Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service at Rimland
On January 18, Rimland celebrated the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with a visit from an outstanding group of volunteers from Northwestern University. The group of 11 students and faculty members sorted, cleaned, and organized supplies used in our Developmental Training Program activities.
The visit was part of Northwestern’s campus-wide Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service, which encouraged members of the Northwestern community to engage in a variety of service projects throughout the Evanston and Chicago areas. Following their time at Rimland, the volunteers joined with other Day of Service participants on the Northwestern campus to have lunch and reflect on their experience.
Thanks to all who came to lend a hand!
Rimland Goes to Yale!
On Saturday, May 9, Rimland was honored to be the focus of YaleChicago’s first-ever Yale Day of Service site dedicated to architecture and design. Launched in 2009, the global day of service is an opportunity for Yale alumni around the world to share their time and talents and make a difference. While Yale Day of Service activities take place at more than 250 locations globally, Chicago was one of only seven cities to host a site benefitting nonprofits in the areas of architecture and design. The other cities were Boston, Los Angeles, New Haven, New York, San Francisco, and Shanghai.
Dubbed The Architect is In: Chicago, the day-long workshop was an opportunity for Rimland to consult with several area architects on projects in need of professional design services.
Working groups consisted of Rimland staff members collaborating with a mix of recent and older graduates of the Yale School of Architecture to consider two projects: a practical plan to renovate Rimland’s Emerson House and a concept for a “dream home” that would represent the most ideal possibilities and wishes for a Rimland residence.
The discussion for renovating Emerson House centered on bringing the residence up to Rimland’s new standards of accessibility, sustainability, and design. The plans reflect an “open concept” that allows for more visual contact throughout the home, permitting unobstructed sightlines from the kitchen to the living room, for example. The “dream home” working group proposed optimal features for a residence if money were no object, such as expanding the home and adding a movie screen onto the rear wall of the residence for outdoor viewing in warm weather.
At the end of the day, the group of architects volunteered to meet with Rimland for a follow-up day of service in June 2015, when they will present their designs and recommendations for the renovation of Emerson House, taking into account their findings after a site visit to Emerson House on May 13. They will also deliver their plan for the dream home with the hope that some of the ideas could be incorporated into future renovations or residences. Rimland will also receive architectural drawings and a narrative of the project that may be helpful as a component of grant proposals and fundraising initiatives.
We look forward to continuing our collaboration with YaleChicago alumni in the weeks to come.
Springing Forward with Rebuilding Together
On Saturday, April 26, Rimland’s Developmental Training Center welcomed a visit from valued community partner Rebuilding Together North Suburban Chicago. Rebuilding Together is a national nonprofit organization that provides repairs and renovations for low-income families and communities throughout the United States. Each year, Rebuilding Together organizes Give Back Day, an initiative dedicated to matching sponsor organizations with nonprofit facilities in need of repair and improvements. For this spring’s Give Back Day, Rebuilding Together North Chicago coordinated the efforts of 130 volunteers from First Presbyterian Church of Evanston and Sojourner Covenant Church of Evanston on behalf of Rimland’s Developmental Training Program.
The volunteers worked alongside Rimland staff members and families painting doors, classroom walls, and the large, open areas between the classrooms. The colors in these areas are now consistent with the new colors standard throughout Rimland facilities and residences. Participants also replaced doors and damaged ceiling tiles and made much-needed repairs throughout the Developmental Training Center. Some of the volunteers worked with lead artist Katy Ingle to paint a mural along the wall of the open area in the Developmental Training Center. The mural features a soothing design of lily pads floating on a pond.
In addition to their participation with the adult volunteers in renovations and repairs, the youth volunteers created specially designed gift boxes for Rimland’s direct support professionals. The handmade boxes included candy, gift cards, and personalized thank-you notes for the staff’s hard work.