July 2020 Newsletter
Leadership Message
Dear Supporter,

It’s hard to believe that July is already here, and I hope that you’re enjoying your longer summer days and the opportunities they afford.

As the Southern Tier continues to reopen in the midst of COVID-19, we at ACHIEVE continue to evaluate the opportunities to safely do so. 

One of the best pieces of good news we received last month was the relaxed visitation policies by New York State on visitors to our IRAs, giving the individuals we serve in our residences and their loved ones the valuable time together that they’ve been missing these last few months. It’s certainly been difficult, to say the least, but these times together have been sorely missed and deeply touching as loved ones have had the opportunity to reconnect face-to-face. While we will continue to adhere to all safety guidelines to ensure that our families can have the time they need together, we know that these visits have had an immeasurable impact on those we serve.

June also saw the kickoff of our first virtual event, the ACHIEVE Awards & Virtual Dance Party. Co-presented by our own ACHIEVE Foundation Board of Directors and Visions Federal Credit Union, this virtual event was our way of hosting our 65 th annual Dinner Dance and recognizing this year’s awards winners for their much-deserved accomplishments, while still giving our individuals their chance to dance. Of course, we would have loved to have joined together for this event, but I’m happy to report that it was a huge success and would like to once again thank our sponsors, donors, and the hundreds who tuned in to watch it live, and congratulate our award winners.

As our community slowly and carefully reopens, our Leadership Team continues to craft an agency reopening plan. While there aren’t formal NYS guidelines yet, we do know that ACHIEVE is going to look a little different for the time being. We continue to provide services with the safety of our individuals and staff at the forefront of all decisions, but we’re hopeful that these changes will continue to bring us back while keeping us all safe and healthy.

And we will continue to be staunch advocates for those we serve, starting with the opposition to millions of dollars in cuts to funding that will affect those that live in our IRAs. 

I cannot emphasize how badly we all want to be together again, and how much priority is being placed upon the safety and health of everyone as we develop these plans. The last few months have been a challenge, but one that I’m so proud to look at our agency and know we’ve handled incredibly.

I wish you and your family a safe and healthy summer, and a happy Fourth of July!
Amy Howard
Chief Executive Officer
Advocate for ACHIEVE - Sign the Petition!
In the wake of COVID-19, a proposal by New York State was put forth that would cut millions of dollars in funding to Residential programs, including those offered here at ACHIEVE. As The Arc New York puts it, “These are not empty beds; they are the homes that our loved ones return to, and you know that service doesn’t stop simply because they’re not in their bed.” 

Please consider signing and voicing your support for these programs:  https://p2a.co/Xgv04WX

As a collective voice, we can ensure that those we serve receive the continuity of care and services they deserve. 

Thank you and be well.
Become a Member of ACHIEVE for just $1!
  • Our members give us a voice.
  • The more members we have, the bigger our voice.
  • By becoming a member, you show that you support ACHIEVE and our mission.
  • There are no emails, no mailingsjust proof of your support.

Please help us reach our goal of 2,200 members this year by signing up and please consider sharing your ACHIEVE story and recruiting others to join as members as well.

If you contributed to our 2020 Annual Appeal, as a thank you,
your membership has already been renewed, but please consider signing up your friends and family; the more members we have,
the stronger our voice!
ACHIEVE held its 66th Annual Dinner Dance and Awards Banquet, presented by the ACHIEVE Foundation Board of Directors and Visions Federal Credit Union, on June 19th - VIRTUALLY! While we were unable to host the event live this year, we had to continue on, because this very special event celebrates the accomplishments of our individuals and recognizes our amazing staff and community partners.

With over 2,700 viewers, the highlight of this year's Awards & Virtual Dance Party was the 2020 Awards Ceremony, featuring beautiful videos produced by our Video Sponsor, Ad Elements. We'd like to thank everyone who tuned in and made the night a success!
To watch the event, click the play button!
Thank you to everyone who made donations throughout the event. It is due to the generosity of our supporters that we were able to exceed our initial fundraising goal of $7,500!
We'd like to thank our phenomenal co-host of the evening, and huge supporter of ACHIEVE, Dan Polhamus of Food & Fire in Johnson City - not only for being an amazing co-host, but for creating special ACHIEVE Awards & Dance Party meals.
Pocket Tea
Founder and CEO Daniel Victor has created an organic, zero calorie energy pouch that offers a boost of energy without the jitters that you get with high caffeine products.

