Grant and award news, plus so much more!
Grant and award news, plus so much more!
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Happy Holidays from People Inc.!
From our People Inc. family to yours, we wish you a joyous holiday season and a wonderful new year! This year’s holiday video message features beautiful artwork by Torrein Harris, who attends People Inc. Young Adult Life Transitions Program at Canisius College and lives at a People Inc. group home. Thank you to all of our families, donors and community partners for your year-round support! 
Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation logo
Grant Received from Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation 
We are proud to have been awarded $100,000 as part of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation National Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) Expanded Effect Quality of Life Grant. The grant will be used to purchase specialty equipment at the Elmwood Health Center. We are so thankful for this generous donation from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation,” said Frank Azzarelli, executive director of the Elmwood Health Center. “The equipment, including a new Quantum Q6 Edge power wheelchair, pressure mapping system, ceiling tracks, exam tables, wheelchair scales and a Power Wheelchair Driver Training System, will greatly benefit our 500 patients living with paralysis. Through use of these resources, patients will be able to access exceptional health care, increase their health and enhance their quality of life.” Learn more about the grant
Barb, Laura and Andrea DeLong in their Christmas decorated living room.
Barb, Laura and Andrea DeLong
Make a Difference this Holiday Season
It’s wonderful when families share how satisfied they are with the support they receive for their loved ones. Barb DeLong, a mom, recently expressed how happy she is with the medical care her daughter receives at the Elmwood Health Center, an affiliate of People Inc.
People Inc. established the Elmwood Health Center 25 years ago to bring together medical and healthcare professionals who have special expertise assisting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In June 2016 and at the age of 25, Laura started to see Mark Zambron, MD. Barb shared this moving experience from the first time her daughter was seen there:
“Even though Laura is non-verbal, Dr. Zambron didn’t assume that she couldn’t understand – he actually knelt down at her eye-level and talked with HER directly. My daughter was anxious coming to a new place, but in the very first moments, a calming connection was made. Then the doctor took off Laura’s shoes and socks and examined her feet. She hadn’t received that kind of attention in many, many years. I was moved to tears and thrilled at the same time. Still today, we know that Laura is comfortable because she greets Dr. Zambron with her beautiful smile. He in turn treats Laura with dignity and respect. The whole team – doctors, nurses and office staff – are so patient-focused.”
There is now a waiting list to receive medical care at the Elmwood Health Center. To meet the increased demand for care, construction plans are underway to expand and relocate the Elmwood Health Center just a half mile down the road from its current location in North Buffalo, NY. Construction is slated for completion at the end of 2020. Your donation this holiday season will directly fund this project, so that many others like Laura can experience the care they need and deserve. Your support is so appreciated. For more information, contact Jennifer Robinson, People Inc. Foundation, at or call 716.817.7269. 
Tracey Kosmoski, paralegal, People Inc.; Rhonda Frederick, president and CEO, People Inc.; Helen Ferraro-Zaffram, managing attorney, Center for Elder Law & Justice and Korin Frantz, accountant, Center for Elder Law & Justice
WNY Coalition Pooled Trusts Earns Award
The Network in Aging of Western New York, Inc. presented the “Program Award of Excellence” to the WNY Coalition Pooled Trusts – a collaboration between People Inc. and the Center for Elder Law & Justice. The award showcases a program that has been successfully implemented to enhance the Western New York geriatric citizenry and meet a clearly identified need within the community. Established in 2004, the partners originally created the program to enhance the quality of life of people with developmental disabilities. Today, three distinct Supplemental Needs Trusts (SNT) assist people with qualifying disabilities to secure their financial future, without causing them to lose their government benefits. Learn more about WNY Coalition Pooled Trusts.
Pictured L-R: Tracey Kosmoski, paralegal, People Inc.; Rhonda Frederick, president and CEO, People Inc.; Helen Ferraro-Zaffram, managing attorney and Korin Frantz, accountant, both of Center for Elder Law & Justice.
Celebration of Holiday Joy Event Supports People Inc. Respite After-School Programs 
People Inc. is pleased to benefit from the Celebration of Holiday Joy event, presented by EverHaunt. The event will be held the weekend of December 21 and 22, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, at Angola Seasonal Events Center, 144 Lake St, Angola, NY. The family-friendly event is open to the public and will include cookie decorating, face painting, an “Arctic Circle Adventure” and of course, the opportunity to meet Santa at his Angola Outpost! Admission is one new unwrapped toy per person. We’re grateful to announce that the toys will be donated to People Inc. for our Respite After School locations to use while attending the program and for children who live in our residential services. Suggested toys include board games, puzzles, Barbies, action figures, coloring books, craft kits, Disney or Pixar DVDs, Wii games and sensory toys. For more information, email or check out EverHaunt’s Facebook event page.
