Here is the bulletin boards done by staff and members in Juniper! Independence Plus celebrated Easter this past Friday on April 2, 2021.
Here were the day’s events for Juniper program area.
Hoping your Easter was a ‘hoppy’ one too!
Wed March 17th was a great day to celebrate St Patrick’s day at Independence Plus. Decorated bulletin boards, delicious food, and art & crafts kept everyone busy and having fun.
Click here to see today’s activity schedule! St Patrick’s Day 2021 Activity Schedule
On February 13 members got to participate in celebrating Valentine’s Day. Members helped tidy up the kitchen and get food ready. In the afternoon various arts and crafts were completed in each of our program areas. Later in the afternoon interested members participated in a Valentine card exchange. As usual bulletin boards were beautifully decorated in the program areas.
What an enjoyable day our members had this wonderful Friday at Independence Plus! They got to enjoy food from the following cultures: Italy, Mexico, and France. Food such as lasagna, salad and croissants, and Tres Leches cake. For Arts and Crafts they created artwork of dragons and made fans. Several rooms also participated in the Mexican Lottery (same as American Bingo). Prizes consisted of small Mexican horse pinata and a rose that lights up in multi-colors. Thanks so much to our staff that helped create and organize this activity.
For list of activities please click here: 2021CultureDiversityActivitySchedule
“Serving the Special Needs of Arizona
3150 N 35th Avenue, Ste 2 Phoenix, AZ 85017 www.indplus.org (602) 484-7610
Greetings friends of Independence Plus!
Some things are supposed to be funny and some things are not. Such is the vandalism cloud that has been casting shadows on our agency. While vandalism has occurred off and on for many years, these past 8 months have been off the charts. Stealing gas, puncture of the gas tank itself, cut fuel lines, stolen batteries, and removing catalytic converters are the main damage that has been done to us. Cameras do catch some images but no clear facial shots. Police reports are submitted on a timely basis to hopefully beef up patrol during the night.
However, I am the eternal optimist. I try to see the good in everything. Independence Plus is looking for a nearby warehouse or fenced yard to park our vans. If anyone knows of space available, please call me and I will look into the location.
Our 7th Annual Bowl-a-thon will be on May 16th 2020. You do NOT need to attend or bowl to be involved. You can collect pledges or donations for our cause. Highest donor wins a large award winning/signed fine art canvas print. You gain the satisfaction of knowing the support you have provided Independence Plus! Enrollment sheet is included with this newsletter. If you do attend, it is great exercise and so much fun. Just ask anybody who has attended one of our previous bowl-a-thons!
VALENTINES DAY 2020
10:00 – 11:00 am Volunteer Cupids to Kitchen: Food Prep 11:30 – 12:30 PM: Member Valentine Lunch in Program Areas: In-house Movie chosen by vote- popcorn and dessert served during the movie 2:00 – 2:30PM: Finish projects, Cleanup, Set up for next activity 2:30 – 3:30 PM: Valentine Dance in Jupiter, Photo Booth in Yucca, Volley Balloon Toss in Ocotillo, Bean Bag Tic-Tac-Toe in Cholla, Karaoke in Sahuaro 3:30-4:30PM: Member Valentine card exchange (if desired)
Arizona Gives Day returns on April 7, 2020. 24 hours of giving benefits our local nonprofits and strengthens our community. The event will inspire people to give generously. PLEASE MAKE INDEPENDENCE PLUS ONE OF YOUR PRIORITIES. Do not forget: receive up to $400 Arizona state dollar for dollar tax credit per individual or $800 for married couple (filing jointly) when you donate by tax time. Donate $400 by April 15, 2020 and you can still receive $400 dollar for dollar tax credit on AZ State taxes for 2019 (or apply it towards your 2020 tax return). Go to ‘azgives.org’, enter ‘Independence Plus, Inc’ in box next to ‘Find Your Cause’ and then you can make your donation. You can also donate directly to our agency by going to ‘indplus.org’ and paying via Paypal. Just click on ‘Donate’ button. Thanks!
Welcome to Our New Members!*
*Only Members with Photo Release can be included in our newsletters
Recently we received grant money from the Allstate Foundation in the amount of $500. This will help pay our portion of the Section 5310 grant by the federal government for a new 2020 Ford Transit van with wheelchair lift. THANK YOU ALLSTATE FOUNDATION!!
Our 7th Annual Bowl-a-thon will be on Saturday, May 16th. Every year the bowl-a-thon grows and brings in more money for our organization. Come jon the fun and help Independence Plus to continue its great programs! Participant who brings in the most pledge money gets an original signed large fine art photo canvas print. You do not need to physically bowl to win this grand prize. Just go out and ask family members and friends to donate to our cause. On the day of the event, you turn in your pledge sheet and monies collected or have someone else turn it in for you. Or turn it in the day before at the center to Dr. Greg. Plenty of door prizes will be handed out during the bowl-a-thon. When everyone is finished bowling their 2 games, $75 cash prize will be awarded to erson with the highest score. $25 cash prize goes to person bowling second highest score. Winner for 50-50 raffle will also be picked. You do not need to participate or be in attendance at the bowl-a-thon to participate in the 50-50 raffle. Good luck everybody!
Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Bowl-a-thon was cancelled. As soon as we can set a new date, we will let everyone know!
Some of our beautiful holiday bulletin boards created by members and staff.
Tuesday, April 7th, 2020, is a day for Arizonans to donate to their favorite nonprofits. BE SURE TO INCLUDE INDEPENDENCE PLUS! Just click on this email address. If it does not take you directly to our donation page, just enter ‘Independence Plus, Inc’ in the ‘Search Organization’ box. azgives.org/Indplus
All donations whether big or small are greatly appreciated!
Dr. Gregory Triandafilou
“Serving the Special Needs of Arizona”
3150 N 35th Avenue, Ste 2 Phoenix, AZ 85017 www.indplus.org (602) 484-7610
A Message from the Associate Director
This is the time of year for thanks. Thank you to all of our wonderful employees for taking such good care of our members. Thanks to organizations that have given us grants such as Sundt Foundation, Allstate, and the Federal Government. Thank you to all of our donors. Each and every dollar helps us!
Recently we were granted a wheelchair accessible van for 2020 at a cost of $59,000. Our portion due is 15% or roughly $8,800. Please help donate towards our portion of the van!! Transportation is a wonderful and a big portion of our program. It allows us to bring members to and from the center. It also allows our members to go on outings such as visiting museums, libraries, parks, or participating in Special Olympics.
May all your holidays be blessed!
Independence Plus once again had a great showing at the 2019 Arizona State Fair. Three out of our five program areas won first place!
Visit to Phoenix Police Museum
On November 18, 2019 a group from Juniper visited the Phoenix Police Museum. It is located on the first floor of historic city hall in downtown Phoenix.
Thursday, October 31st, was Spook-tack-ular at Independence Plus! Each program area had their own game or activity. Rooms then took turns visiting all the other program areas. Lunch was served starting at 11:30 PM with a beautifully decorated table of goodies. Room games and activities started around 12:30 PM. At 3:00 PM: ISP and regular educational activities took place. All in all it was a full day at Independence Plus!
Great food and table preparation by members and staff. All rooms assisted in making our festive holiday come alive! Kudos to the board of directgors and their families for helping out this year. They are wearing the black aprons with turkey on the front. Everyone had a great time!!
Holiday Bulletin Boards Created by Members and Staff!
A Message from the Executive Director
This newsletter probably finds you ‘basting’ in the desert heat/humidty and looking forward to cooler days. Oh, me too! It is worth it because soon we will be barbecuing while others are shoveling snow from their driveway and sidewalks.
September 8-14, 2019 is Direct Support Professional Recognition Week. This week is dedicated to recognizing DSPs for their contribution to members, families, agencies, and the community. While not always an easy job- understanding, empathy, and love will always be a requirement of the job.
On Saturday, August 24th, all staff at Independence Plus attended a Positive Behavior Support class held at the center. People were on time and nobody grumbled or complained. That is a testament to our staff who are are dedicated to our mission and the work we do.
Independence Plus is very lucky. We have a low rate of turnover compared to many other agencies in the same field. If and when you get a chance, please give a kind word and say thanks to our direct service workers.
We also send thanks to parents, family, guardians, caregivers, and ADH Providers. Bless you for giving yourselves in the spirit of service. It’s not just a job… it is a calling and a mission!
Yours in Service,
David A. Brieno
New/Used: Bath Towels, Dish Towels, Sheets, Aprons Recliner Chairs in Good Condition, Black Ink Pens, Multi-fold Paper Towels, Yellow Legal Pads, Hygiene Wipes, Copy Paper
Thanks to the ongoing generosity of the Sundty Foundation, we now have a battery powered electric lift. This lift can handle members up to 450 lbs with ease. It is a blessing for members and staff. Members get moved safely and gently. Staff greatly reduce back injuries. Win-win solution for Independence Plus!
SAY HELLO TO ROBIN!*
Robin has been attending Independence Plus since fall of 2011. He actively participates in Special Olympics and has won many gold medals over the years. He competes in ‘Ball Toss’ in Track and Field games and also participates in bowling events. According to his classmates, Robin is VERY good at UNO. Besides card games Robin enjoys decorating his class bulletin board and being involved in arts & crafts.
Robin also loves outings and goes whenever he can. Whether it is visitng a library, museum, stadium or park…it’s all good!
* Only Members with Photo Release can be featured in our newsletters.
