Our programs rock it out with Sweet Buffalo Rocks!
Our programs rock it out with Sweet Buffalo Rocks!
Happy Holidays from People Inc.!
People Inc. would like to share a holiday message with all of our supporters! To view a snow village artwork scene created by participants at our Arts Experience and After the Belle Respite Programs, click here or on the above image. From our People Inc. family, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year!
Our Programs Rock it Out! 
Participants in several of our programs have been spreading joy in a unique way by painting rocks! Joining Sweet Buffalo Rocks, an inclusive group of community members that paints and decorates rocks to hide in the Western New York area, participants have been having lots of fun creating inspirational and creative designs. 
When finished painting their rocks, participants hide them for others to find. Here are a couple reasons on why our programs got involved:

“Our group was so happy to get involved as they have written inspirational words and thoughts to brighten peoples’ days when they are found,” said Kelly Dlugosz, who works for People Inc.’s Agapé Day Habilitation. “We hope our Sweet Buffalo Rocks can bring a smile and an encouraging thought to anyone who finds them.”

“We got involved in Sweet Buffalo Rocks to put smiles on the faces of strangers, plus the individuals working on the rocks get to be creative while making something meaningful,” said Brandie Tinklepaugh, who works for People Inc.’s Elmwood Day Habilitation. “Once we started painting the rocks, we saw a need to make bags for kids and adults to carry the rocks in before placing them in the community. Our team is learning to sew and thought this would be a meaningful project to get involved in.”

According to Sweet Buffalo Rocks, the project is simple: Get a rock, paint it, decorate it, hide it, let someone find it, repeat. “I was so excited and honored when I saw that People Inc. was participating in the Sweet Buffalo Rocks project because that has been my goal for the mission since the very start,” said Kimberly LaRussa, founder of Sweet Buffalo. “The simple act of painting and hiding rocks for others to find was a way to bring the community together, so knowing that People Inc.’s participants are able to find joy in doing just that, means the world.” 

Great work to everyone who has helped spread some kindness through their rock painting! 
Mike is pictured here with Jim Kelly beside theautograph.
We're Thankful for our Community Partners
People Inc. appreciates our many community supporters, including Out of the Blue WNY, a business who has partnered with our agency to provide surprise lunch visits, garden planters and more to our various programs.  

While Out of the Blue was visiting a People Inc. residence in Orchard Park, the staff mentioned that one of the residents, Mike, would love to have Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly’s autograph. He thought it most likely could never happen, but through the help of Out of the Blue, Mike’s wish came true.

To his delight, Jim and his wife, Jill, visited Mike’s home in Orchard Park. “It became a very special night, and a lot of fun with a few tears of joy,” said Doug Smith, a member of Out of the Blue WNY and vice president of sales at North American Breweries. “This is exactly why we formed Out of the Blue!” 

The evening was an incredible experience for all. We are so thankful for Out of the Blue and their continuous generosity!
In the Spirit of Giving this Holiday Season 
Throughout the year, we receive numerous letters and feedback from family members of people we serve. Julie, a mother, advocate and guardian of Elizabeth, shared a note with us that started with: 
“During this holiday season, I am compelled to express my sincere gratitude to several People Inc. employees.” 

Julie shared the story of how People Inc. has served her daughter for nearly 15 years. After graduating high school with an IEP diploma, Elizabeth was connected with our transition program for young adults. Our staff helped her prepare for adult life; a more concentrated experience of discovery and learning, and yes, a world of work. With support from job coaching and service coordination, Liz’s interest and abilities in office work became a focus and became employed in one of our offices. “My daughter is so happy and feels that she is contributing to the work force in a positive way,” added Julie.  