Pictured from left to right: People Inc. employees and supporters: Frank and Tanya Perri, Robert Bedigan, Rhonda Frederick, Sheldon and Quintella Cottrell, Wanda Watts, Barbara Johnson and Bradford Watts.
In the Community: People Inc. Celebrates with Buffalo Urban League 
People Inc. proudly supports the Buffalo Urban League’s continuing service to the community and celebrated at their 2019 Buffalo Urban League Gala. Buffalo Urban League President and CEO Brenda McDuffie is part of the People Inc. Board of Directors.
Pictured L-R: People Inc. employees and supporters Frank and Tanya Perri, Robert Bedigan, Rhonda Frederick, Sheldon and Quintella Cottrell, Wanda Watts, Barbara Johnson and Bradford Watts. 
Portrait style picture of Teresa Oestereich
Meet Contract Manufacturing’s Teresa Oestereich
As the truck driver and material handler for People Inc. Contract Manufacturing, Teresa Oestereich’s 12 years have been rooted in ensuring the quality of the assembly and production work performed by people with developmental disabilities in the site-based pre-vocational program in Depew, NY. She is responsible for communicating the expectations of customers and helping to create different ways for the workers to perform the tasks. Teresa brings a wealth of commercial manufacturing experience to her role. She remarked, “I really enjoy working at People Inc. My interactions with both the customers and manufacturing employees are different every day. I also get to combine my multi-tasking skills with a keen attention to detail to ensure a quality product is delivered to the customer.” For more information on how we can meet your business needs, contact us at or 716.683.7100. 
People Inc. Linwood Lafayette
Senior Apartments
Now Accepting Apartment Applications for Affordable Housing Locations  
People Inc. offers affordable housing in various locations across Western New York! We encourage you to share these openings with family and friends who may be interested:
  • Academy Place Senior Apartments, located at 1 School Street, Gowanda, NY, and managed by People Inc., are accepting applications for a two-bedroom apartment. These apartments are ideal for older adults in the Southern Tier who are in need of affordable housing. The complex provides HUD Section 202 Affordable Housing and New York State Tax Credit apartments.
    Info/Apartment application: Email or call 716.817.9090.
  • People Inc. Senior Living accepts apartment applications year-round for its locations throughout Western New York, including Amherst, Blasdell, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport, South Buffalo, Springville and Wheatfield. The affordable apartments are for independent older adults age 62 and up who meet the federally-mandated household income guidelines. Info/apartment application: Email or call 716.817.9090.
  • People Inc. Grant Street Apartments, currently under construction at 25 Grant Street in North Tonawanda, NY, are for people 18 years and older and who meet income eligibility. Rental applications are currently being accepted. Occupancy is expected in April 2020.
    Info/apartment application: Email or call 716.880.3890
  • People Inc. Highland School Apartments, located at 105 Highland Avenue, Tonawanda, NY, have one-bedroom apartments available for people who are 18 or older and meet federally-mandated household income guidelines. Info/apartment application: Email or call 716.694.1623.
  • People Inc. Jefferson Avenue Apartments, currently under construction at 1140 and 1166 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo, NY, are for people 18 years and older and who meet income eligibility. Rental applications are currently being accepted. Occupancy is expected in March 2020. Info/apartment application: Email or call 716.880.3890.
  • People Inc. Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments, located at 637 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY, are accepting applications from people who are 55 or older and meet federally-mandated household income guidelines. Info/apartment application: Email or call 716.881.6600.
Young male direct support professional helping a young man who is living with a disabilty.
Featured Job of the Month:
Direct Support Professional
People Inc. is seeking direct support professionals to work in our group homes. Full and part time positions are available with evening, overnight or weekend shifts. In this position, you will assist people with developmental disabilities or other special needs as needed in all activities, areas of daily living and personal care needs. The ideal candidate enjoys assisting others to reach their full potential and participating in community activities. Requirements include: 18 years or older; valid driver’s license that meets agency policy; high school diploma or GED preferred, but not required. Excellent benefits and opportunities include: Paid time off, Health/Dental/Vision Plans, tuition reimbursement, employee perks and discounts, 401(k) plan and much more. To apply or to view all of our employment openings, go to the Available Jobs page on our website or call 716.322.7050 for more information.
