ECSE 3-5 Early Childhood Learning Center
We had our first event for parents with children who have special needs. We called the event Parent’s Night In. We had about 30 people and 8 staff. We catered a meal, had a speaker, and offered childcare for the whole family. The families who came appreciated this night so much. They dove into great conversation and shared resources. We ended the night asking how we as a community can be a support to them. They want more Parent’s Night In events! Thank you for partnering with us to encourage these families and let them know they are a valuable part of our community.
Funded Program: Domestic Violence Advocacy
(Project funding helped in part to compensate for attorney fees as a means of a support for the client.) The client was strangled by her husband, abuser, 3 years ago and left for dead. He served 30 days in jail for his crime. We helped the client with safety planning and assisted with an Order for Protection. Over the last 3 years, the abuser has continued to abuse Claudia using the court system as a weapon to maintain control over her life. The client was ready to file for divorce but didn’t have money to retain an attorney. We helped her organize the dissolution paperwork and offered support as she prepared to file on her own. The divorce is now going to trial, as her abuser is refusing to agree to many of the clients' requests in the petition. Staff agreed that the client is a good candidate for some of the funding that we received through a special grant. We were able to refer and retain an attorney for the client, so that she can have representation and get through her divorce that she has worked so hard for. Legal Advocate Karina accompanied the client to a consultation with a local attorney, and McLeod Alliance staff will continue to advocate for her.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota/LSS Meals
Program: LSS Meals and Meals on Wheels
Pat is an 80-year-old man who lives in the Hutchinson area. He recently lost his wife to cancer. Pat lives on his social security income and doesn't know how to cook his own meals. He visited his doctor because he was feeling very weak. His doctor found him to be malnourished. He suggested that Pat sign up for meals on wheels. Pat says he loves the food, and he really enjoys the homemade desserts. He says "The meals are a real blessing to me. I feel so much better now that I get some good healthy meals."
2022 Health and Wellness Day, MPLive! club
Individuals ages 16-35, with a wide variety of cognitive disabilities, including Down syndrome, ASD, Fragile X syndrome, anxiety, depression, other mental health concerns, FASD and other cognitive impairments
Health and Wellness Day, 2022 was once again an amazing event! We filled all available spots for the club (a maximum of 24 are available). Our instructors taught break out sessions in exercise, art, cooking and personal safety. We observed members as they tried new foods, new activities, explored new relationships with both familiar and new faces with both peers and adults. In cooking, our attendees made fresh spring rolls...with ALL of the colors of the rainbow! It was not only beautiful to watch, but to see them try such unfamiliar foods...and like them! was awesome! Exercise club can often be a challenge for individuals with special needs, but our instructor had them doing exercises, working up a sweat and having fun all the while! Art is always a fun class, as the members explored the use of color and how it relates to emotions. It is always a great idea to revisit personal safety concepts, and it is such a privilege to hear the attendees ask questions, engage in conversation and practice how to take care of themselves, and potentially someone else, in a safe environment.
MPLive! Tuesday club will continue meeting through the end of December. This club meets for an hour and a half on Tuesday mornings, with 2 exercise sessions, one art and one cooking. This past week, we baked and decorated Christmas cookies and treats, and then jumped in the van to deliver plates to our friends at Faith Lutheran Church and Woodstone Senior Living Center. We ended up singing Christmas carols and sharing a lot of hugs and joy! We love going out into the community to share with others. Exercise club keeps us in shape and having fun doing it! And art is always fun- creating home dec items, or creating and sharing things with others. We will continue this club into the new year again!