Meet our Community Relations Fellow, Sally!

Sally is the new Community Relations Fellow at LIFEDesigns. She is currently a first-year Master of Public Administration student at Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public & Environmental Affairs. Sally is part of IU’s Federal Work Study Program, which LIFEDesigns has partnered with for many years. This program matches us with one of their students who work about 12 hours a week for 2 years. 

Sally will be working closely with our Community Relations team, helping with a variety of things like grants, campaigns & more. We are thrilled to have Sally on our team & work with her on developing more programs for our agency. 

About Sally

Sally grew up in Lawrenceville, GA, where she combined her interest in crafts and community service to sell handmade bracelets and use those earnings to make blankets to donate to homeless shelters. Sally studied Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies as well as Psychology at Duke University, where she graduated in 2019. While at Duke, she was a Moxie Intern with the National Domestic Workers Alliance. After graduation, Sally served through the Duke College Advising Corps, an AmeriCorps program, where she advised high school students with the goal of increasing post-secondary education attainment for first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students.  She is currently a first-year Master of Public Administration student at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. 

In her free time, she tries her best to video call her niece and nephew (who asked her to call at least three times a day) and browses the internet to look at adoptable pets. 
Sally is new to the Bloomington area, so she’s excited to work with LIFEDesigns and learn more about the community! 

Best of Luck, Lisa!

Today we are saying goodbye to a longtime loved & respected employee, Lisa VanDeventer. Lisa has been part of the LIFEDesigns family for 18 years and has made a tremendous impact in the lives of the clients we serve. Throughout her time at LIFEDesigns, Lisa wore many hats and played many roles. She first started as a Direct Support Professional in 2003 and climbed her way up to serve our agency as Director of Residential Services in 2018.



Great leaders always make a difference and Lisa certainly did not fall short of that. She is an incredible supervisor, colleague & friend. As sad as we are to see her leave LIFEDesigns, we know she will flourish in her future and we wish her the best of luck on her next journey!!

Thank you, Lisa, for all your years of service!! The staff and clients at LIFEDesigns are so lucky to have known & worked with you over the years. Good luck and thank you for everything!!  

Summer Fun at the Splash Pad

It was a great summer at LIFEDesigns! We were so excited to get back out to Karst Farm Park this summer for Splash Pad Days. A few years ago, we partnered with Monroe County Parks & Recreation to host Splash Pad Days, where they reserve the entire Splash Pad for LIFEDesigns and our clients! Our clients (and even some employees) absolutely love Splash Pad Days and we thank Monroe County Parks & Rec. for providing an opportunity to put a smile on their face. 

Each Splash Pad Day, we hosted a different activity for clients to participate in if they didn’t want to play in the splash pad. Some of our activities included tie-dying, rock painting, bracelet making, and our favorite, karaoke. Being able to safely gather with one another for a fun day in the sun meant so much to us. We want to thank those who donated arts & craft resources for these events and those who volunteered time to come and spend time with us! We can’t wait to do it again next summer! 

Providing our clients with activities that get them out of the house and in a safe social setting is essential to their achievement of independence. We use these events as opportunities to help our clients build confidence and simply have fun!

If you would like to help us provide more resources & events for people with disabilities, click here to donate to our client fund. 

Farewell, PJ!

It’s never easy to say goodbye to a team member, especially to one who have dedicated their time & talents for over a decade. But, as life happens, changes do too. This week, we had to say goodbye to our Assistant Director of Services, PJ O’Heran. PJ has worked for LIFEDesigns for over 15 years, and as sad as we are to see him go, we wish him the best of luck on his next adventure! We want to thank PJ for his dedication to our agency and our clients. 

Thank you, PJ! 

Why Staff Support Matters

Staff supports truly changes the world for people. Our primary focus in our supports is making sure people have the opportunity to live in their own home, work in the community, and meet and become friends with others in the community. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a national staffing shortage for IDD agencies across the country, and unfortunately, LIFEDesigns is no exception to that reality. 

In order for our clients to live independently and participate as active members in their community, we have to provide them with staff support. Although our employees are hired to help our clients do every day life activities like grocery shopping, doctors appointments, working, etc., the relationships formed between staff and clients is more impactful than any duties and tasks required of the job. Many of our employees will tell you they don’t work in this field for the money, but for the mission.

LIFEDesigns is proud to employ heroes. Courtney is one of our Team Managers & shared an experience she recently had with a client that had a meaningful impact on all of us at LIFEDesigns:

“I got to spend some well over due time with a client I service that has been in the nursing home for a few months due to a shattered knee. No words could express the joy it brought to both him and I when I picked him up. I have not been able to see him for 2 days shy of 2 months. When I arrived and was waiting my excitement started to build and I was getting antsy. As he appeared around the corner I saw his eyes light up and he started moving around in his wheel chair pointing at me. As he reached me he almost leaped out of his wheel chair to give me a hug ???? we both started to cry!! I got him in the car we FaceTimed his parents and the smile that never left his face took an over whelming feeling over me. As we started driving I realized he never let go of my hand for about 45 min. It was then that it hit me…. THIS, THIS right here is why I do what I do. His smile was so comforting and just reminded me that with everything that has been going on with COVID and moving around settings, distance and sacrifices made and short staffing, HIS happiness is what matters. He did not forget who I was, he knew he would be safe with me and he was HAPPY that I was there with him. Remember why we are here, remember the hearts and souls we are touching. It’s our LOYALTY and PASSION that is keeping our clients going. It’s US that keep them going!!!”

Agencies like LIFEDesigns are struggling across the nation. We fundraise to provide our staff with the compensations they deserve. If you can & are able, support our heroic staff like Courtney by making a donation or pledging a gift to LIFEDesigns! 

Indiana Senate Presents LIFEDesigns with Certificate of Achievement

On July 17th, 2021, the Indiana Senate, Shelli Yoder, presented LIFEDesigns with a Certificate of Achievement! This certificate honors our 40 years of service the community and was officially presented to the public during our 40th Anniversary Picnic celebration. The certificate states:

“The Indiana Senate congratulates LIFEDesigns for 40 years of service and dedication to people with disabilities. LIFEDesigns makes it possible for all individuals to reach their fullest potential and to offer and model inclusion within our communities.” 

We are honored to be recognized by Indiana’s Senate and it has been a pleasure to serve our community over the past 40 years. We want to thank our supporters who have donated funds, resources & time to help us provide the necessary services our clients need to live independently and help achieve their dreams. We would not be here without your support and we can’t wait to see what the next 40 years has in store for LIFEDesigns! 

Click here to read more about our 40 years of service & how you can support LIFEDesigns!