Some Great Stories About the People We Support.
Together We Make A Difference!
Carol has been working with staff and another client named Danielle B., (who is also legally blind) on her braille skills. Danielle lost her vision several years ago and has never learned braille. Carol on the other hand was born blind and is very proficient in brail. Carol recently provided Danielle with the alphabet in braille so Danielle could start feeling what certain letters feel like. Since they’ve been working together Danielle has become more interested in learning braille. She has even visited the library to check out books on braille. Way to go Danielle and Carol!
Lea S. had her first live performance (in front of a non NVSS crowd) this past month when she performed her original song Kalub and Harley at the NBRC annual art and crafts show. Lea wrote the song about her dogs mostly by herself with minimal help from her instructor, Eden. The performance was a huge success and Lea got a standing ovation. Great job Lea!
Napa Sanitation crew pulls a fast one. The NSD staff are notorious for their practical joking, esp. Keezer. The crew shows up to work often finding their equipment arranged in a beautiful sculpture (mops, bucket, spray bottles etc) or perhaps the mop missing. The NPS team decided they wanted try their own practical joke, they filled Keezer’s locker with rolls of toilet paper so that when he opened out it came. Now, I am sure it seems to the outside eye that this may be inappropriate but in the culture of NSD, with the collections department the crew’s antics fit right in.
The Farmers Market booth this year has sold more merchandise than any previous year. The clients and staff that work the booth have really taken ownership of it and have taken great pride in running it. To celebrate the great job they have done we held a work crew appreciation day for them and celebrated with cake and refreshments.
The crew at Rancho Gordo has done an amazing job keeping up with production demands. In fact, just last week the crew was asked to work 4 hours a day, 4 days a week instead of 3.5 hours a day. They have become a very integral part of Rancho Gordo and their production demands. Way to go guys!
April and Jessica have known each other since they were children. A year or so ago April’s job at Vallerga’s changed in such a way that she no longer really enjoyed what she was doing so she decided to work at Lixit. April says that she enjoys the community of Lixit and may some day want to find another job. The same thing happened to Jessica with her position at Raley’s. Jessica decided to give Lixit a try though a bit anxious — April took Jessica under her wing, made her feel at home and is helping Jess through this transition.
Dan has largely learned the ordinary tasks of a kennel attendant. He continues to broaden his view of his workplace and how he can take initiative to keep it looking good. He has also gained greater appreciation of cleaning up in terms of animal waste and the spread of germs. He independently washes up regularly and better understands the need to clean tools, door handles, and other fixtures. Effective authority in voice and body language is becoming second nature to Dan. It has taken Dan the better part of 2 years of job coaching to learn this particular trait (in other words to become the Alpha Dog of the dog play groups he supervises). Practicing this skill will put him in a better position to assist training.
Over the past couple of months four individuals (Norman B., Lisa E., Paul V., and Whitney D.) from NVSS have been taking a jazz dance class at Napa Valley College. Every week they go to class and practice their routines. When class is over they often come back to NVSS and rehearse their routines in the music and movement room. All of their hard work and dedication will pay off next month when they perform their routines at a recital at the college.
Ken A received an acknowledgement certificate from his employer. He was scheduled until 7:30 one night and two young women were scheduled until 8:00/closing. Some ruffians came into the store around 7:20 and the co-workers called Ken to the front of the store. The ruffians left and Ken volunteered to stay through closing.
Becky’s crew at Vintage Inn got called in to clean a — Star VIP room! (Only the best of the best get chosen to do this work).
Vintage Estates crew was treated to lunch at the Villagio by Chef Kevin. He sat and ate lunch with the crew, ordered them extra appetizers and expressed his sincere appreciation of the hard work and efforts they put forth in their work. Yum! (now if we could just get an evening crew in there…!).
Joe S. is a client who has a very limited vocabulary. One day he happened to be sitting in on a sign language class in the Basic Ed. room. At first Joe seemed uninterested in the class but after a few minutes he started to participate by introducing himself to everyone during introductions. Shortly after Joe learned how to sign his name and seemed to really enjoy being a part of the class. When his instructor (Zirconia) asked Joe if he would be interested in future classes, Joe responded with an enthusiastic “Yes”.
This year Brown Street Gallery was pleased to host a solo show for Sal G. The reception was a fiesta enjoyed by all. Sal’s Mom made some delicious dips and salsa and the wine and music were great. It has taken several years and lots of conversations with Sal before he felt comfortable being in the spotlight and speaking to people about his art work. Well not this night! Sal was the perfect “STAR” his family was a huge presence but there were lots of other gallery patrons as well and they truly enjoyed speaking with Sal about his work. Way to go Sal!
A crew of 4 workers and an Instructor has been working since April 2007 to keep the Napa Valley College grounds and parking lots clean and students and staff alike continually express their appreciation. In fact, the maintenance and security workers have become good friends with the crew members and help them celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Recently the maintenance department had their annual barbeque and made sure our crew was able to join in. At the barbeque, a certificate of appreciation was presented to each of the crew members to thank them for the work they do and for making their jobs easier. Pictures were taken and an article appeared in the Napa Register.
The supervisors at the Recycling Center routinely compliment the crew for the great job they do picking up trash and debris and making sure the property and surrounding areas look nice. They celebrate birthdays with cards and singing and ensure that the crew has plenty of water, gloves and whatever they need to do their job.
The crew at Wendy’s has been showing very nice support for their co-worker Iola. Iola has been having some pain in her back and so the crew members agreed to shuffle their jobs around so that Iola could do the work that would not bother her back. Great team work guys!!! This crew also works once a week at White Rock winery. It is hard work sweeping lots and lots of leaves (no blowers allowed!) Even though, for some of the crew members, it is not their favorite job, they have agreed to do the job and do their best. That’s what it’s all about!
The garden went great this year. Several groups had the opportunity to plant zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and herbs. They enjoy going to water and weed and enjoy the fresh air and animals that join them in the yard. Colorful zinnias picked by the gardening crews have graced the desks and homes of many people. Clients and staff have gotten creative in utilizing the vegetables in cooking class and many people have enjoyed eating tomatoes and zucchini fresh out of the garden.
There was a lot of great interaction at the Senior Center this year. For one of our groups, who’s members are at retirement age, this has been a wonderful opportunity to interact with their community. They have been taking an exercise class and are fully integrated and participating members of the class. At the end of the year every one enjoyed a potluck lunch and received certificates for being in the class. All are looking forward to the end of summer and another year of exercise class.
What would Vallejo Village Shopping Center do without the NVSS crew that shows up 5 days a week to clean the parking lot? It is truly amazing how much trash can accumulate in just one day. All of the businesses in this center appreciate the work done by the crew and many know and interact with the workers on a daily basis. The crew members know their job and take a great deal of pride in ensuring the parking lot is clean each day.