Issue #1 - Friday, February 12 - Weather for Oneonta - Cloudy 20°/4°
Cook Street Prepares For Spring

Months of winter have everyone at the Cook Street Community Home missing flowers and the warm sunshine! So, residents decided to do something about it! They did some internet shopping and found a spring-themed sun-catcher set that caught everyone's eye. The kit included 24 custom sun-catchers ready to be painted with vibrant spring colors.

Residents Richard, Madeline, and Paul chose their favorite sun-catchers and got right to work painting. Paul shared, "I love doing crafts with Michele (staff member). They're fun." Paul is excited about spring and says that he is looking forward to spending some time outdoors in the sunshine again.
Donor Dollars at Work

This week's Donor Dollars at Work post highlights the experiences that School at Springbrook student Brayden MacMillan loves! Brayden's aunt and uncle, Dave and Kate Kruk, share that while Brayden is at Snell House (and at home), he loves to transform the living room into a movie theater and snack bar. Kate says, "He makes movie tickets, works the cash register, and reminds everyone to silence their phones and enjoy the show!" Kate and Dave also shared that they were able to recreate an experience that Brayden loves: a stay at a local hotel. Dave notes, "Brayden absolutely loves hotels and has been known to transform our home and his grandma's house into hotels by making room signs with Post-It notes." Thank you, Dave and Kate, for bringing such joy to Brayden's life, and thank you to our network of donors - whose support provides countless opportunities and makes the difference. Brayden has shown us that we can continue doing what we love when we're creative and surrounded by support, kindness, and generosity.

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Words from the Springbrook Community

We are excited to share news of a new Springbrook starting wage. New Direct Support Professionals now start at $14 to $16.50 per hour (depending on qualification and program). With this new starting wage increase, we were also able to give raises to all current employees! If someone you know may be interested in starting a career at Springbrook, please click here

As part of our efforts to share this exciting news with our community, we asked Direct Support Professionals to share their thoughts on the benefits of working as a DSP. Alyssa Thomas, who currently works in the Bird Ave Community Home, had this to share.
"The benefits of working as a DSP are definitely the feelings of doing my part in my lifetime to make a difference in the lives of the individuals that I work with by encouraging independence, teaching life skills, but most importantly ensuring their safety, especially when they cannot do so themselves. You have the advantage of working with numerous unique people and learn all the different skills and needs they require, and you're able to be a part of that person's milestones and accomplishments. It's truly amazing to see firsthand the gratifying relationship between a DSP and the individuals they support."
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Important News for the I/DD Community
As you may be aware, Governor Cuomo has announced that adults 16 years or older with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in non-certified settings (for example, living alone or with family) will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines as of February 15, 2021.

OPWDD is working with regional County Department of Health offices to determine appropriate allocations of supply. OPWDD is also in the process of creating dedicated Point of Dispensing (POD) sites where the County will administer COVID-19 vaccinations to our community-based member population as vaccines are available.

We want to thank each of you who took the time to reach out to your local representatives and advocate for vaccine priority for the I/DD community. Often, the I/DD community's needs are overlooked by state representatives, and it is because of you that the I/DD voice can be heard, and decisions can be made with their best interest in mind. If you believe there is not enough attention regarding a specific issue, please remember to speak up and contact your representative.

At Springbrook, we know the next step forward to beat the COVID-19 virus is to do our part and get vaccinated to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the community. We want to thank everyone for their support and compassion throughout the pandemic. Below are our current vaccination numbers at Springbrook as of February 12.
Residents vaccinated with the first dose: 191

Residents vaccinated with the second dose: 46

Staff members vaccinated: 259
Thank you for reading this issue of the Springbrook Good News Roundup. Please be sure to visit our website and follow our social media channels for news and updates on everything Springbrook. Please feel free to share this email with friends or family interested in all the great things happening at Springbrook.
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