This is just one example of thousands of people whose lives are impacted by People Inc. every day. During this holiday season and in the spirit of giving, will you consider making a donation to support People Inc.? Your generosity will help ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities, special needs and seniors receive the supports they need to live more healthy, independent and productive lives. To make a donation, click here. To view our 2017 Holiday Appeal, click here. For more information about making a donation to the People Inc. Foundation, email foundation@people-inc.org or call 716.817.7269. Thank you for your support!
Advocate for Direct Support Professionals 
at bFair2Directcare Rally 
Your participation is needed to help support Direct Support Professionals (DSPs)! A Western New York Rally for the bFair2DirectCare campaign will be held on Tuesday, December 19, at 10 a.m. at the Buffalo Museum of Science Auditorium, 1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo, NY. Attendance by DSPs, individuals receiving services, parents, family members and human service agency representatives is encouraged, so members of the State Senate and Assembly WNY delegation hear a unified voice for “Be Fair to Direct Care!”

The bFair2DirectCare Coalition encourages elected officials to include funding in the New York State budget for DSP wage increases, an initiative that People Inc. supports. The rally is hosted by Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York. For more information, go to the bFair2DirectCare campaign’s new website or contact Kevin Horrigan, associate vice president of public affairs, People Inc., at khorrigan@people-inc.org or 716.817.7475. Follow #bFair2DirectCare on social media.
Featured Job of the Month: Community-based Instructor
People Inc. is currently hiring for community-based instructors for locations in Lackawanna and Hamburg, NY. Community-based instructors work with individuals who have developmental disabilities in their own homes and in the community to increase their independence in activities of daily living. To apply for this employment opportunity or view other available openings, click here.
Memory Loss Program Provides Benefits for Participants and Caregivers  
The holidays are often a time for families and friends to get together and celebrate. During this time, however, people may notice behavior changes and memory loss in older relatives and friends. If a loved one has already been diagnosed with a form of Alzheimer’s or dementia, the holidays may cause anxiety and depression among families, making it difficult to celebrate. Thankfully, there are many resources available to caregivers, families and their loved ones with memory loss, during the holidays and throughout the year.

One of those resources is our unique day program, People Inc.’s Seniors Unlimited. This 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 is located at 2635 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, NY, on the border of Kenmore.

People Inc.’s Seniors Unlimited, which is accepting participants, offers a variety of activities. The program provides benefits for the person who attends, and also provides a needed break for caregivers. Participants receive socialization, activities that involve intergenerational programming, exercise, art and music therapy, along with Laughter Yoga. Provided in a safe and caring setting, educational components and a hot meal are also provided.

The cost of Seniors Unlimited may cover participants enrolled in a Managed Long-Term Care program eligible through Medicaid. There are also private pay rates and other funding sources that may be available through Erie County. Family members are welcome to visit for a tour. For more information, call 716.768.2371. For tips on how to cope with dementia, click here. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter is a beneficial resource for a variety of information and support. Their office can be reached at 716.626.0600.
New Integrated Project Accepting Apartment Applications 
Applications are still being accepted from those who are income-eligible and age 18 or older to live in our brand new People Inc. Highland School Apartments. Located on 105 Highland Avenue in Tonawanda, NY, the building includes one or two-bedroom apartments with kitchen appliances, a community room with Wi-Fi, laundry facility, storage in each apartment and a 24-hour, on-call emergency service. The adaptive, reuse project includes substantial rehabilitation of the two-story former Highland School, into an integrated and vibrant residential community. 

To learn more, click here, email housing@people-inc.org or call 716.880.3890.
Great Gifts Available
Are you looking for unique holiday gifts? The Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc., has you covered! Various items are for sale in its store, including handmade wooden pens and pepper mills, DVDs and jewelry. There is a collection of books for sale from the Abandoned History series. There are also children’s books, including the Mubu the Morph and Ivan the Invacar series, as well as Olivia the Bully. Shop during the Museum’s regular hours at 3826 Main Street, Buffalo, NY, which is open Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Annual Meeting and Educational Presentation 
Headway of WNY, a not-for-profit agency and an affiliate of People Inc., held its Annual Meeting and Educational Presentation on November 29. Members of the Advisory Council and other guests met to review Headway’s Annual Summary Report. The meeting was followed by an educational presentation by Dr. John Leddy, from the University at Buffalo Concussion Clinic. He led an informal and informative discussion about the implications of concussions and provided new insights about treatment and rehabilitation options.

