficult it can be for individuals with disabilities be given an opportunity to work in their community. We all have goals and things we want to accomplish, and we each deserve a chance to work and chase those goals. Your donations help our clients achieve their dreams, see their worth, feel accomplished, and become more independent.

Read more about how your gift helps at Donate | LIFEDesigns (

2020 Annual Report

The LIFEDesigns Annual Report for 2020 is now available! This report includes a summary on our services, programs, events & more in 2020 and our plans for 2021. 

We want to give a special thanks to our Donors, Board Members, Ambassadors, Monthly Sustainers, and those who helped us surpass the hardships & challenges of 2020. Your support means everything & more!

Click here to read the 2020 Annual Report

Congratulations Terry & Dixie!

The City of Bloomington and the Bloomington Volunteer Network today recognized Terry and Dixie Patterson as recipients of the 2021 Be More Dedicated Award for a Lifetime of Service. The Pattersons were instrumental in the founding of Better Living for Special People which is now LIFEDesigns and is celebrating forty years of service to the community. The Pattersons have been active volunteers the entire time. 

”The Pattersons deserve this award! Not only are they one of the founding families of our agency but have served terms on the Board of Directors and various committees for over four decades” says Kristen King, Director of Community Relations at LIFEDesigns. “They believe in and are committed to our mission – to partner with and promote independence for people with disabilities – and know the importance of volunteerism and community support.” 

Click here for the full press release on the Be More Awards and read more about the Pattersons!

Click here to watch the Be More Awards online 

Meet Aaron

Aaron receives employment services at LIFEDesigns. Originally from Noblesville, Aaron moved to Bloomington in 1996 to have a better opportunity for education. Because Aaron has mild autism, school was never something he looked forward to. He would often be teased by others because of his Autism and found it was not an environment he could thrive in.

With the help of his family, friends, and support services, today Aaron is thriving! He is an active community member and is involved with a number of clubs like Aktion Club, Kwanis Club, Special Olympics, and was even a member on the LIFEDesigns Board of Director a few years ago (you also may have seen him host at the Aktion Club of LIFEDesigns annual Talent Show). Aaron enjoys supporting IU Athletics, bowling, and movies. He hopes to go on a vacation to Disney World and attend a Chicago Cubs game.

Prior to COVID, LIFEDesigns helped Aaron find a job with IU Athletic Dining and would work about 11 hours a week. When the pandemic hit, Aaron (along with many others) was laid off from this job he enjoyed so much. However, he did not let that get him down. Since this major change, LIFEDesigns has been working with Aaron on interview skills, job searching, and benefits & counseling. 

Your donations help us keep our clients motivated and learning. Everyone deserves an opportunity to find employment in their community, despite having a disability. If you want to make an impact on someone’s life, pledge a gift in honor of 40th Anniversary by clicking here!

Meet Gary!

Gary has lived in institutions most of his life. He lived for many years in Tennessee, where he met a man named “Father Chad” who was married, and had a family of his own. When Father Chad was transferred to a church in Bloomington, IN, he and his family asked Gary to move with them to Bloomington. Gary was happy to make that move.  

Things became somewhat difficult for Father Chad and his wife to provide the support and care that Gary needed with their young children. In the 80’s, Gary first moved into supported living on his own with LIFEDesigns (Options at the time).  

Today, Gary lives on his own, receives support from staff, and worked for many years until he retired. Gary loves magic shows, magicians, magic tricks, and everything related. He is also very dedicated to his health, and attends a gym regularly. Gary also loves to make others laugh and has a great sense of humor (he’s even given many of our administrative staff nicknames that are quite unique)!

Because of your donations, we are able to provide a home for Gary. As a non-profit, we depend on donations to support our clients so they can live their most independent and fulfilled life with the help of our staff and services. Help us continue to provide support services to Gary and so many others by donating to our 40th Anniversary Campaign and pledge a one-time or monthly gift. 

Click here to donate! Thank you for supporting Gary and all of our clients at LIFEDesigns