A Message from President & CEO: Jo Ann Simons
There are various ways and much debate about the ways nonprofit organizations can and should measure their success. Do you simplify your mission to ensure that all goals are quantifiable? Do you invest dollars into procedures that will track your clients over several years to determine if your organization touched them in a way that had lasting impact? Do you examine the health of the organization itself by measuring staff retention, financial stability and demand for services?
These are all great ideas and I am all for measuring and quantifying the good work we do here at Cardinal Cushing Centers. But today I want to focus on a factor of our success that has an overall value and impact that is priceless: our partnerships.
We have been extremely fortunate to have developed transformational relationships with other organizations and companies over the years. Rockland Trust has sponsored a golf tournament that is in its 28th year. From the pool of golfers who play in this tournament, we recruited a talented runner and fund-raiser for our inaugural Boston Marathon team, Gabe Dutra. VERC Enterprises is a major supporter of ours, but they also provide jobs to our students and adults. These jobs create opportunities for greater independence and a fulfilling life. How do you put a value on that? Countless other individuals we support have competitive employment because we team up with the Best Buddies Jobs program and because we are proud to call BNY Mellon a partner. Thanks to the Bruins Foundation and Covidien, the entire Cushing community has the opportunity to be healthy and workout in our new fitness center. This is an invaluable contribution. Happy and healthy employees yields a more productive and positive work environment.
I could go on and on listing all the phenomenal partnerships that help make Cardinal Cushing Centers tick. But instead, I will end with some partners who recently made our annual Springtime Gala a huge success. To our 500 guests, our clothing designers and our top sponsors: Ted & Maureen English, NFP, BJ’s Charitable Foundation, BNY Mellon, Castaway LLC A. Film Co., Century Bank, Hays Companies, Shields Health Care Group, and Voya Financial, thank you for your commitment to our mission. Because of you, and all of our partners, we will continue to change lives, hopefully for another 67 years.
Jo Ann Simons
President & CEO
The Value of “Springtime” Partnerships
To hold a gala with 500 guests, a silent auction, a live auction, a fashion show and an award ceremony is no small feat. To have it come together so well, and be successful in raising $450,000 to support individuals with intellectual disabilities is only due to the generous partners who make the night possible.
Members of the Host Committee and the Gala Committee were able to secure generous sponsors and fill all 50 tables in the ballroom. Great donors like TJX, PIOL, Sullivan Tire and many, many others made our live and silent auctions a success. Finally, for the highlight of the evening, our fashion show would not have been as vivid or dynamic if not for our partners who donated their apparel to our models. Special thanks to L.L. Bean, lululemon, TJX, Natales, PIOL and Talbots for making us look so stylish for our guests. If not for the power of partnership, our 50th annual Springtime gala would not have been possible. We thank you. To see highlights of the night, check out the video below:
We hope you enjoy this snapshot of the event!
New Partnerships with Meeting House Montessori School
When one door closes, another opens- and sometimes even wider than you had anticipated. That sums up the union of Cardinal Cushing Centers and Meeting House Montessori School of Braintree. Meeting House Montessori will be renting space from Cushing and moving into its Braintree facility that currently houses the St. Coletta Day School.
Steve Putnam, Educational Director of the Montessori School, shared Simons’ excitement over the deal, saying “Part of our mission is to prepare students for life and the social and community relationships they should be building with the people around them. This is another piece of the puzzle as we help students round out their development.”
The staffs of the two schools are discussing how to maximize the sharing of the space, resources, and, perhaps most importantly, the interaction between students. It is reasonable to expect that the older Montessori students may be able to help their Cushing counterparts with academic and social activities. One thing is for certain, though: both students from both schools will certainly learn a lot from each other, and we couldn’t be more excited about this new partnership!
A Partnership for Fun: Bridget & Amy
Who doesn’t enjoy spending time with friends? Whether it is a trip to the mall, going out to dinner or heading to the nail salon, we all have fun and fulfilling lives when we venture out with good friends. Adults with intellectual disabilities are no different.
For Amy Slater and Bridget Studley (affectionately called “Bee” by Amy) an excursion together means a fun time and the opportunity for each woman to use her strengths to help the other. Always ready to enjoy a good meal, when Amy and Bridget go out to a restaurant Bridget uses her reading skills to navigate the menu options while Amy’s math and number skills come in handy when it is time to pay the bill. Together they make a great team!
After living in the same group home for over 12 years, Amy and Bridget have shared many adventures together and look forward to many more in the future. If they are taking a trip to Disney World or shopping for prom dresses, these two women always enjoy each other’s company. “I feel so happy” Bridget tells me at their most recent visit to Friendly’s.
A Message from President & CEO: Jo Ann Simons
Celebratory. This describes the past three months here at Cardinal Cushing Centers. December was a festive month, full of opportunities for us to gather as a community and share excitement for the holiday season. A yearly special treat is our celebration with Bob Sweeney and the Boston Bruins Foundation in Hanover, as well as a Bank of America sponsored holiday party that takes place on our Braintree campus. In January we celebrated the success of our Opportunity Fund campaign, realizing our goal of over $150,000 from 325 donors. We are grateful and appreciative to everyone who helped us achieve success.
