Newsletter for the JESPY Community
Winter 2019 Edition  
JOIN US FOR THE JUBILEE!
Only 5 Days to Go!
Come out and celebrate at JESPY 's 2019 Jubilee! Enjoy an afternoon of music, dancing, food, photo booth, and Tricky Tray. 

Date: Sunday, February 3, 2019
Time: 12-4pm
Location: The Crystal Plaza, 305 West Northfield Road, Livingston, NJ. 
Ticket prices: $50 for clients and $100 for guests. 

To RSVP online, click HERE . For contributions to the Tricky Tray, contact Allison Sanchez at  asanchez@jespy.org  
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
 LUMINARY PROJECT
JESPY clients were excited to participate in The Luminary Project, which was organized by the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race. Board Member Ahadi Bugg-Levine sponsored JESPY's participation in the project. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., JESPY clients wrote positive and inspirational messages on bags that illuminated the front of the Judi House.
WINKLER APPOINTED TO STATE BOARD


JESPY Executive Director, Audrey Winkler , was recently appointed by Governor Murphy as a member of the Independent Developmental Disability Fee-For-Service Transition Oversight Board. One of the goals of the state-wide Board is to assess whether rates are adequate to support clients with I/DD.
MEMORIAL GARDEN
A beautiful plaque now hangs in the Memorial Garden located in the backyard of the Mitchell House on Milligan Place. The plaque is in loving memory of JESPY’s longtime colleagues and mentors.

JESPY RINGS IN 2019!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
JESPY clients had tons of fun ringing in the New Year with food, music, and lots of dancing.
A SEASON OF HOLIDAY FUN
Joined by other local vendors, clients sold their wares and JESPY handmade cards and cookbooks at the Holiday Craft Fair at the Judi House.
Clients used their team building and creativity skills when they participated in the building of a 12-foot-high Menorah constructed of LEGOs. Shown here (r) is LEGO project architect Stephen Schwartz and Judi House Chair Arthur Schechner. The event was funded by the Judi House Fund.
(Left photo) Joined by volunteers from Next Dor (young adults from the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ), clients created Thanksgiving placemats, ornaments, and door decorations. (Right photo) JESPY clients sold handmade gift cards and JESPY cookbooks as part of the SOMA General Store Holiday Pop Up Shop this past December.
WREE CLIENT PROFILE:
Dawn Oppenheimer
Long-time JESPY client Dawn Oppenheimer loves her job. As a teacher’s assistant at Peanut Shell Daycare Center in Livingston, her work schedule is filled with duties that enhance the care of youngsters between the age of two and three years old. 

   “I prepare the supplies that the teachers will need,” she says with a smile. “I also help with the children’s snacks and get their mats ready for nap time.”

   Dawn, who has been working at Peanut Shell since 2002, says she works with between 14-16 children each day. She loves interacting with them and says that their high energy keeps her on her toes. Dawn also likes her five-day work week and part-time schedule but enjoys having summers and holidays off. 

“Dawn is a great help in the classroom,” says Lead Teacher Samantha Klabenesh-Dixon, who works in Peanut Shell’s toddler classroom. “She’s good at reading stories to the kids. They love having stories read to them. She does a lot here and is very helpful. Dawn is really good at what she does.”

   So how has Dawn managed to remain with the same employer for so long? “Being on time has helped with that,” she explains. “I don’t call out from work unless I have to. I also like working with fun and reliable people.”

   “I like staying busy,” she adds. “I feel great that I’ve kept the Peanut Shell job this long. I plan to work there for a long time.”
A GREAT WAY TO GIVE TO JESPY:
Sydney's Mitzvah Project
Teen Sydney Rubin recently became a Bat Mitzvah on January 19. When she began thinking about her own Bat Mitzvah, she knew she wanted to do a project for JESPY House and her aunt and JESPY client Suzy Fischer.

 “I was told that the clients have a community Shabbat dinner every Friday night,” said Sydney. “However, funding for these dinners is becoming difficult.”

Sydney’s Idea: “I thought this would be a great Mitzvah Project. ” Sydney created a Go Fund Me campaign ( Sydney’s Mitzvah Project ) to raise $1,000 dollars. 

The Result:   She’s surpassed her goal, raising $1,113.00 to date to help support additional Shabbat dinners.

How to Donate:   Check out Sydney’s campaign on Gofundme.com, if you’d like to lend your support. 

Sydney (r) is shown here with her aunt Suzy Fischer.
ATHLETICS: GAME ON!
The Athletics Program had a full sporting events schedule in January. The JESPY Thunder volleyball team participated in the Special Olympics Winter Games in Galloway. The Black team placed 2nd and the Blue team placed 4th. Our bowlers participated in the Area 9 Special Olympics competition in Belleville. Fourteen clients participated in the singles competition, with six clients winning 1st place and other clients turning in impressive showings. Go teams!
COLUMBIA HIGH SCHOOL'S FEATURED EMPLOYEE
Columbia High School recently recognized JESPY client DAVID FINKELSTEIN as the 'January Feature Employee'. David has been a hard-working and dedicated employee for 23 years. Way to go David! Congratulations! We are all so proud of you!
MAKING THE MOVE TO HEALTHIER EATING
JESPY clients are getting the benefits of healthy eating and our recent dietary and menu changes have been a part of the process. 

   SWEA Supervisor Shay Remillard, Assistant Supervisor Nicole Rambone, and Nurse Pat Taylor review weekly menus and continually improve our food selections. “We all put our heads together and prepare menus that are low in sugar, sodium, and fat but still taste great,” explains Taylor.

