by Debera Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of NW Works
The resiliency, creativity and dedication of our staff and board have seen us through!
As we enter March, things could not look more different than March of 2020.
Although clients and staff still wear masks in our facility, our building is livelier than ever. We recently opened a new classroom for our Group Day Support program, with new clients enrolled in our services. Current, returning an new Clients in our Group Day Support program, whose classrooms have been renamed as Museums of Impact and Knowledge, have been busy learning about a range of topics from the SNAP curriculum, participating in music therapy twice a week, and have been going on numerous outings and volunteer opportunities in the community as the weather warms up. With the first plants starting to poke out of the ground, it will soon be time to get our raised beds ready for the return of our gardening activities. This is a subtle hint as we will be needing volunteers to assist.
We’ve been busy in the broader community as well.
- On March 1st, we re-launched a Group Supported Employment enclave with a local business partner, providing work at minimum wage or better for clients who wish to work in the community.
- The spring semester of Chimers at Shenandoah University got off to a great start, as documented by the Winchester Star in February.
- We will be launching a parent and guardian support group, in collaboration with our Board of Directors.
- We celebrate our nomination for the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber’s Greater Good Awards, which takes place on March 24th.
- On April 2nd, we will support our friends at the Trails 4 Miles Race for Autism.
- On April 9th, we’ll host a new fundraising event at West Oaks Farm Market – the Battle of the Bartenders.
- And last but not certainly not least, we are thrilled to announce we will be participating in the Apple Blossom Parade!
Of course, the normal grind continues as well – strategic planning is underway with our Board, our leadership team is heading into budget season, and the graduation of our ProjectSEARCH students is just around the corner.
And on a final positive note: this past month, we hit the milestone of having 100 clients back in service – a return to pre-pandemic levels. We could not be more grateful for the community partners for all of the support they provided to keep our doors open, to our clients’ families and guardians as we navigated these difficult times, and to our clients themselves, whose success and growth make every moment worth it.