January 2022
Individualized home supports feed passion for trains
A chance meeting turned into so much more for train enthusiast and ProAct participant Matthew Bignell in Lake City.

“He has a huge model train collection and loves to see trains, as well as talk about what he has learned about them,” said ProAct Program Manager Pam Veith in Red Wing.

Bignell was out doing some research at the public library with support from ProAct Case Coordinator Steve Whitmore. The two meet weekly as part of a new Individualized Home Supports program.
Participants continue to return, some expand service days
Nearly 50 participants across ProAct's sites will be returning for services, increasing the days they come for programming or adapting their service plans. Virtual enrichment classes restart on February 7.

“We’re reintroducing individuals to a broad array of new virtual classes,” said ProAct VP Kim Feller. Staff are very excited to facilitate ‘Move ‘n Grove, Exercise, Create Easy Crafts and Drawings, Socialize, Home Scavenger Hunt and other classes.
Well-received 'focus areas' take college-like approach
Much like college fields of study, ProAct has created a unique curriculum model for its Day Support Services (DSS) enrichment classes. This new "focus area" approach is proving to be very popular.

“Participants love the fact that they’re in ‘Science & Our World,’ for example,” said VP Kim Feller. “They see it as the ability to gain more knowledge and be a part of a group of students.” Multiple tracks are offered, with schedules and classes virtually or in-center. -more-
Mother notes improvement

"I just wanted to give you and your team kudos. Since working at ProAct, Sarah’s hand-eye coordination has improved so much. Really shows in her sunflower picture. In the past she would have used one, maybe two colors and would have made huge marks on the paper with it. While her sunflower isn’t the best, it actually looks like a sunflower and she is so proud! Please thank Lotta for her help and encouragement during painting class." -Jennifer
Pre-ETS work experiences attractive, multiple businesses hiring
ProAct’s Pre-ETS Paid Work Experience has been a popular service for young people with disabilities.

Students get a taste of working at either one of ProAct’s established sites or have an employment specialist work on building an opportunity at a new business of their choice, explains Anna Cahak, employment development manager for ProAct. This service allows the student to earn minimum wage, learn and build skills and receive job coaching supports alongside their work experience.

Recently, Pre-ETS program participants have been hired by Kwik Trip, Walgreens, HomeGoods, Sierra, Apple Valley Village Health Care Center, Fleet Farm, Target, and Marshalls. -more-
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
Remembering the Holocaust
ProAct’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee identified “International Holocaust Remembrance Day” as its diversity focus area for the month of January. It occurs on January 27. “As a team committed to providing services to individuals with disabilities within a diverse workplace, it is important for us to understand the importance of equity in how our work is performed,” said VP Kim Feller. -more-
Sign up for Disability Services Virtual Day at the Capitol - March 8. ProAct is a member of the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR), which is organizing a 10 a.m. rally with ARRM and the Best Life Alliance.
By the numbers | December 2021
  • 674 participants served
  • 37,117 hours of service
Correction: ProAct served 702 participants in November 2021, not 784 as was reported. The organization regrets this error.
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December and January enrichment program highlights
Snack cart rolls in river town
ProAct’s Red Wing site launched its version of the Snack “Attack” Cart on January 10, which is already running in Eagan and Shakopee. As part of the “Maintaining Skills” class, the cart provides an opportunity for participants to enhance their retail sales skills. People count change, run inventory controls, help with marketing and stock products.
'Kindness and Manners' class practices appreciation
Red Wing enrichment programming’s “Kindness and Manners” class made a kindness bucket and participants wrote kindness acts to choose and do.

One activity included leaving sticky notes on the bathroom mirrors that said thank you for keeping ProAct clean that participants and staff really appreciate it. The goal was to reach the woman who cleans, who later responded with a kind note of her own.
Holiday happenings: Eagan, Hudson and Red Wing
Year-end holidays in Eagan were celebrated with variety of festive wear such as socks, hats, sweaters, and traditional colors. A reindeer toss game was a big hit as well as a coloring contest. “Our big winner was Kathleen Moseman, who is also the reigning champ from our Halloween coloring contest,” said Program Manager Stephanie Osman. Everyone created their very own ornament and the week ended with a dance party! -more-
Early in the week of Christmas, Red Wing ProAct participants started their celebrations by making Christmas cards for individuals who had not come back to ProAct and sent them to their homes.

“We then made sugar cookies, decorated them and had hot chocolate,” said DSP and instructor Lori Clemens. The following day, there were discussions about the traditions and customs of Christmas.
Groups played games and made Christmas crafts.

And, the day before Christmas Eve, participants played holiday trivia and holiday family feud. “Then we watched a movie and drank hot chocolate.”
Cultural pursuits in Red Wing: Hanukkah, St. Nicholas Day, Kwanzaa
ProAct participants in Red Wing's Culture Club talked about Hanukkah and how it is celebrated, making a bulletin board in the process. Individuals colored menorahs and stapled them to a board with descriptions, explains instructor and direct service professional Lori Clemens. Then they made a dreidel, a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter printed on each side. -more-
MLK Day celebration in Red Wing
ProAct participants in Red Wing celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. They watched his famous speech and were asked, "If you could have a dream, what would it be?" The class then cut out cloud shapes and wrote their dreams on them, decorated and placed them on a board. Dreams included getting a job at Walmart, becoming a rock star and taking a trip to Texas.
Online giving makes it easy to support our Mission
ProAct offers secure online giving through its website and you can designate your gift to fulfill a specific need or help a ProAct location. From vehicle expenses to program and equipment needs and our endowment fund, you can help. Thank you for your support for ProAct's Mission.
ProAct is hiring
Looking for a change in the New Year? You can have a greater impact and improve the lives of others. ProAct is hiring. Apply now!
ProAct, Inc. | 651-686-0405 | proactinc.org