   Some of the new menu items include: gluten free pasta, low fat yogurt, salad, brown rice, vegetables, tuna, chicken, fish, turkey wraps, and whole wheat rolls. Clients are also eating healthy breakfast options like bran muffins, oatmeal , and fruit parfaits . New snack options include granola bars, Sun Chips , and Skinny Pop popcorn .

  “We’ve been focusing on helping clients make healthier choices so that when they come here, they have good options,” says Rambone.  “We also pay attention to the needs of clients who don’t eat meat. So we provide vegetarian options.”

   “Our Friday night dinners can have anywhere between 20 – 40 clients,” Rambone continues. “The clients enjoy those healthy meals and they also like the Saturday lunches. The client response to the changes has been very positive.”

   SWEA has also added cooking classes on Tuesday and Thursday and those are healthy too. Clients are learning to cook meals that are good for them and are having fun doing it. 

   “I counsel many clients on healthy eating habits and exercise in order to keep their weight and various health issues under control, and they’re doing a good job,” adds Taylor.
WELCOME NEW EMPLOYEES TO JESPY!
Lillian Bush - SWEA Facilitator; Tiffany Byrd - Day Program Facilitator
Sha Hutcherson - Maintenance staff; Lachelle Simpson - Administrative Assistant (Administration Office)
CONGRATULATIONS ALLISON ON YOUR 2018 NJACP LEADERSHIP AWARD!
JESPY’s Allison Sanchez was recently named an Honoree at the 2018 NJACP Leadership Awards . The presentation took place at NJACP’s 35 th Annual Statewide Conference in Atlantic City in November of 2018. The NJACP (New Jersey Association of Community Providers) works with services and supports organizations that help advance the futures of adults with IDD. Allison currently works as the Director of Quality Assurance & Medicaid Oversight at JESPY. Congratulations!
A NEW BUNDLE OF JOY
WREE Employment Engagement Supervisor Michelle Rampersant-Faulk welcomed a baby girl, Amelia- Lucille, on December 7, 2018. She's our youngest JESPY fan! Congratulations!
A GIFT FROM THE HEART



Sylvia Ben Asher was gracious enough to donate her car to JESPY. Her gift will make transportation accessible for clients to get to job interviews and doctor visits. Mrs. Ben Asher sets a great example for those who want to find alternative ways to support JESPY in addition to conventional giving. To donate to JESPY, click HERE .




Mrs. Ben Asher is shown here with JESPY's WREE Employment Support Supervisor Robert Slater.
NJ TRANSIT BOARD MEETING UPDATE
(Left to right) Clients arrive with Audrey Winkler at NJ Transit Board Meeting; JESPY client Nancy Jacobs addresses board members.
JESPY House Executive Director Audrey Winker along with several JESPY clients, parents, staff, and a Board Member, attended a NJ Transit Board Meeting at One Penn Plaza East in Newark this past December. 

These issues of concern were presented by JESPY regarding Access Link:
  • Horrible service 
  • Poor reliability
  • Rude interaction with customers
  • Overall neglect of people with disabilities 

  The Board heard from three clients, WREE Employment Support Supervisor Robert Slater, JESPY Board member Ahadi Bugg-Levine, and Audrey Winkler. After sharing several terrible client experiences, the need for a special meeting with Board members to discuss all issues was stressed.
    
UPDATE:
    JESPY met with staff from NJ Transit/Access Link on January 22nd to discuss future service as it relates to our clients. The General Manager has agreed to come to JESPY to meet with clients, staff, and their families sometime in February. We will send an update when the date is confirmed.
JESPY-ON-THE-GO
JESPY House Inc. is pleased to announce that we have enhanced our services to offer Individual Supports (IS) and Community-Based Supports (CBS) in home to adults of all ages (age 21 through senior years) in communities in Essex, Union and Bergen Counties.

JESPY ON-THE-GO will provide Supports in the following areas: 

  • Activities of Daily Living: shopping, hygiene, healthy eating.

  •  Increased Community Participation: errands, appointments, etc.

  • Increased Independence as it relates to light cooking skills, laundry training, grocery shopping, cleaning skills, and money management.

  •  Learning Activities, including tutoring, counting change, reading, and writing.

For more information please contact Tara Roberts, LCSW at  troberts@jespy.org or 973-762-6909, ext. 221.
SAVE THE DATE!
On Sept. 16, 2019, Join JESPY at the
South Orange Golf Invitational
On September 16, 2019, JESPY House will be an honoree of the South Orange Golf Invitational . The event will be held at the East Orange Golf Course in Short Hills.
   Started in 2017, the Invitational selects honorees based on their service to the South Orange community and non-profit status. We are honored to have been selected as this year's honoree. Stay tuned for ticket and sponsorship information.  
SHOUT OUT AWARD PRESENTATIONS
Here, (from L to R) clients present awards to The Local Yarn Store and Bay Leaf Restaurant.
In honor of the first annual JESPY SHOUT OUT Awards , several JESPY clients went into the community and presented awards to their favorite South Orange businesses. Over the course of several days, the clients gave awards to fifty businesses. Some of the shops included:

Garden State News, Rite-Aid, Carvel, The Leather Shop, Stop and Shop, 7-11, Pet Wants, Sadie's, South Orange Fire Department, Ashley’s Marketplace, The Local Yarn Store, Bay Leaf Redefined Indian Cuisine, Dunkin Donuts, and others.  

   “I thought it was really wonderful,” said JESPY client Janet Alleman. “It was a great experience and opportunity to get out there and tell the businesses how we feel about them and how they have helped us.”
We look forward to sharing with you more exciting happenings at JESPY House as we strive to enable our clients toward success in independent living within the community.

Sincerely,



Audrey Winkler
Executive Director
  Please visit us at  www.jespy.org
for more information about JESPY House services.