We also celebrated our partnership with Best Buddies. On Tuesday, December 10th, Cardinal Cushing Centers proudly received the 2013 Champion of Inclusion Award at Best Buddies’ annual Evening of Opportunity. Over 300 guests gathered at the Seaport Hotel in Boston to celebrate the individuals employed through the Best Buddies Massachusetts Jobs Program as well as the employer partners who make inclusion in the workplace possible. Tedeschi Food Shops was also honored with the Employer of the Year award.
Supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities in their search for meaningful, paid employment opportunities is an integral part of our mission. As you will read in our newsletter, we have made great progress with a new employment program, made possible through the generosity of the Arthur F. Blanchard Trust via the BNY Mellon Charitable Giving Program.
To express just how integral employers are to our mission, we are planning for our annual April luncheon that honors our current employment partners. If you or someone you know would like more information on the benefits of hiring individuals with intellectual disabilities, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to start that conversation.
Jo Ann Simons
President & CEO
Introducing Our 2014 Marathon Team
Cardinal Cushing Centers is pleased to announce the members of our inaugural 2014 Boston Marathon team: Tessa Casey of Duxbury, Jonathan Peck of Pembroke, Gabe Dutra of Hingham and our own employee, Rob Wheeler. Our mighty team has set a goal of raising $25,000 for Cardinal Cushing Centers.
Tessa is a parent of one of our adult residents, Matt Casey. Matt also participates in one of our day programs for adults, Life Opportunities Unlimited (LOU). Tessa is the owner of Sweet Sense.
Jonathan is the Regional Vice President of DTZ, Inc. and is a wonderful advocate for organizations that support individuals with disabilities.
Gabe is a Regional VP for Ridgeworth Investments. Ridgeworth has been an avid corporate sponsor of our organization for several years and Gabe is excited to become more personally involved with Cardinal Cushing Centers.
Rob, who works in our education department, was one of the finish line heroes during last year’s marathon. You can read more about his life saving efforts here: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/boston-bombing-lifelong-friends-article-1.1325084
If you would like to support our runners as they battle this artic winter we are having, visit: http://www.crowdrise.com/CardinalCC2014BostonMarathon
To read more about our runners, check them out in the Hanover Mariner: http://cushingcenters.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Hanover-Mariner-1204131.pdf
Braintree St. Coletta Day School: A Place to Learn, Work & Play!
The Braintree St. Coletta Day School, a school for students with physical and intellectual disabilities, is expanding its offerings to students. While the School has always offered an educational curriculum, art therapy and adapted physical education, it is in the process of expanding its Music Therapy Program and Job Training Program. “We are continuously looking for ways to enhance our students’ experience at the St. Coletta Day School. By growing our music therapy program, we are giving students the opportunity to express themselves in a new way. Even better, we benefit from many generous funders as well as a donation from our friends at Zildjian. Without the support of our donors, program expansion would not be possible,” says Larry Sauer, Vice President of Student Programs and Services.
To help prepare students for the workforce, the St. Coletta Day School will increase its offering of job training opportunities to students ages 18-22. On its Braintree campus, students will manage a new Central Supply Program, a school and office supply management program including tasks such as tracking and ordering inventory as well as filling and delivering orders to staff. Students will also have the opportunity to travel to the Hanover Campus to work in the retail sites including the Bass Village Café and the Timeless Treasures Thrift Store. “Preparing our students for employment is such an important part of the work we do at Cardinal Cushing Centers,” states Jo Ann Simons, President and CEO. “The businesses that hire our students and adults appreciate the experience and positive attitude they bring to the workplace.”
To learn more about the Braintree St. Coletta Day School, please contact Michelle Markowitz, Vice President of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Powering Potential through Job Opportunities
As we all know, having the right job for your interests, skills and personality is the key to finding happiness and fulfillment at work. Fortunately for Cardinal Cushing Centers, BNY Mellon understands this, and is willing to support our efforts to place young adults with intellectual disabilities in the jobs which suit them best.
Through a grant from BNY Mellon’s Charitable Giving Program and the Arthur F. Blanchard Trust, we have the resources to support our Intensive Employment Program and a part time staff person to work individually with 4 adult clients under the age of 30 to find the right job match.
Brendan McGuirk, Employment Specialist at South Shore Industries, is particularly excited about this opportunity. “With this additional support, staff can now work at an individual level to help each person create a resume, draft a cover letter, apply for jobs, and practice interview techniques. Once hired, our clients will need additional supports to ensure success and the staff will be able to help them navigate challenges in the work place including transportation issues, social skills and requesting appropriate accommodations.”
In Randolph, Caroline Dane is finding employment success at a Verc Mobil station. She enjoys her work which allows her to use her skills to keep the store gleaming. She dusts the shelves, cleans the glass cases and makes sure the doors are always shiny and welcoming to Verc’s customers. Caroline graduated from Cardinal Cushing Centers’ school and employment training program which helped prepare her for this opportunity.
As the program advances, Employment Specialists are working to find the right placements for additional clients. “We continue to build relationships with local businesses while developing the skills of our adult clients so that we can secure the right job for each person participating in this program. It is exciting to see where our adults will find the right opportunity” says Jean Rogers, Vice President of Community and Adult Services at Cardinal Cushing Centers.
If you are interested in learning more about employment opportunities at Cardinal Cushing Centers, contact Brendan McGuirk at 781-335-5601 or email@example.com.