Progress was one of two agencies in Tennessee to receive funding from Sprouts Farmer’s Market Neighborhood Grants. The grants are funded through Sprouts’ “Round Up for Our Community” program, which takes place annually in stores across the United States. The Neighborhood Grants Program encompasses three focus areas: Health Nutrition and Education, Food Security and Hunger Relief, and Disabilities and Health Concerns. This funding will support Day and Employment Programs at Progress. This includes Project Search, Ticket to Work and Community Based Day programs. Progress is extremely grateful for this funding and looks forward to partnering with Sprouts Farmer's Market. More information about Sprouts Farmer’s Market and grant recipients can be found at www.Sprouts.com. Sprouts locations in Middle Tennessee include Franklin and Murfreesboro.
NASHVILLE, TN – August, 16 2016 – Progress received a $30,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program to assist with employment support for people with disabilities. Specifically, this grant will positively impact the local community by providing a variety of services including internships and placements for people with disabilities, helping them to successfully acquire and retain employment. Through the Employment Services Program, Progress uses a multi-pronged approach. The Employment Services Program is comprised of several categories - Project SEARCH, Ticket to Work and Job Training/Placement.
“The Walmart Foundation has demonstrated that they have dedicated themselves to bettering our community, in this case specifically supporting people with intellectual disabilities and employment skill building.” said Progress Executive Director Donna Goodaker. “We are extremely grateful for this gift; the foundation understands the magnitude of the disparity in employment for people with disabilities versus the rest of the population. The people we serve want to work, they just need the supports behind them to excel, and the Walmart Foundation understands the need as much as we do. ”
The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better, awarding grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.
SmART! Supplies, a social enterprise of Progress Inc. will launch a new series of monthly arts and crafts classes beginning in August 2016 at 4 Buchi Court, Nashville TN 37204.
Classes will range in price from $15-$30 including materials, and will cover a wide range of upcycled arts and crafts projects. SmART! Supplies sells reclaimed arts and crafts materials at discount prices, while employing people with disabilities. Proceeds from SmART! Supplies support Progress Inc., a non-profit organization serving people with disabilities and seniors in Middle Tennessee for more than 40 years.
Kyle Graden, Marketing and Outreach Manager of Smart Supplies aimed to create a highly diverse and affordable selection of classes. “We are thrilled about the launch of our new class program, and are excited about being able to provide a platform for highly skilled artisans, crafters and businesses to share their skills with our loyal customers and fans. We wanted to offer classes that were affordable for everyone while also being unique, and our upcoming roster of classes truly reflects that. ”
Classes include Greeting Card Creation, Wire Viking Weave, Button Making, Beginners Knitting, Sip & Collage, Tapestry Weaving, Artist Tributes, and many others. Paper Source, located in Green Hills, will be leading the Greeting Card Creation class. Classes range in size, and early registration is encouraged. More information and a full class schedule can be found on the Smart Supplies website at www.SmartSupplies.org
Since opening in 2014, SmART! Supplies has sold more than 200,000 items originally destined for landfills. The store offers an upcycled art boutique, hosts a variety of sales throughout the year and also provides volunteer opportunities for non-profit organizations, including Friends Life Community and Girl Scouts. SmART! Supplies supports people with intellectual disabilities through employment and job training; store proceeds fund the many programs of Progress, including day programs, residential support and employment training.
Full details with class information can be found on Smart Supplies' website at www.SmartSupplies.org
Two graduation ceremonies were held for Project SEARCH graduates of the 2016 graduating classes of both Embassy Suites and the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital. Graduates spent the past year gaining valuable employment training and real life experiences to help them work independently and be self-sufficient in their future employment goals. At each of the ceremonies, graduates gave speeches about their experiences and thanked their families, program staff and donors for their support throughout the program.
Project SEARCH provides individuals with disabilities tuition-free job training and educational, developmental, and employment opportunities. Project SEARCH is a nine month unpaid internship, and at the completion of the program graduates are employment ready. Of the most current graduating class, 92% achieved employment at graduation time. The goal of Project SEARCH is to fill a business need with qualified individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
One graduate explained, “Project Search was great because we got to train on different job sites before we applied for the positions. Also, the job coaches were wonderful. I also liked that we learned about things such as Credo, safety in the workplace, and good ways to spend money. I want to thank everyone at Project Search.”
Project SEARCH is a national program with various sites managed by non-profit organizations around the country. Progress operates the two Project SEARCH sites in Nashville, which are located at Embassy Suites and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital. More information about the national program can be found at http://www.projectsearch.us/
For information about Project SEARCH in Nashville please contact Pam Hollingsworth at 615-399-3000 or via email or visit the Progress Project SEARCH webpage.
Progress hosted the 4th Annual Golden Years at the Fairgrounds Nashville on Tuesday, May 3rd 2016. More than 400 people attended the event, setting a new attendance record. The day was filled with a variety of free activities and services including fitness instruction, bone density scans, arts and crafts classes, massages, manicures, makeup tutorials, and much more.
Attendees were able to speak with a variety of vendors offering services needed by seniors. Stage demonstrations took place throughout the day, including cooking, gardening, Zumba fitness, dancing groups, and a special fashion show by Couture for a Cause. A representative from the Mayor’s Office also spoke, and was available for questions afterwards.
Progress is incredibly grateful to sponsors Amerigroup, Baptist Healing Trust, Delmar Medical, HCA/TriStar Health, Subway and Windlands for making the event possible.
