It’s been a while since our last post and we would like to share some updates from the office and let you know what we’ve been up to in the latter part of this year.
The first-ever “Not Your Mama’s Garden Tour” was a massive success and drew tour-goers from all across the state of Georgia. This event laid a sustainable fundraising foundation, involving community players across the spectrum. We are still evaluating and exploring ways we might build on it in coming years using principles of inclusion.
After the garden tour, Brittany spent the week traveling to Atlanta-DeKalb and Macon-Bibb Citizen Advocacy offices to work with Derona King and Katina Clay. She had the chance to meet and talk with with State Representative Pat Gardner, tour the Georgia Advocacy Office and meet the staff, and build a profile for a 23-year-old woman who lives in a nursing home.
In June, Margaret and Brittany traveled to Macon to participate in a state staff PATH retreat with the Citizen Advocacy coordinators from Atlanta, Athens, Savannah and Macon. PATH is a three-part planning tool that allows an individual or organization to start in the future and work backward to strategize short and long-term goals. Learn more about PATH here: http://inclusion.com/path.html.
Also in June, there was an advocate luncheon to celebrate matches made in the month of June. At the end of the month, we concluded our fiscal year finishing with 12 matches, exceeding our contract with GAO.
Brittany spent July 9—12 attending the Toronto Summer Institute in Ontario, Canada. TSI is an inclusion conference that takes place every year, a place to see all the positive possible outcomes for people with disabilities who live and thrive in community. There she connected with people from the US and Canada who are doing groundbreaking things in their communities to move people into well-connected social roles. Under Jack Pearpoint and Lynda Kahn, she learned Graphic Facilitation, which is a way to listen for the imagery in peoples’ stories and capture important themes in graphics and pictures. This is useful when applied to PATH and another planning tool called MAPs- both are ways to discover a person’s gifts and to surround them with circles of people who will support them to achieve their dreams and goals.
We have just completed our annual report to investors and will continue to post periodically what is happening within the program.