A message from our CEO, Denise Daviau
The last several months at SARAH Inc. have been very busy as the 2023 Legislative Session is underway. Advocacy for the children and adults we serve, as well as for our employees, are continually at the forefront of what we do to uphold our mission to provide the highest-quality supports in our programs. This year, advocating for funding for nonprofits, particularly Birth to Three, has been challenging. With the current proposed budget, it is evident that we must keep fighting for fair and appropriate funding.
This April, we successfully hosted our first ever “Look What I Can Do” Legislative Breakfast, partnered with Rehabilitation Associates, to bring Birth to Three families and legislators together. The goal was to have families share the positive impact Birth to Three had on their families and how vital those supports are to help children thrive. Please read more about the event below.
We also recently conducted our annual Employee Engagement
Survey. This survey allows us to gather feedback from our employees so we can continue
to work on improving our employee experience in all areas. The feedback we
received highlighted many positives and also areas of improvement. We
appreciate and value the feedback that our employees provided to help us
strengthen their experiences.
We welcome spring and the warm weather ahead. We also thank all of the staff, friends, and
families of SARAH Inc. who have taken the time to advocate not only for us, but
all nonprofits in Connecticut. Our work is far from over, and we will continue
to ensure our voice is heard. We wish everyone a happy, healthy Spring.
Help Make a Difference! The Great Give 2023
The Great Give 2023 is a community-wide giving event benefiting nonprofits in the Greater New Haven area and is taking place May 3rd through May 4th. This annual giving event provides local nonprofits with the opportunity to raise awareness for their work and raise funds to help support their missions.
As a participating organization, SARAH Inc. is grateful to be a part of this important movement again and receive support from generous donors for our programs. When you make a gift to SARAH Inc. during The Great Give, your support will positively impact the lives of more than 1,700 children and adults in your community. Individuals and families receive high-quality, personalized, life-enhancing services through SARAH Inc. KIDSTEPS Birth to Three, Enrichment Adult Services Programs, and Employment Adult Services Programs.
"Look What I Can Do!" Legislative Breakfast
We are excited to announce a new community partner. Big Lots! in North Haven has partnered with us, and participants in our Employment Program started working with them this month. Participants will be assisting with sorting and stocking shelves, organizing aisles, and setting up promotional tables.
Our crews have also resumed working with the PEZ Visitor Center in Orange, which has always been a hit. Participants get to work on various projects, such as disposing of expired PEZ that is in packaging and organizing the PEZ dispensers for reuse. For Easter, they had a great time assisting the Branford Community Center in distributing Easter baskets.
We are thankful for our local business partnerships. These opportunities help adults gain more independence, build community relationships, and learn more about what different careers consist of.
Community Supports Success Story
We are happy to share an inspiring success story about Bill! Bill receives services through our Community Supports Program and has been working on becoming more independent and connected within his community. Bill’s passion for model trains led him to the idea of presenting a model train demonstration to individuals in our Westbrook Day Program.
Bill is part of a model train club based out of Preston, CT called the Mohegan Pequot Model Railroad Club Inc. Together, they go to events and set up their model trains and create large displays. He also independently volunteers at his church in Clinton and local libraries to put up model train displays and teach children.
His demonstrations are interactive with controllers that individuals can press to control the train’s direction, speed, and sounds. Bill would like to continue volunteering independently at our DSO programs and educate individuals about trains and enjoy his model train displays. They loved having Bill and are looking forward to seeing Thomas the train engine and The Polar Express trains, which Bill has. We are proud of Bill’s continued success working towards an independent, fulfilling life.
Steven's Success Story
Steven is an individual in our Enrichment Program with a recent success story to share! When Steven started with SARAH Inc. he was living with his guardian and is now residing in a group home and living a more independent life and thriving socially with his peers. He enjoys volunteering and is currently participating in High Hopes and enjoys working with the horses. Some other fun facts about Steven are that he recently won gold, silver, and bronze while participating in the Winter Olympics for snowshoeing. He is practicing now for track and field, particularly running. Steven likes to help his peers out as well as help out the staff. Steven is also great with maps and will help you when if you get lost. He is full of ideas, loves to joke around, very helpful, and we look forward to cheering him on in the Summer Olympics.