CWS and Pocket Tea started business together in 2017. Since then, the account has steadily grown, with the addition of Amazon in 2019 and Casey’s and Core-Mark in 2020, all of which are huge opportunities for CWS. CWS packages four flavors of these tea pouches, Spearmint, Cinnamon, Citrus, and Mixed Berry, which are placed into tins and blister carded for distribution. These last two can become huge for Pocket Tea.

The pouch is placed between your cheek and gum or you can drop 2 into a bottle of water and drink it. Either way you will get the same boost in energy without getting the jitters as you do with high caffeinated energy products.

Daniel has made sure that his product is compliant with NCAA, WADA, MLB, NBA NHL AND NFL. So whether you are a collegiate or professional athlete or someone who just needs a boost of energy once in a while, Mini-Green pouches may be just the thing you are looking for.

As an added bonus, 5% of the profits go to creating and support outdoor and athletic programs for under-served youth. Pocket Tea believes that exploring learning and being exposed to new things is what childhood should be all about.
To learn more about CWS and how our contract packaging services can serve you, click below!
Employee of the Month - our Essential Workers
Family Advocacy Network
In June, we held a series of Virtual Town Halls to update families on the status of the agency, and put out a call to action for family members to sign on as advocates for those we provide services to help us be a voice for their loved ones when needed.

If you’re interested in joining our Family Advocacy Network, please email Preston Evans, Vice President Development & Donor Relations, at [email protected] .

Lift of Visitation Restrictions
Thank you,  WBNG 12 News , for covering some of the restrictions that have been lifted that allow our individuals to see visitors in their residences again! It’s been hard on them and their loved ones, and we’re happy for the opportunity to safely bring everyone back together.
Individuals living in group homes now able to reunite...

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- With New York State lifting it's ban on allowing visitors to group homes for individuals living with developmental disabilities, many living in those homes are seeing loved ones for the first time in three months this week....

Read more
Check out these awesome shirts made for some of the individuals and staff at our Carlton house! It's so great to see some familiar faces, too!
Team Tioga Strawberry Celebration
Our folks in Tioga sure were disappointed to hear about the cancellation of the Owego Strawberry Festival, so staff decided that they would have their own strawberry celebration together! They completed some fun crafts, decorated the house and van with strawberries, and ended the day with some delicious strawberry cake!
Care Packages
We sure have been missing our friends living at home, so some of our amazing staff, Tammy Vinal and Maggie Kapr, sent some fun care packages to lift their spirits!
Community Habilitation
Community Habilitation is continuing to find new and interesting ways to serve our individuals, whether it be in person while out in the community, in person while in the home, or even through video calls. Kevin and his provider, Gail, have been working together via Zoom for their time together. Their most recent project was working with Kevin's mom to bake sourdough bread, and together they achieved a great outcome!
Happy Birthday!
Aikeem celebrated his birthday on June 15th with some of his amazing housemates and staff members. We hope you had a great day, Aikeem!
ACHIEVE Awarded $85,000 in Grants from NYSARC Trust Services
ACHIEVE was incredibly fortunate to be the recipients of a combined $85,000 from the Trustee Management Board of NYSARC Trust Services to support our James M. Hayes Guardianship program and Recreation programs.

NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts (SNT) and pooled trusts that can make dramatic improvements to the lives of people with disabilities by enabling individuals to maintain eligibility for Medicaid and other means-tested government benefit programs. For 2020, NYSARC Trust Services is proud to fulfill its commitment to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by awarding a total of $2,636,000 in grants to The Arc New York Chapters statewide.

This year, ACHIEVE received $73,000 to provide guardianship services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who would not otherwise have a legal guardian or advocate. Supported by Chapter staff and community volunteers, the James M. Hayes Guardianship Program currently provides guardianship supports and services, and is proud and ready to assist as a Standby or Alternate Standby guardian.

NYSARC Trust Services also awarded ACHIEVE $12,000 to support new recreational opportunities and enrich the lives of our participating individuals. In the past, these funds have been used to help fund our Summer and Recreation Respite Programs, and we’re incredibly grateful to NYSARC Trust Services for the consideration and support.

Promotion Commotion
Congratulations to the following employee for receiving a promotion in the month of May:
  • William Oglesby - Residence Manager
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