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Upcoming Recruitment Rally with the Buffalo Sabres
Upcoming Recruitment Rally with the Buffalo Sabres
Senior Companion Volunteers Provides Opportunities for Fellow Seniors
Sometimes it is the simple things in life that make a huge difference. For the past year, Gene Herzog has visited Joan McCall and they talk about life. He takes her to the eye doctor and they go on errands, but that is not all.
Gene is a volunteer for our People Inc. Senior Companion Program and helps Joan three days a week. The program assists older adults with daily living tasks so they can retain their independence.
A resident of Angola, Joan, who is visually impaired, appreciates the program. “It’s a lot of help and company for me,” Joan shared. As a widow, she finds the support comforting. “It lifts my day to have Gene here to talk with me.”
Gene also helps Joan with getting her mail, which may seem like a small feat, but it involves walking down three roads to the main road, where her mailbox is located. In addition, Gene helps with tasks to make things easier for Joan, like picking up prescriptions, taking her to visit her husband’s cemetery grave and going to the bank.
Program volunteers gain a lot, too. “It gives me something to do and a chance to meet great people,” said Gene, who lives in Eden. “I help people get active and it’s a great feeling that I make an impact. I think helping my late mom made me realize that other seniors also need help. As a retiree I have too much to offer; I cannot just sit around and not do anything.”
This past summer, Gene helped Joan enjoy a beloved past time by helping her walk the beach, something she had not been able to in nearly 10 years. “I enjoyed getting my feet wet in the water,” Joan said with a smile. Through some guided steps, Joan experienced the smell of the lake, the wind in her hair, the sound of waves and warmth from the sun.
The Senior Companion Program matches qualified volunteers with participating seniors age 55 or over who live independently that may benefit from socialization and assistance. Volunteers, also age 55 or older who live in Erie county, are screened and serve 15 to 40 hours per week. In addition to training, companions earn a tax-free hourly stipend, plus travel and meal reimbursement.
The program is currently recruiting for additional volunteers. To learn more about this gratifying opportunity, view a recent news segment or call 716.768.2381.
Upcoming Recruitment Rally with the Buffalo Sabres
We have some very exciting news to share with you! People Inc. has teamed up with the Buffalo Sabres to host a Recruitment Rally in the Lexus Club at the KeyBank Center on Monday, March 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees will have the chance to learn about People Inc., interview with a recruiter, plus meet Sabres alumni and enter to win prizes including signed items and game tickets. Click here to learn more about the event. The Buffalo Sabres are proud to support people with developmental disabilities and other special needs in our community, and we are thrilled to have them as our partner.
Pictured L-R: John Buttino, Office of Fire Prevention and Control Fire Inspector, and Nathan Sandonato, People Inc. program participant.
Nathan Pursues Fire Safety Interests and Follows in Grandfather’s Footsteps
Nathan Sandonato, a participant in our agency’s Pathway to Employment Program, has always had an interest in fire safety and prevention, thanks to a close relationship with his grandfather, who was a volunteer firefighter in Niagara Falls. Though his grandfather passed away five years ago, Nathan was able to reconnect with his passion after his People Inc. job coach helped him secure a six-month internship with People Inc.’s Quality (QI) Improvement Department.
As part of his internship, Nathan visits sites to inspect fire detectors and other fire safety tasks. After successfully interviewing, Nathan is now able to take part in QI visits to residential locations, where he helps assess fire safety by inspecting fire detectors, door durability and more.
His most recent inspection in Lewiston took place alongside Office of Fire Prevention and Control Fire Inspector John Buttino, who even gave Nathan his own ID tag and kit of materials. After only one month into his internship so far, Nathan is enjoying the opportunity to explore his interests and also follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. “My grandpa would be proud of me!” he said.
View “In Celebration of Down Syndrome” Exhibit
The Museum of disABILITY History’ exhibit, “In Celebration of Down Syndrome,” has been extended and will continue to the end of March 2017. The exhibit features vibrant multimedia and Hollywood memorabilia, explores medical history, myths and facts, success stories and popular culture. School groups and parents, along with human service and medical professionals are encouraged to visit.
Many family members who have loved ones with Down syndrome are impressed with the exhibit. “People with Down syndrome tend to be over looked and their abilities underestimated due to outdated stereotypes,” said Amy Monson, parent and president of the Down Syndrome Parents Group of Western New York. “It is our hope that people will see the exhibit and realize that individuals with Down syndrome have so much more to offer than they are often given credit for. They are all unique individuals with their own interests, abilities and talents.”
The exhibit is located inside the Museum’s main exhibit gallery at 3826 Main street, Buffalo. For more information or to arrange a guided tour for yourself or organization, email or call 716.629.3626. The exhibit was created with the assistance of Down Syndrome Parents Group of WNY and NYS Council for the Humanities.
