Blog by:  Elizabeth Deal

Opening the Door to Opportunity

Serving Our Community through Community Outreach

Giving Freedom to People with Disabilities

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”—Jimmy Dean

According to the National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP), more than 48.9 million Americans have a disability. Of those disabilities, approximately 24.1 million people living in the United States have a severe disability. Still, even living with a disability, these unique individuals thrive—especially with a little support from friends and neighbors.

In fact, when given the opportunity, people with disabilities play active, integral roles in their communities. From Mobile and Tuscaloosa to Hartselle and Montgomery, Volunteers of America Southeast (VOASE) provides services to people with disabilities under the Person-Centered Planning Model so that each person has the ability to not only choose what services he or she wants to receive, but also where he or she wants to receive them.

Currently, VOASE has four Community Enrichment Centers throughout the state of Alabama that host individuals daily.  “Our program serves more than 100 individuals in these centers on a daily basis through our services,” says Wallace Davis, President and CEO of VOASE. “Through arts and crafts and health and fitness programs, our goal is to teach people with disabilities the social and soft skills they need in order to be better integrated into the community.”

Giving People with Disabilities a Chance to Succeed

Although they may need to execute their skills in a different way than others, individuals with disabilities are highly capable of excelling at a number of jobs. The Person-Centered Planning Model established by VOASE has a high success rate of taking the highest-functioning individuals to the lowest-functioning individuals and teaching them the life skills they need to live independently and work throughout the community with their neighbors and peers. 

“Our amazing and caring staff is committed to the individuals we serve through this program,” explains Davis. “When you walk into any Center that houses this program, you will hear staff say how they have been associated with helping people with disabilities for 10 to 15 years! They truly care about the lives of these people and to see their interaction and passion is amazing.”

VOASE is able to help people with disabilities find employment through the Supportive Employment program. Project Search is offered to high school students with developmental disabilities.  This program sets individuals up for success post-graduation, which inevitably ensures they have long-term career goals set to make a lasting impact throughout their lives.

All services require pre-approval by the Alabama Department of Mental Health or the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. To learn more about Volunteers of America Southeast, click here, call 251-300-3500, or email us at info@voase.org.

Operation Backpack 2019

June 13th marks the beginning of Volunteers of America Southeast’s Operation Backpack 2019. Operation Backpack is a means for individuals, church groups, civic organizations, local businesses, and others to join together to provide necessary school supplies to equip at-risk children for the upcoming school year. Volunteers of America Southeast, Inc. (VOASE) works with the Mobile County Department of Human Resources (DHR) and local not for profit organizations to provide essential school supplies to children who would otherwise be without. Over the past 8 years Operation Backpack has provided supplies to over 5,000 children. “There are many children who would start the first day of school without even a pencil,” said Wallace Davis, President and CEO of VOASE, “This program enables us to give every foster child a backpack and enough supplies to get them through the first part of the school year. It is our mission to reach and uplift all people, especially children.”

WALA Fox 10 is a media sponsor for Operation Backpack. Supplies and donations can be dropped off until July 26, 2019 at the station located at 1501 Satchel Paige Drive, Mobile, AL 36606 or at the VOASE corporate office located at 1204 Hillcrest Road, Mobile, AL 36695. A list of needed supplies is available at the link below. For more information contact Janet Hyde at jhyde@voase.org.

The Church at Hillcrest and HIS Kids

 

HIS Kids offers children, youth, and young adults with special needs a safe and learning environment during worship service.  Trained staff will provide care in sensory rooms, allowing parents to participate in worship.

For more information, contact Digger Creel:   hcreel@voase.org

The Church at Hillcrest
1204 Hillcrest Road
Mobile, AL 36695

ExxonMobil Summer Jobs Program

ExxonMobil’s Mobile Bay Operations kicked off its 25th annual Community Summer Jobs Program with a luncheon for interns and sponsors on Monday, June 3.

The eight-week summer program funds paid internships for college students to work with local nonprofit agencies. This year’s grants are funding eight students working at eight different local nonprofits.

“During the past 24 years, ExxonMobil has provided funding for about 350 college students to intern with Mobile-area nonprofit organizations,” said Patrick Gorman, ExxonMobil Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay Asset Manager. “The Community Summer Jobs Program provides interns with invaluable work experience along with a better understanding of and appreciation for the important role of nonprofit organizations.”

Participating nonprofit agencies include the American Red Cross, Bayou La Batre Public Library, Bellingrath-Morse Foundation, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, Housing First, Volunteers of America Southeast, and the Weeks Bay Foundation.

The largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, ExxonMobil, is also one of the largest leaseholders in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The company maintains seven platforms in the bay and 10 platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. An onshore gas treating facility located in Mobile County processes the produced natural gas streams. The company first produced natural gas in Mobile Bay in 1988 and has invested more than $3 billion in its operations since first locating in Alabama. Mobile Bay Operations has approximately 150 employees and contractors.

For more information please contact Scott Rye at 251-753-6921 or scott@blackflagcommunications.com