Artistic talents create magical card, wish comes true, cookbooks for sale
Artistic talents create magical card, wish comes true, cookbooks for sale
Happy Holidays from People Inc.!
Please take a moment to enjoy our holiday greeting featuring artwork by one of our program participants!
Mary Espinosa, a program participant from Agapé Parents’ Fellowship, an affiliate of People Inc., and her winning holiday card design.
Meet the Talent Behind the Art
Mary Espinosa, 26, a day habilitation program participant from Agapé Parents’ Fellowship, an affiliate of People Inc., is the wonderful talent behind People Inc.’s 2015 holiday card design. Her design was chosen from more than 30 submissions, and she was delighted when she found out her work was selected for the cover!
“I think Mary knew that she was talented before, but to get recognized in this way took things to a new level for her,” shared Kelly Dlugosz, program manager. “We are eager to see where else her talents will take her!”
Since 2009, Mary has been a program participant of Agapé Parents’ Fellowship, which serves individuals with disabilities. She loves to create artwork because she finds it fun and relaxing. It has also been a helpful way for Mary to express herself and to develop friendships.
“Mary can be very shy; in the years that she has attended the program, we have seen her grow and have great relationships with her peers,” said Kelly. “She has also gained a tremendous amount of confidence in her artistic talent not only on her own, but also from our supportive team.”
L-R: Gary Spears; People Inc. Quality Life Coach, Stevie Wonder, Jason Smith, Nancy Olszowy and Tammy Reed; People Inc. staff.
Tribute Song Lands Face-to-Face Meeting with Stevie Wonder
Last month we told you the story of Jason Smith, 46, who has a mild intellectual disability and Cerebral palsy and receives residential and support services from People Inc. Jason dazzled all of us by co-writing, singing and creating a video of a song called “I Wonder” along with his People Inc. Life Quality Coach Gary Spears. A tribute to his idol, Stevie Wonder, Jason's video was posted to social media in anticipation of Stevie’s Buffalo concert on November 19, with a goal of 200 shares. With your help and the help of so many others, Jason exceeded his goal with 254 shares. What’s more, the buzz around Jason’s story landed him a back stage meet and greet with his idol. Jason is still on cloud nine!
Special thanks to Live Nation for their generous support. To learn more, click here.
TEDx Buffalo Video Now Available
In the October issue of our e-newsletter, we shared that our President and CEO Rhonda Frederick would be a featured speaker at TEDxBuffalo on October 22, at Babeville’s Asbury Hall in Buffalo. Her talk on the importance of employing individuals with disabilities is now available! Click here to view the video.
Proceeds from 5K Race Benefit People Inc.
A heartfelt thank you goes out to the FBI and the Amherst Police Club for donating $1,250 from a recent FBI Agents Association 5K to our campaign to build a sunroom at our Stony Point Road group home in Grand Island. Five young adults with moderate to severe disabilities live at Stony Point and spend the majority of the year indoors because of impairments. A sunroom will allow them to enjoy the seasons year-round without leaving the safety of their home. The room will bring the outdoors in and will include amazing sensory features like music and a way to see the stars. Thank you for your generosity!