Beneficial Senior Services Available
People Inc. Senior Services provide many benefits for older adults as well as their caregivers. Two of our programs include:
Affordable Housing: Whether thinking of downsizing or removing the worry of household maintenance, like shoveling the snow, it is helpful to plan ahead and tour various living options. With 19 locations throughout Western New York, People Inc. Senior Living provides safe and maintenance-free housing for independent seniors age 62 and up who are income eligible. The one-bedroom apartments include a kitchen with appliances, plus some utilities are included. Service coordinators are available to provide tenants assistance to services at no extra charge. Group transportation to grocery stores is provided, plus there are a variety of social activities for tenants who choose to participate. Safety features include a 24-hour response system, stove fire prevention devices, grab bars in the bathroom, emergency pull-cords and a secure entrance. Tenants are welcome to have one small pet. To learn more, view a recent news segment or call 716.817.9090. 
Memory Loss Day Program: Family members may notice changes in loved ones that lead to health concerns and questions – in particular memory loss. Although some changes in cognitive ability can occur with age, serious memory problems are not a part of normal aging. If you are caring for a family member with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it is important to know that caregivers are not alone through this devastating disease. Services are available to provide support, through People Inc.’s Seniors Unlimited Program. The social day program meets the needs of adults who have developed dementia or memory loss, which may have been caused by Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease or other illnesses. The program assists families, providing caregivers with the opportunity to work, complete errands or take a break. Participants receive socialization, exercise and art therapy in a safe environment. To learn more, view a recent news segment or call 716.768.2370.
Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.
“The puzzle of local mineral springs:” Series of abandoned history themed research-based articles by Museum of disABILITY History Founder James M. Boles, EdD. Lockport Union Sun and Journal, January 4, 2017.
“People Inc. plans to convert Grant Elementary into apartment complex:” People Inc. featured. Niagara Gazette, December 25, 2016.
“Willow Senior Living resident keeps everyone in the spirit:” People Inc. Willow Senior Living and tenant featured. Niagara Gazette, December 24, 2016.
“Spreading Christmas cheer with carols:” Participants of People Inc.’s Young Adult Life Transitions Program from Niagara County Community College are featured. Lockport Union Sun and Journal, December 21, 2016.
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Featured Job of the Month: Bi-Lingual Medicaid Service Coordinator
People Inc. is hiring for a variety of positions throughout Western New York and Rochester. Our featured job of the month is bi-lingual Medicaid service coordinator. The role includes assisting people with developmental disabilities in gaining access to necessary and appropriate services and supports. Requirements include a Bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology or human services; bi-lingual in Spanish/English; and one year of experience working with people who have developmental disabilities or one year of case management. To apply or view other openings, click here.
Give $10 a Month or More and Earn Exclusive Supporting Member Benefits
Pledge a recurring gift of $10 a month or a one-time gift of $100 or more to become a People Inc. Supporting Member and receive our exclusive 2017 calendar featuring photos of people we serve and their adorable pets!
As a Supporting Member, you can identify a friend or family member and we will mail him/her a calendar on your behalf. Please include your loved one’s name and contact information in the “note” section of the donation form. Additional benefits include an exclusive Entertainment Reward Card valued at $500 in savings for travel, dining, entertainment and shopping good at more than 360,000 places! Plus, Supporting Members receive admission to our appreciation event in the spring.
To become a Supporting Member, click here. For more information, contact Jennifer Robinson, at or by calling 716.817.7269.
Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders in the Classroom
As part of its Dialogues on disABILITY Workshop Series, the Museum of disABILITY History will host the “Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders in the Classroom” workshop. Presented by President and Founder of the Tourette Syndrome Association of Greater New York State Susan Conners, MEd, the workshop will focus on Tourette Syndrome (TS) and ways in which parents and educators can help young people with TS and associated disorders manage their behavior. Held in association with Learning Partners, the workshop offers Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
When: Saturday, January 28, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Museum of disABILITY History 3826 Main Street, Buffalo
Costs: The workshop is $40 for professionals and parents and $10 for students. There is an additional fee of $40 for those pursuing CEUs. 
Info: To register, call 716.629.3626 or click here for a registration form
The Buffalo News: Affordable housing is rapidly disappearing (Letter)
“Kudos to People Inc. for its plan to build affordable senior housing adjacent to the very high-end Canterbury Woods development on Gates Circle.”

Fox News Health: Bodybuilder with cerebral palsy hailed an inspiration as video of him flexing goes viral
“A Virginia man showing off his physical prowess isn’t just doing it for looks— he’s showing people that determination can overcome circumstances.”

Washington Times: Watertown teen with Down syndrome creates dog treat business
“At 19, Gracie Jagler, with the help of her parents, has turned a lifelong affinity for her family’s dogs into a robust business that has made thousands of dollars for the young entrepreneur, who has Down syndrome.”