Headway of WNY provides support groups, trainings and educational programs to both survivors and caregivers of brain injury. To learn more about Headway of WNY, go to its website or call 716.408.3100.

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Purchase People Inc. Greeting Cards
It’s a great time of year to send greetings to those you care about! People Inc. holiday cards are for sale, featuring artwork created by our talented program participants. Cards may be purchased at our People Inc. administrative headquarters, 1219 North Forest Road, Williamsville, NY. If you have any questions, contact Jennifer Robinson in the People Inc. Foundation at jrobinson@people-inc.org or call 716.817.7269.
Shop and Support
People Inc.
Do you need to finish your holiday shopping? By purchasing items through various programs that benefit the People Inc. Foundation, you can help ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities, special needs and seniors receive the supports they need. Check out the options listed below. Happy shopping! 

Shop and Amazon Gives  
Amazon will donate .5% of the proceeds of your purchases to the
People Inc. Foundation through Amazon Smile. It’s an easy way to give, plus no additional money is added to your shopping cost! To shop and support People Inc. all at the same time, click here

Embrace the Difference
If you’re looking for a unique piece of jewelry for someone special, check out the Embrace the Difference® collection of bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Ten percent of your purchase will be donated to People Inc. upon designation. You can choose People Inc. as the beneficiary of your Embrace the Difference® purchase at Reeds Jewelers/Jenss Décor locations or online. To start shopping, click here.
Support On Our
Way @ Wayside
The People Inc. Foundation is thankful to everyone who donated to People Inc. on Giving Tuesday last month. We’re also thrilled to share that donor John Kerling was the lucky winner of a pack of People Inc. holiday cards. Congratulations!

All donations that were made on Giving Tuesday will help benefit our new project, On Our Way @ Wayside, an innovative service to be introduced in 2018. Three transitional apartments in Hamburg, NY, will provide opportunities for young people with developmental disabilities to experience independent living, while receiving training to learn and gain skills that will help them succeed in their next step toward community living and increased independence.

To make a donation to benefit the On Our Way @ Wayside project, click here or contact Jennifer Robinson at jrobinson@people-inc.org or call 716.817.7269.
Recipes for your Favorite Cook 
Cookbooks created by our very own People Inc. Senior Living tenants, Treasured Recipes from People Inc. Senior Living, are on sale for a limited time! The book is a bound collection of recipes that are rich in family traditions. For $8, the cookbooks make great holiday gifts! Cash or checks accepted, payable to People Inc. To purchase a cookbook or to learn more about the affordable apartments for seniors, call 716.817.9090.
Scrooge's Christmas
People Inc.’s Arts Experience Program, a fine arts day habilitation program, is presenting a staged reading of “Scrooge’s Christmas,” an adaptation of the classic tale by Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol.”

When: Wednesday, December 20,
at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Southeast Works, a division of People Inc., 181 Lincoln Street, Depew, NY
Info: Contact Amy Jakiel at ajakiel@people-inc.org or 716.768.2367.
Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.

“New housing project now open; accepting apartment applications:” People Inc. Highland School Apartments included. The Buffalo News, December 4, 2017.

“Housing development opens in City of Tonawanda:” People Inc. Highland School Apartments included. Ken-Ton Bee, November 22, 2017.

“Local theater troupe gives people with disabilities ‘a fair shake:’ People Inc. included. WBFO 88.7, November 21, 2017.
“Cancer, stroke and heart disease deaths in the U.S. have all declined by 10 percent or more during the past decade, while dementia-related causes have climbed more than 40 percent, according the Alzheimer's Association.

Disability Scoop: Mom, Daughter with Down syndrome Win $45,000 in Cooking Contest
“I’m impressed every day with the things she can do. I think the world needs to know.”

The Mighty: Please Don’t Call Me ‘Wheelchair Bound’
“My wheelchair is not a negative item that should be looked down on.”

WXXI News (NPR affiliate): Disabled and their Caregivers Ask for More Pay
“New York faces fiscal challenges in 2018, but that has not stopped groups from asking for more money in the new state budget, including agencies that provide care to people with disabilities.”
Get Social with Us!
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