Apply for AmeriCorps ETHOS Program
The People Inc. AmeriCorps ETHOS Program introduces people to a career in human services, while providing them valuable job skills, a living allowance, student loan deferment and an education award toward college and other
benefits during their year of service. If an AmeriCorps member is at least 55 years of age
at the start of their service, they can transfer the education award to their children, step-children, foster children, grandchildren or step-grandchildren. Those who have served in the U.S. Military (including the Guard and Reserve), their families and those with a disability are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Applicants are now being accepted for the 2020 service year. More information is on our website or contact Jeff Sanderson at or 716.817.7463.
Three People Inc. Embrace the Difference multi band bracelets.
Shop for a Gift that Sparkles
If you are looking for a beautiful piece of jewelry for someone special this holiday season or to complement your party outfits, look no further than the new Embrace the Difference® wrap bracelets with a silver tone butterfly charm. The new styles feature sparkling colorful beads in black or crystal on a silver wire, or grey pearl and gold beads on a gold wire to add a bit of dazzle. Order your bracelet today! Shipping and pick-up are available. For more information, contact Jennifer Robinson at or 716.817.7269.
Purchase Holiday Cards to Support
People Inc. 
Want to send a holiday greeting to someone
you care about? People Inc. holiday cards are now available! There are three designs to
choose from, all created by people we support! Proceeds from the sale benefit programs and services provided by People Inc. To purchase,
go to and choose your design for the ship or pick-up option OR contact Jennifer Robinson at or 716.817.7269 to arrange an in-person card purchase. All pick-ups available at People Inc., 1219 North Forest Rd, Williamsville, NY.
The holiday cards are on sale until Wednesday, December 18 (or while supplies last).
Make a Tax Savvy Gift of Stocks in 2019 Your Legacy of Love 
Year-end is an ideal time to review financial affairs and investment portfolios. Gains from appreciated assets present an opportunity to take advantage of tax laws that encourage charitable gifts of stocks and securities (mutual funds, bonds). Gifting appreciated stock directly to the People Inc. Foundation – rather than selling the assets and donating the after-tax cash proceeds – can significantly increase the amount of funds you have available for charitable giving while providing you with a larger tax benefit. This may be a great way to begin to fund your legacy during your lifetime.
For more information or to make your year-end gift of appreciated stocks and/or securities,
contact Denise Bienko at 716.817.7470 or Christine Mathieu at 716.817.7256. 
DTC#0443, HQ4042425, Key Investment Services 1-800-547-2968.
Make Your Holiday Shopping Matter with AmazonSmile
Help support People Inc. this holiday season, while shopping for your family and friends! When you purchase electronics, games, toys, books and more, AmazonSmile donates .05 percent of every purchase to the People Inc. Foundation. To start shopping, go to On your first visit, select People Inc. as your charitable organization for eligible purchases before you begin – People Inc. will be saved and every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation. Enjoy your holiday shopping!   
Picure of the new Museum of disABILITY History website homepage.
Check Out NEW Museum of disABILITY History Website 
The Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc., is pleased to share its new website. The only museum of its kind in the U.S., the Museum of disABILITY History’s website provides various resources, a virtual tour and an online store, along with news and events. Visit the new website today
Memberships Support Headway’s Mission 
Did you know that Headway of WNY’s membership program helps to support its mission? Headway of WNY, an affiliate of People Inc., thanks all current members for their commitment and support. Membership helps make it possible to provide outreach and support in a variety of different ways, including: Support groups, semi-annual newsletters, educational outreach and presentations, advocacy and identification of supports. New members are invited to join at any time. Memberships are valid for one year and are renewable on an annual basis. For more information, to review membership levels or to become a member, go to the Membership page on the Headway of WNY website.

Pictured from left to right: Pam Kefi, executive director of DAS, alongside the DAS Deaf Advisory Council: Michael Cross, Nanette Harmon, Patty Tadak, Robert Cagle and Sue Wantuck.
DAS Celebrates a Magical Homecoming
Deaf Access Services (DAS), an affiliate of People Inc., hosted “A Magical Homecoming” last month. The event was open to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities, along with people from the Hearing community who support them. It included performances around each guest table by Matthew “Magic” Morgan, an award-winning Deaf magician. DAS is the only local non-profit community organization solely dedicated to serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities.
Pictured from left to right: Pam Kefi, executive director of DAS, alongside the DAS Deaf Advisory Council: Michael Cross, Nanette Harmon, Patty Tadak, Robert Cagle and Sue Wantuck. Each council member was presented with a Leadership Award for their contributions to the community. 
Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and
agency representatives.
“Western New York nonprofit lays wreaths at Forest Lawn Cemetery:” People Inc. included. WGRZ-TV Channel 2, December 4, 2019. 
“Festival of Trees:” People Inc. Young Adult Life Transitions Program included. Niagara Gazette, December 3, 2019. 
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