Experience Community

We have all seen commercials for charities helping children with intellectual or developmental disabilities. These open our hearts and wallets. What we do not see is what happens to these children when they reach their late teens or twenties.

I first got involved with Total Link as a volunteer and had the opportunity to meet some of these young adults. All had the same ambitions and life goals as other people their age – get employment, become independent, and make good friends.

TotalLink gives all its participants the opportunity to achieve these goals. They are a small but extraordinary organization and deserve our support.

- Marv Feig, Volunteer & Rotarian

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Your support will help young adults experience community through employment, social opportunities, and lifelong learning.
The CARES Act, passed earlier this year, offers tax incentives for donors interested in increasing their charitable contributions before the end of 2020. Taxpayers who do not itemize their returns can take an above-the-line deduction of up to $300. Those that do itemize can take deductions for gifts made up to 100% of their adjusted gross income.

Although we wish we could have been together for the Revelry party, we had a great time celebrating TotalLink2 Community virtually. Thank you to all of our generous donors and sponsors who helped us raise over $100,000 and made the event a success!

Thank you to our iRevelry sponsors:

Community Partner:
Cheryl Fayne-dePersio

TotalLink2 Community would like to congratulate our community partner, Cheryl Fayne-dePersio, on her retirement from the Village of Northbrook. Cheryl came to TotalLink's first art showing in the Northbrook Studio Tour and became a great fan of the TotalLink artists. She was instrumental in helping to coordinate our art showcase at the Northbrook Village Hall last February. 

– Pictured above: Cheryl Fayne dePersio (center) at the TotalLink2 Community Northbrook Village Hall Artist Reception.
EMPLOYMENT SPOTLIGHT: Horizon Therapeutics
Horizon Therapeutics has been one of TotalLink’s employment partners for over four years. Horizon was introduced to the opportunity of becoming an employment partner by one of TotalLink's volunteers. After meeting with their team and learning more about their needs and company culture, TotalLink employment specialists found a match with one of their job seekers, Danny. Danny then went in for an interview at Horizon and was later offered a job. 

Danny works 20 hours a week and helps with their mail services, keeping office supplies stocked, setting up conference rooms for meetings, as well as helping with special projects.

"Danny is a tremendous asset to the team. We always know he is going to get the job done,” said Tim Scardina, Horizon’s Office Service Manager.

At the beginning of his employment, Danny had a job coach with him to help with his training and support. As his confidence in his responsibilities increased, his coaching support faded. Today, the Horizon team meets quarterly with Danny and Drew, TotalLink’s employment specialist, to have an open line of communication. 
“Danny is truly a blessing to have on the team,” said Holly Strauss, Horizon’s Office Service Manager. She encourages other businesses to take the leap and be open to hiring a young adult with a disability. 

For more information about TotalLink2 Community’s employment program or becoming an employer, please contact Emily Raming at eraming@totallink2.org.

Facilitator Spotlight:
Kathleen Heitmann

Q. How long have you been a facilitator at TotalLink?

For one blessed year.

Q. How did you get involved with TotalLink?
I had just moved back to Chicago from Boulder, Colorado, and my girlfriend, Karen Fusco, suggested I go in to volunteer. I was interviewed for over an hour and a half. I thought I was being interviewed for a volunteering position and walked out being offered the position of facilitator of the ArtLab. The best part about this story? My late husband was CEO of the old Lasalle Bank in the same building where TotalLink is located. My late husband’s office was 25 steps away from the art room. I felt as if it was this great blessing from the get go!

Q. What programs are you currently facilitating?
I currently facilitate ArtLab for EveryONE, Yoga Nidra, and Accountability Check-In.

Q. What is your favorite part about being involved with TotalLink? 
Even though I am teaching a certain class, it’s not the class itself. I am living side by side, assisting our participants in life. So many issues come up during a class. Respect and listening to each of the participants is so much more important than the “program of the day.” I find that in my classes 
there is depth and love for one another. I want each participant to see their strengths and potential to walk away from a class as a better person. I know I do. 

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a proud mother of a beautiful daughter who lives in Oregon, getting her Masters in Organismal Biology and Ecology. She is the love of my life. I began an art career three years ago and it has become a passion I never realized I had when I was living in Boulder, Colorado. I am now attending the Milan Art Institute, which is an intense art school. It is a year-long program teaching classic art education to embellish my skills. Never thought I would be going back to school at 61 years old!

Q. What is a fun fact about you that not many people know? 
Oh my. I am an open book. Maybe that since moving back to Chicago, I treat myself to a Culver’s chocolate ice cream twice a week. It used to be everyday for the first 30 days I moved here. Ha!
Kathleen Heitmann (pictured on right), TotalLink artists and Executive Director, Emily Raming, with Village of Northbrook President, Sandy Frum at the Village of Northbrook Village Hall Art Reception.

This summer, TotalLink2 Community introduced Yoga Nidra as a new offering to our virtual class lineup. 

Yoga Nidra is a very unique, ancient yogic practice that promotes deep rest and relaxation. The practice focuses on breathing, meditation, and awareness. There are no yoga poses as the whole practice is in shavasana, a resting position. Yoga Nidra is known to improve functioning of the nervous system, decrease anxiety, and improve your mood.

Taught by TotalLink’s ArtLab for EveryONE and Accountability Check-In facilitator, Kathleen Heitmann, the class has quickly become a favorite with our young adults. “Yoga Nidra makes me feel a better version of me. I love how Kathleen makes it perfect for everyone to be in their own comfort zone. It’s a nice quiet space and relaxing environment. I picture myself hearing the wonderful sounds of rushing waterfalls, the sunshine on my face, and hearing birds chirping in the background,” said Jenna Pomykalski, one of the class participants. 

“What I love about guiding Yoga Nidra is that we never give our mind, body and soul a break. We are always running and doing, never shutting down our nervous system. In my classes, people have experienced the feeling of calmness and that peacefulness where the body and mind can rest. I can actually see the difference on the participant’s faces. It’s very rewarding when people can trust and let go of everything,” said Kathleen Heitmann.

TotalLink’s Yoga Nidra class is offered virtually on Tuesday evenings. For more information about Yoga Nidra or any of TotalLink’s other social and educational programming, visit www.totallink2.org.
Are you finishing up your holiday shopping online this year? 
Don’t forget to choose TotalLink as your charity with Amazon Smile! 

1) Visit smile.amazon.com.
2) Sign in with your Amazon login.
3) Choose TotalLink2 Community as your charitable organization, or search for TotalLink2 Community.
1200 Shermer Road, Suite 109 | Northbrook, Illinois 60062224-412-4718