From the CEO – October 2021

October is set aside as the month to recognize the value of employees with disabilities, including adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  This month we highlight the National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), as well as the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

People with disabilities have too often been excluded from participating in basic civic activities like using the public transportation system, serving on a jury, voting, or simply attending a high school sports event with family and friends. The ADA is a federal civil rights law that was passed in 1990 and went into effect beginning in 1992. Its purpose is to protect people with disabilities from discrimination in employment and in accessing needed services in their communities. The integration of people with disabilities into the mainstream of American life is a fundamental purpose of the ADA.

NDEAM is held each October to commemorate the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy.  This year the theme for NDEAM 2021, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In doing our part, we would like to highlight the many wonderful faces of some of our adults who are a thriving force in their respective places of employment.  We are very proud of their accomplishments and dedication to their jobs.  We’d like to see this number grow!  If you’d like more information on the value of employing adults with disabilities, I am but a call away.

Some of our clients that have jobs in the community or at New Danville
Some of our clients that have jobs in the community or at New Danville

We have plans for expanding our Job Readiness and Support Program for the benefit of our clients and area businesses. I would like to thank the Woodforest Charitable Foundation for their support of this initiative which you will be hearing more about in the future.


From the CEO – September 2021

Eva Aguirre, president and CEO of New Danville nonprofit

During the week of September 12 – 18, New Danville will celebrate the National Direct Support Professional Week. This is a great opportunity to highlight our dedicated and innovative direct support staff.  Our Direct Support Professionals make up about 45% of New Danville’s workforce and are the backbone of our services. Their expertise and compassion play a critical role in the lives of the men and women we support. These front line professionals are the heart of our organization. The assistance and interactions they provide help people living with intellectual disabilities to engage fully within their community and experience meaningful and productive lives.

We are very proud and grateful for the contributions of all of our DSPs for making a tremendous difference in the lives of the people we serve.  Our DSPs inspire us each day with their passion, patience, and creativity.  Please join us in showing your appreciation for these dedicated professionals colleagues working on the front lines, not only this week, but each and every day.

We thank our Direct Support Professionals for their dedication and commitment to New Danville’s mission in supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live their best life.

I’d also like to take a moment to note that September is Spina Bifida Awareness month, as well as September 4th is Word Cerebral Palsy Day.  Both of these conditions may cause considerable limitations or cognitive impairment and are shared by some of the adults at New Danville.  Yet another reason to highlight the caring and dedicated professionals that strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others.


A great employee is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have

Eva Aguirre, president and CEO of New Danville nonprofit

“A great employee is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.”  Tammy Cohen

Although March 5, 2021, was the national Employee Appreciation Day, I want to take this moment to say just how very lucky New Danville is when it comes to employees.  In my time here, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the most dedicated employees I have ever met.  Their job is not easy, but they do it with grace and genuine affection for those we serve.  They bring passion and dedication in making a positive difference in the lives of so many. It truly is an absolute privilege to have them on our team.  It is hard to express just how much we value each and every one of them.

Of particular pride is our very low turnover rate.  The national average for Direct Support Professionals is a shocking 51.3%.  For 2020, New Danville had a turnover rate of 2%.  For many agencies, employees leave faster than they can be replaced and this has a detrimental effect on adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The constant change in staff and lack of routine and consistency impacts not only operations but more importantly the quality of service being offered.  Luckily, our adults have support staff that are dedicated, passionate, and committed to our mission.  Their ability to work as a team and pitch in to help each other is admirable.  This past year with the COVID-19 crisis, our employees worked together to help us through the worst of times.  And, even though some had to be furloughed for an extended period of time, they have all returned to their positions.  We are the best at what we do because we have the best employees. Whether it is in direct support, maintenance, grounds keeping, or office support staff, we truly have the best of the best.

It is easy to hire people; it’s much harder to keep them, and especially hard to hire the right people that are committed to doing this kind of work.  On behalf of myself, and the entire management team, we would like to express just how valuable each and every employee is to the success of New Danville.  We look forward to our vision for the future and to what we can accomplish together.


Smiling faces make you happy, and good news makes you feel better

Eva Aguirre, president and CEO of New Danville nonprofit

“Smiling faces make you happy, and good news makes you feel better.”  Proverbs 15:30

Dear Friends, Families, and Supporters:

As I was searching for an appropriate quote to introduce my message of “good news,” I came upon the above from Proverbs as the perfect introduction.

New Danville is full of smiling faces. The daily joy, laughter, and raucous energy is intoxicating and uplifting. It is truly joyous to see more and more of our Wranglers returning to the program, as well as several new faces that have come on board. 

And now for the good news: With the worst of COVID in the rearview mirror, life at New Danville is returning to normal.  Gone are the days of extreme social distancing and canceled community outings.  Not to say that we have thrown caution to the wind, we continue to implement smart safety and personal hygiene practices, but at least we have begun to introduce more community-based activities and events.  One exciting new activity during the month of June and July is the introduction of our weekly fishing class.  Thanks to a new relationship with Ranger Oilfield Products, which is located about a mile away, we are able to enjoy their beautiful, fully stocked fish pond for a day of fun.  We are so appreciative of their generosity and support of our Wranglers and our program.  Likewise, we will soon be having a ribbon-cutting ceremony for our new building donated by Charbonneau Industries.  The building will be our new pallet production center.  Thanks to this partnership with Charbonneau Industries, we have been able to employ six of our clients for almost two years.  The value of work can never be underestimated and our new partners are making a world of difference for our agency and our pallet workers.  We’d love to see you at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new production center. (The event announcement is in the “Upcoming Events” section of this newsletter.)

On other program news, the large brown cabin has been turned into a computer lab! Thanks to the generosity of the Madalyn Cooke Foundation we were able to purchase the needed laptops and tablets to kick off this expanded program.  Likewise, the pantry in the cabin that supports our residents has been expanded with more variety, thanks to a new partnership with the Willis TLC Food Pantry.  Our residents in need not only have access to hygiene and cleaning products, but we have been able to add non-perishable foods to help them stretch their food budget.

Lastly, our first-ever golf tournament, Play a Round for the Wranglers, was a huge success.  We are so thankful for all of the hard work of the event committee, and the support of the sponsors, participants, and volunteers.  They truly hit a hole-in-one, netting about $115,000!

Thank you for your continued support.  Stay tuned for more smiling faces and good news.


No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks

“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”
James Allen

 

A little over a year ago the world changed.  It changed for all of us, and it changed for New Danville.  The fear of the uncertainty and how it would affect those we serve and our agency at times became overwhelming. 

Knowing what an important role our agency plays in the lives of so many, yet not knowing if it would continue to exist.  And yet, here we are today: standing strong for our clients, our families, and our community.

And so, it is time to return thanks and say “Thank You” to all of you. Thank you to all of you for your emotional support and prayers that gave us the drive to not give up; to all of you that assisted with financial donations that helped us “keep the lights on.”; to all of you that brought care packages to our residents keeping their spirits high; and, to our volunteers at Jazzy Junque that rolled up their sleeves to keep our store open. Thanks to the generosity of our New Danville family and our community, we are beginning to make plans for an even brighter future. 

I look forward to all of you joining us in our journey.

We look forward to keeping all of you informed through our new monthly newsletter.




Join Our Mailing List

For updates about New Danville events, store specials, and more

We respect your privacy.