Faces of Inclusion January 2021
2020 was quite a year for Pathfinder Services! We faced a lot of uncertainty, change, challenges, restructuring, growth...and of course, COVID-19. The mantra we adapted and have lived through it all is, “Our Mission Continues!” That is still the case as we adapt and adjust to life in this pandemic.
In 2021, not only will our mission continue, but the future looks bright as we continue to make improvements across the organization. We are working strategically to ensure each of our divisions is running consistently and effectively to meet the needs of all involved. Our number one priority being to provide the very best care for the people we serve.
We are expanding our Person-Centered Thinking, Planning, and Practices training to include all employees. This is our effort to improve upon the outstanding care already given to those we serve by helping our employees acquire new skills to effectively listen to each other, to each person we serve, and to the loved ones of those we serve. We will be teaching additional processes to provide the best support possible to ensure access to the best and most appropriate resources for each individual.
We are also expanding physically in our organization, which is a tribute to our growth and success. The brand-new Lindley Street group home is up and running in Huntington. The expansion project at Kids Kampus is coming along beautifully and will include four new classrooms and an expand- ed kitchen and laundry area. That project is expected to be completed in early 2021. Our two projects in Wabash are also moving along nicely. The new Half Street group home will soon be complete so the ladies who currently live at the Market Street property can move into their new home.
One of the biggest projects for Pathfinder Services is the brand-new Wabash Office that will open in early 2021 and will nearly double the space of the old office, allowing for major growth and new programming opportunities. We will see many more new projects and new processes in this new year. Of course, we could not do any of this without our dedicated employees, generous assistance from our volunteers, and people and organizations who continue to support Pathfinder Services as members, donors, and collaborators. Thank you!
HONORING A LEGACY
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of in-person celebrations of former President and CEO John Niederman’s retirement after 35 years of service to Pathfinder Services.
That did not stop us from surprising him in a few very special ways! On Friday, December 18, John and his wife Judy were invited to the Huntington Arts and Entrepreneurial Center (HAEC) to see the progress on the building while no one else was there.
John was overwhelmed with emotion when three special surprises came his way! First, a plaque was revealed naming the HAEC kitchen officially “The Niederman Culinary Kitchen” dedicated to John as President of Pathfinder Services from 1985 to 2020. John’s second surprise came from Indiana State Representative Dan Leonard, who presented John with the Circle of Corydon Award, signed by Governor Eric Holcomb. This prestigious award is given only to people who make remarkable contributions to the betterment of Indiana and its citizens.
Finally, John watched a video of people we serve, employees, board members, and community members thanking him for his dedication to the organization and to making life the best it can be for people of all abilities.
Kids Kampus Receives $20,000 Toy Donation
Pacers Sports and Entertainment, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, and Jakks Pacific Toys joined forces for the third year in a row to donate more than $20,000 worth of toys to the children served at Pathfinder Kids Kampus. “We are so unbelievably grateful to these organizations, especially in this unprecedented year of COVID-19 that has been so difficult on everyone,” says Danielle Tips, President and CEO of Pathfinder Services. “We have more families struggling now than ever, so without this donation, some of our families would not have Christmas gifts for their children.”
Thanks to this toy donation from the Mad Ants, every family served at Kids Kampus received two gifts for each of their children. Many were even able to take home gifts for the other children in their families. “The Mad Ants appreciate the work that Kids Kampus is doing in our community and we are so grateful that we are able to give back to organizations like Pathfinder Services as a thank you for serving the community,” says Allison Link, Account Executive with the Mad Ants. “We were so excited to partner with them for the third year in a row, and even more excited for these kiddos!” From NFL cruiser tricycles and Morf Board scooter skateboards to Sofia the First and Aladdin gifts, 500 brand new toys were handed out. The children were able to see that the spirit of Christmas is alive all thanks to the generosity of others.
5 Ways You Can Get Involved
Your financial support makes what we do possible, by filling the gap between government support and the actual cost it takes to serve people with barriers.
No matter your interests or passion, there are opportunities to make a difference in the lives of our friends.
In-kind gifts of paint, pencils, craft paper, and more go a long way to inspire new artists and young learners.
Monthly giving provides reliable revenue and helps sustain our work.
Attend an event, visit one of our sites, and bring your friends! This is the best way to see our mission up-close.