June 28, 2019
7:30 – 8:30 AM: Put away belongings, Begin routine morning activities, exercise, and ISP programs as usual
9:30 – 11:30 AM: Arts & Crafts (each program area)
10:30 – 11:30 AM: *Helpers in the Kitchen for KP duty*
10:45 – 11:00 AM: Cleanup, Get REady for Hawaiian Luau!
11:30 – 12:30 PM: LUAU LUNCH- Delicious pineapple and ham pizza, ambrosia, and sherbet drinks
12:30 – 1:00 PM: Clean-up kitchen
1:00 – 2:30 PM Hula Dancing, Limbo, In-House Movie, Bingo, Board Games
2:30 – 3:30 PM Return to Program Areas to finish arts & crafts, Hawaiian Music, Interactive Computer (Smart Board)
3:15 – 3:30 PM Begin to tidy up- wash any dishes or containers used
3:30 – 4:00 PM Gather Belongings, Prepare for Van Departures
*Note: This is a regular program day; member ISP programs continue throughout the day as appropriate
Some of our room bulletin boards decorated for Game Day on 08/30/19
A Message from the Executive Director Spring 2019
Greetings Friends of Independence Plus!!
Rules, regulations and expectations on the federal and state level for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) are ever-changing. It keeps us on our toes being informed of the latest developments. Fortunately, there is an effective system in place to keep us up to date.
Member services are becoming even more member-focused. What does the member need: Member want or don’t want? Goals? What would make for a happier life? It is no secret that many people have a hard time expressing or identifying their needs, wants, or goals. I was taught earlier in life that it is selfish and inconsiderate to talk about oneself. Later in life I learned that it is perfectly okay to do so. In fact, I have larned that if you really want something- be specific! Dale Carnegie talks out this in one of his books. “You only get that what you ask for.” So, aim high!
Some individuals do not speak. There are other ways to communicate. There is sign language, communication devices, gestures, eye blinking, head movements and various vocalizations. Our Direct Support Staff is receptive to the various methods necessary in order to “reach out” to any given member. We are all different and express ourselves differently.
In closing I wanted to share a “you know you’re getting old when…” story. When Independence Plus first opened I got a visit from a past employee at Gompers. She came to show off her baby. Fast forward to today… that past Gomper’s employee works for Independence Plus as a DSPII and her daughter works for us as a DSP I.
David A. Brieno
The New Founders of Freedom meet in Avondale, AZ. They are a fraternal order of motorcyclists that like to take rides and contribute to the their community! This past Christmas they delivered stockings and gifts to all of our members. In March they held a Texas Hold’em fundraiser in order to purchase Easter goodies. Members got a bag filled with games and delicious treats to take home. We appreciate all the kindness and joy NFF has brought our way!!
On April 4, 2019 Independence Plus competed in the track and field division of the regional Special Olympics. Event took place at Kellis High School in Glendale. Five proud members participated in the softball throw. We ended up winning 1st through 5th place ribbons. Way to go team!
On April 05, 2019 several members were able to attend the Sprout Film Festival. It was held at Pollack Tempe Cinemas in Tempe, AZ and sponsored by The Arc of Chandler/Gilbert. The Sprout Film Festival focuses exclusively on films that celebrate the diverse lives and creativity of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Festival strives to challenge assumptions and breakdown stereotypes. It is now a touring film festival throughout the U.S. and was founded in 2003 by Anthony Di Salvo. All members and staff who attended the event had a great time. They look forward to the 2020 Sprout Film Festival!
Our Bowl-a-thon was held again this year at Let It Roll Bowl in Phoenix. On Saturday, May 04th, over thirty people descended upon the lanes to bowl for funa nd prizes or to lend their support. We give thanks to the following businesses for donating door prizes:
RC Fitness & Nutrition. Lunchtime Cafe. Jakes Bethany Auto. Pay Tech. Precision Imports. You Fit/Bethany Home Rd.
There was a total of 10 door prizes which included $5 gift cards to Starbucks and Dunkin’Donuts. $100.00 cash prize was awarded to the individual with the highest score. Charles Booker, one our direct support professionals at IPI, won it was a score of 138. 50/50 Raffle winner went to our fellow employee Magaly Orona. She is also a direct support professional. She took home $321 in cash. Congrats to Charles and Magaly! Grand prize was donated by our Associate Director, Dr. Greg. It was a signed fine art photo printed on canvas and given to the participant who brought in the most sponsor money. It was awarded to Julie Harms. Besides donation a door prize (PayTech) she also donated $400 to our cause. Thank you so much Julie!! We look forward to seeing everybody again next year.
50/50 Raffle Winner High Score Winner Art Prize
Arizona Gives Day is a day for the people of Arizona to donate to their favorite charities. this year the event raised roughly 3.6 million dollars. We raised over $3,000! Thanks to each and everyone of you who contributed to Independence Plus!!
Meet Our New Members!