More information about Golden Years can be found at http://www.progress-inc.org/golden-years1.html
ECF Choices is a new program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that will be introduced in the State of Tennessee on July 1st, 2016. A few points outlining these new waiver services is below. Please contact us should you have any questions about the new ECF Choices program, or any other programs of Progress at 615-399-3000.
More to come; stay tuned!
Smart Supplies was recently featured in a Pay it Forward segment on WSMV Channel 4 News in Nashville! Reporter Terry Bulger covered the story and spent time at the store interviewing staff, customers and artists. This is a great segment about Smart Supplies, and we are thrilled with the opportunity to share our mission with the community. Click below to watch the video.
It takes a special kind of person to work with people with intellectual disabilities, and Progress employs some of the best in the business. One of these employees is Ron Houston, who has been the Day Program Manager at Progress for nine years. Ron is hard working, down to earth, and is quick to laugh at any joke thrown his way. He manages a variety of aspects of the day program, and overall ensures that staff and clients are successfully participating in community activities throughout the day. He considers the many clients of Progress his friends, and when asked what he likes most about his job, he explains that it’s “being able to interact with the clients and meeting their needs” that brings him the most joy in a day.
Staff have admired his tenacity and devotion to the clients for many years, as he is often the first to be recommended for awards nominations or employee accolades. One staff member shared the following:
“Ron is one of those managers that rarely misses a day of work, even when he sick. He arrives very early every morning to get extra work done so he can focus on each individual and their needs once they arrive to the day program. He is always client focused when it comes to the individual’s needs. He works hard to ensure that the staff he hires will be compatible with the individual’s needs and personality. He is constantly juggling many roles here at Progress and does each with professional attitude. If you ever walk into the day program it is clear to see that the individuals and all the staff, pretty much everyone just “loves” Ron. He gives those who need attention his time and listens when there are any concerns. He is an outstanding manager and truly has a heart for the work that he does.”
Progress is incredibly grateful for Ron and all that he does. For more information about Progress or the programs and services provided, please contact us at 615-399-3000 or visit www.Progress-Inc.org
California Closets and 94 FM The Fish hosted an evening of fashion and fun in support of Project SEARCH and Autism Speaks on Saturday, April 2nd at California Closets in Franklin. The event featured live performances by Jaci Velasquez & Nic Gonzales and blue runway fashion show displaying evening wear designed by Project Runway’s Jonathan Kayne, modeled by Project SEARCH graduates.
The event kicked off a month-long promotion at California Closets, during which a percentage of profits in April will be donated to Project SEARCH. Additionally, Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop has chosen Project SEARCH for their “Pie It Forward” program for the month of April. Proceeds from the pie of the month Chewy Chocolate Chip will be donated to the Project SEARCH program.
Project SEARCH at Vanderbilt is a program facilitated by Progress. Project SEARCH is a 9 month internship for people with disabilities which focuses on a rotation of various jobs throughout the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt University Medical Center as well as classroom training. The internship does not guarantee job placement, but rather provides hands-on training and experience in various positions. There are over 40 past interns (graduates) currently employed within the Vanderbilt system. This program has had many success stories and equips participants with the tools needed for workplace success. Progress has been a leader in serving people with intellectual disabilities for over 40 years through a variety of services designed to assist individuals in living healthy, happy and safe lives.
Progress is extremely grateful for the support of California Closets, 94 FM The Fish and Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop for coordinating this fundraiser. The event was an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about Project SEARCH and its many success stories. For more information about Project SEARCH please contact Pam Hollingsworth at 615-577-4721 or email P.Hollingsworth@Progress-Inc.org
Nashville, TN – SmART! Supplies, a social enterprise of Progress Inc. will open the first upcycled art boutique in Middle Tennessee during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, April 7th at 10:00 a.m. at their Berry Hill location (4 Buchi Court, Nashville TN 37204). The opening will feature remarks by The Tennessean’s Ms. Cheap as well as light refreshments following the ceremony. SmART! Supplies sells reclaimed art and craft materials at discount prices, while employing people with disabilities. Proceeds from the social enterprise support Progress Inc., a non-profit organization which has served people with disabilities and seniors in Middle Tennessee for more than 40 years.
The Boutique at SmART! Supplies will give local artists the chance to showcase their upcycled art five days a week in a retail setting. Artists will have an opportunity to gain recognition and further their audience through the boutique. The endeavor is lucrative for both the artists and SmART! Supplies, as artists will profit from each item that sells, and a percentage of the sale will also be donated back to SmART! Supplies.
Linda Lipe is one of several featured artists displaying works in the boutique launch. She’ll be selling 3D greeting cards made from upcycled materials using the iris folding technique. The cards are crafted by hand by the Brenthaven Church ladies group, which has gathered weekly to create the cards for over six years. The cards have evolved into a fundraising campaign for the church’s homeless outreach program, Sacred Sparks Ministry. “We are very excited about the SmART! Boutique,” she explained, “to be able to have an outlet and larger audience to share the cards with is going to help us raise more money and spread the word about our homeless outreach program.” Linda and the ladies group also shop at SmART! for paper and scrapbooking materials for their cards. “SmART! has been such a huge help for our group by selling materials at prices we can’t find anywhere else.”
Since opening in 2014, SmART! Supplies has sold more than 200,000 items originally destined for landfills. The store hosts a variety of workshops throughout the year and also provides volunteer opportunities for non-profit organizations, including Friends Life Community and Girl Scouts. SmART! Supplies supports people with intellectual disabilities through employment and job training; store proceeds fund the many programs of Progress, including day programs, residential support and employment training.
For more information about SmART! Supplies please visit www.SmartSupplies.org
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