Spring has finally arrived here at SARAH Inc., and the individuals in our Enrichment Services have been participating in various educational and fun activities these past few months. Individuals in our North Haven, Madison, and Westbrook Day Programs are creating lifelong memories and learning skills based on each person’s needs and desires.
The activities that individuals participated in these past months are Spring Painting Day, Nourish & Nosh classes, Pi Day, Earth Day gardening and crafts, MLK Day activities, Black History Month lessons, Parachute Movement Day, and a Meigs Point Nature Center visit at Hammonasset State Park to learn about various types of turtles. Each day, our Enrichment Program works with individuals to work towards independence in their daily lives.
KIDSTEPS Early Intervention Services
This April, we celebrated Autism Acceptance Month and the differences that make everyone unique. It started back in 1972 when the Autism Society organized its first annual National Autistic Children’s Week. The Autism Society then expanded it to the entire month. Now April is recognized across the country as Autism Acceptance Month.
On March 21st, SARAH Inc. celebrated World Down Syndrome by wearing funky socks. Socks were chosen because individuals with Down Syndrome have three copies of their 21st chromosome, which have the visual appearance of mismatched socks.
We were delighted at how many photos were sent in from staff, family and friends, showcasing their fun, bright, mismatched, unique socks for World Down Syndrome Day! We had so many submissions, we made a slide show for you to enjoy if you participated. Thank you to everybody who sent in their photos for this year!
We love hearing from families about all of the successes they have because of our dedicated KIDSTEPS Birth to Three program staff. Here is a recent testimonial from one of our families.
“Since our son’s been in Birth to Three, we have seen an improvement like no other. This program, has helped not only Dante but also we as parents. I am not saying we were bad parents, just first time parents. This program helped us be more vigilant about our son’s actions. Focusing on his actions to learn from him also helped us work out a plan with Birth to Three to ensure the best results for our Son’s Development. Birth to Three has been visiting our place, and honestly we both love this, about how they come over to give our son the one-on-one he needs for his development. We learn how to better communicate with our son, to understand his actions to know what he wanted.
Our favorite part, is when Birth to Three would come over, and we are very excited to tell them the achievements our son has achieved the night before. If it wasn’t for Birth to Three, I can honestly say that where we are now in this point of life, we would not have made it this far without the help from Birth to Three. We are truly grateful for everything they have helped us with and we will never forget all the great success it had on our child. Thank you, Birth to Three. “
How to Request an Evaluation
To request a Birth to Three early intervention evaluation, you can:
A.) Call the toll-free intake phone number at Child Development Infoline at 1-800-505-7000
B.) Complete the online referral form on the Birth to Three System website, www.birth23.org
C.) Download the referral form from the Birth to Three website and fax your referral to 1-800-571-6853
If you would like a specific services provider to do an evaluation, you can request them by name during the intake process. Otherwise, your child will be assigned to the program in your town that is next on rotation. If you have any questions, please contact us at 203-453-7592.
SARAH Solutions Podcast: The Parent Perspective
We are excited to announce that our SARAH Solutions podcast is re-launching with a brand new look! We are kicking it off with a very informative series about the parent perspective and navigating each stage of life as you care for a loved one with differing abilities.
In our first episode of The Parent Perspective, Jen and Tesha were fortunate to have Danielle Gonyea, Autism & Special Needs Consultant, Certified Cruise Counsellor, and Disney Expert, as our first Parent Perspective guest representing the Birth to Three Program. In this first episode of a two-part series, she explains her experience throughout the Birth to Three Program for not just one child but three children, who are all diagnosed with autism. Not only is this episode informative, but it is also an incredible resource filled with wisdom and inspiration.
Join Our Team
If you have any questions about an open role, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] before you submit your application. We look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you Donors
As we enter warmer weather, we are grateful for the sunshine and the continued support of our friends and neighbors. You make brighter futures for the families and adults we serve every day. We would like to thank The Westbrook Foundation for its continued generous support of SARAH Inc.’s equestrian therapy program and High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Inc. for its amazing team of educators and for providing financial aid to make this program happen!
Lastly, thank you to The Tea Kettle Restaurant, Old Saybrook, for nominating SARAH Inc. to receive a charitable donation from last month’s 26th Annual Chili Fest!
Your gift will provide over 1,700 children and adults in our programs to continue to lead healthy, happy, and productive lives. Please donate and make a difference.