People Inc. Senior Living Tenant Gets her Wish
Grand Island resident Linda Gaines, a tenant of People Inc. Marigold Senior Living, recently had her dream come true thanks to Senior Wishes. Established in late 2013 by the United Church Home Society, Senior Wishes flew Linda to Wisconsin to visit her son, a Navy veteran who is unable to travel due to injury-related seizures. It was the first time they had seen each other in seven years.
“I felt like the queen for a weekend,” said Linda upon her return. “The trip was more than I could have ever imagined.”
Senior Wishes’ mission is to honor and recognize the lifelong contributions of older citizens by granting meaningful wishes that will enhance their lives and bring them joy. If you are, or know, a senior who would benefit from the program, click here or call 716.508.2121.
International Disabilities Day
On December 3, Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo) gathered with representatives of People Inc. and members of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY) to recognize the contributions of individuals with disabilities throughout New York State. December 3 has been designated as International Day of Persons with Disabilities and was adopted in New York State in 2012.
Gallivan said: “We must continue our commitment to remove barriers that people with disabilities face and to support programs that allow individuals the opportunity to live fulfilling and productive lives.”
Peoples-Stokes said: “When we focus on the disability of an individual and not the ability, we diminish their contributions to this great state, this country and the world.”
Rhonda Frederick, president and CEO of People Inc. and president of the DDAWNY, said, “We recognize the accomplishments and obstacles that people with disabilities have overcome while also remembering the issues they, their families and not for profit providers face this upcoming legislative session.”
Under legislation sponsored by Senator Gallivan and Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes in 2012, New York joined the United Nations, World Health Organization, the United States government and countless countries in observing International Day of Persons with Disabilities. To learn more, click here.
BN360 Happy Hour for a Cause Benefits People Inc.
A big thank you to Buffalo Niagara 360 for hosting Happy Hour for a Cause on December 2 with proceeds benefitting People Inc. Professionals, local dignitaries, supporters and staff attended to help ring in the holiday season.
Pictured L-R: Katie Morse and Jeff Russo, both of WKBW-TV Channel 7 with Kevin Horrigan, People Inc.; Lindsay Riggs, Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Denise Bienko Paszkiewicz, People Inc.
People Inc. Rochester Open Interview Day
Do you have friends who live in Monroe county and are looking for a rewarding career? People Inc. is now hiring respite workers and instructors to provide care and support for individuals with developmental disabilities. An Open Interview Day will be held Wednesday, January 6, 2016, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Monroe Community College, Brighton. To learn more, click here.
People Inc. Seeking Volunteers for NYS Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
Selected by The New York State Office for the Aging to operate the New York State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, People Inc. is seeking volunteers who have a passion to assist seniors. Volunteers, called ombudsmen, help residents understand and exercise their rights to good care in an environment that protects their dignity and quality of life. Volunteers receive comprehensive training. A minimum commitment of two hours per week is required. For more information, call 716.817.9222.
December 2015
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Spread Cheer with our Holiday Cards
This holiday season, purchase cards from the People Inc. Foundation and spread cheer while making a difference! Our holiday greeting card features artwork created by an individual we serve and proceeds benefit our programs and services. To order online, click here, or click here for a printable order form. Cards may also be purchased at our People Inc. Foundation office, 1219 North Forest Road, Williamsville. Have a question? Email or call 716.817.7269.
Cookbooks Now on Sale
People Inc. Senior Living tenants have contributed their favorite recipes to create Treasured Recipes from People Inc. Senior Living, a bound collection of recipes that are rich in family traditions. Now on sale for $8, you can find a delicious meal to make, plus the cookbooks are a great holiday gift!
People Inc. Senior Living provides affordable and safe apartments to independent seniors with 19 locations throughout Western New York. To order cookbooks or for more information, call 716.817.9090. Cash or checks accepted, payable to People Inc.
Mubu’s Family Holiday Event
Looking for a fun family-friendly event this weekend? The Museum of disABLITY History presents Mubu’s Family Holiday event on Saturday, December 12, from 2 to 4 p.m., at 3826 Main Street, Buffalo. The free event is held in conjunction with the latest release from the Mubu the Morph children’s book series, Mubu’s Christmas. Mubu is the main character of a fun-filled series about individuality and lessons about self-confidence suitable for children, grades K to 3. The event includes book readings, holiday crafts, face painting, a visit from Santa and snacks. Co-hosted by Bornhava, Parent Network of WNY and People Inc., the event will help spread some holiday cheer. To register or for more information, call 716.629.3626. Click here to learn more from Mubu the Morph Author Stephen Nawotniak and Illustrator Jeffrey Scott Perdziak.

Unique Productions Presents Face It
Unique Productions, a performing arts and production company, proudly presents their upcoming play, Face It, scheduled to run until December 13, at Subversive Theatre, The Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Avenue, Buffalo. Several People Inc. program participants and staff are involved with the production of this play. For show times, click here. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by emailing unique or calling 716.243.8889.

Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.

“Tonawanda Walgreens honored by WNY Employment Consortium:” Business that supports People Inc. Supported Employment recognized. Ken-Ton Bee, December 2, 2015.
“Mubu the Morph children’s book review:” Children’s book series information produced by Museum of disABILITY History’s People Ink Press included. Buffalo Spree 2015 Holiday Shopping Guide.

Disability Scoop: Google Pledges Funds for Special Education
“The Internet giant said that it will donate $1 for every purchase made using Android Pay through Dec. 31.”

Huffington Post: Retailers can Learn from Each Other when it Comes to Disability Hiring
“We always say, when you're hiring people with disabilities, it’s not the ‘what’ that you expect to be different. You expect the same performance and productivity and output."

Today Show: Mall Santa Goes Extra Mile for Boy with Autism: ‘They just bonded and played’
"Sitting on Santa’s lap can be a horrifying experience for many children, but for someone with autism, it can be excruciating."