March 2019
Join Our Team!

Merrick Announces $15.00 Starting Wage

Merrick has a proud history of being a leader in providing support to adults with disabilities. We were one of the first organizations to establish formal collaborations with businesses to employ clients in the greater workforce; we are the only Day Training and Habilitation program to have a greenhouse onsite to provide horticultural life enrichment activities; and our program served as an incubator for the anti-bullying Ambassadors for Respect Program. Today, we are equally proud to announce we have increased the starting wage for all Direct Support Professionals to $15.00 per hour.

In addition to working side-by-side with an experienced staff in a comfortable central program building, we provide paid training, medical, dental, PTO, and holiday pay for full-time staff and pro-rated PTO and Holiday pay for part-time staff.

In addition, new hires are eligible to receive a $500.00 bonus once they complete their training period and another $500.00 bonus following their 9th month of employment!

With empathy, authenticity, and commitment to clients, Merrick's Direct Support Professionals are difference makers in the lives of the 375 adults with disabilities for whom we provide life enrichment and employment support. Won't you join us in making a difference today?
New Trustees
At its December 2018 meeting, Merrick's Board elected two new trustees to serve three-year terms. Maureen McGarry is a relative of a client at Merrick and is serving on the Board as an Advocate Representative. Professionally, she is the Owner/Managing Broker of Investors Realty MN. Her Merrick committee work includes the Bowl-a-Thon and the Development and Marketing Committee.

Phil Sanfilippo is a Vice President of Commercial Banking at BMO Harris and is serve as a Community Representative on the Board. Phil's committee selections are the Golf Scramble, and the Finance Committee.

Welcome, Maureen and Phil!
Events
17th Annual Bowl-A-Thon, Presented by IPS Cranes

On a chilly Sunday morning in March of this year, 250 bowlers and cheerleaders filled Flaherty's Arden Bowl for a "rolling" good time to benefit Merrick. Guests enjoyed bowling, lunch, carnival games and activities. Clients raised money through pledges and many sponsorships were granted so all clients who wished to attend could participate. For this, we are truly grateful.

Jackie and Pat O'Connell and their staff at IPS Cranes spearheaded the event, handling many details including sponsorship and donation procurement, volunteering at the event, creating lane banners, and many of the other behind-the scenes details. We couldn't have done it without them and their amazing team! Thank you!

Together we raised nearly $36,000.00, after expenses, which will be used to support the employment and life enrichment goals of the 375 clients at Merrick. Clients come to Merrick in search of employment solutions or therapies including art, horticulture, occupational and music. The proceeds from the Bowl-A-Thon will certainly go a long way toward covering the gap between governmental reimbursements and the cost to provide support services.
Plant Sale - Just in time for Mother's Day!
EMPOWER! Lunch
Mark your calendar for Merrick's 2nd Annual EMPOWER! Lunch--Thursday, October 3, 2019. More details to follow.
Client Spotlight
Ruby P. Makes a Difference
in Her Community

Although Ruby has been with Merrick just over a year, we can see how she makes a big impact in the lives of the people around her, including the staff at Merrick!

Ruby comes to Merrick on Tuesdays and Thursdays and works on the Utility Services floor where she adapts easily to new contracts. When she is not at Merrick, she also volunteers at the Ramsey County Government Center's information desk, helping everyone to feel welcome. Ruby likes to be around people and "out and about." The earnings from her work here at Merrick help her do just that.

What we find most impressive about Ruby is that for the past eight years, she has served as an election judge during the general elections. For the past three years, she has worked with the same head judge who began requesting she be stationed at his polling place after the first year of working together. Ruby is a great example for her peers in living a life of civic engagement. Although not everyone is able to serve as an election judge, her advocacy for everyone's right to vote is inspirational.

Ruby has also made an impact in the offices at Merrick, bringing special baked goods for staff, especially Executive Director, John Wayne Barker. She knows he has a sweet tooth!
Legislative Update
Several bills pertaining to funding for programs like Merrick are being considered at the MN State Capital. None of them fully restores the 7% cut to funding as a result of the state failing to adequately match federal funding last year.

We need your legislators to hear from you that they should support restoration of this funding and also to adjust the timing of the scheduled rate adjustments to every two years to better keep pace with changing economic conditions.