Hoyt Foundation Generosity

Our community outreach programming has once again been funded by a generous donation by the Hoyt Foundation. Many thanks for making this program possible!


The Covid-19 pandemic has caused Venture to drastically change how services and activities are provided to the nearly 300 people receiving support.  During one of the agency’s most challenging times, Venture has adapted its community outreach opportunities to include remote activities that people can join in from home on a weekly, including:


· Free yoga & mindfulness classes to children in the Blackstone Valley region

· Free yoga & mindfulness classes for participants of our day programs and residences

· Free creative music sessions for participants of our day programs and residences

· Free adaptive exercise classes hosted by certified trainers at Unified Health & Performance


Adaptive yoga, music and exercise programs all made possible by the Hoyt Foundation

The Venture Community is Still Strong

by Mike Hyland, President & CEO

By now, we have likely all seen the horrific images of this week’s brazen attack on the U.S. Capitol building by an angry and violent mob of rioters.  Their intent was to damage sacred institutions and harm those who dare to disagree with their ideology.  The country watched in shock as extremism was on full display in one of the world’s great bastions of freedom and then recoiled at the brutal attempt by insurgents to intimidate anyone who stood in their way.  Five people died and over 50 police officers were injured.  It was truly one of the darkest days in the nation’s history but, in the end, those who sought to angrily impose their will failed.  Entirely.


As we did in the summer, Venture Community Services condemns all acts of violence no matter what convenient justifications may accompany them.  We stand firmly and permanently with the rights of all people to be heard, to matter, to feel safe, and to express themselves peacefully and respectfully without fear of reprisal.  We are a community that values inclusion, diversity, equity, and acceptance.  These are not merely ideas; this is who we are.  The people who comprise the community at Venture represent the best of our country.  We see people with disabilities living meaningful lives in nice homes, participating in society as they like and holding down jobs.  Professionals from all over the world dedicating themselves to helping others.  And selfless individuals who continually brave a global pandemic so they can keep others safe.  These images are more powerful than the chaos that was brought to our nation’s capital and, ultimately, more meaningful.  These are the images that have always made Venture and other agencies safe places for everyone regardless of what happens around us.


At Venture, we will continue to advocate in Washington for increased wages and better healthcare for our employees as well as greater recognition and respect for the people we support.  The incoming presidential administration has indicated a willingness to work more closely with the industry in order to help Medicaid providers and ensure that people who need help can get it.  This is promising and we will work closely with our partners and trade associations to see to it that the people we support and the professionals we employ are not forgotten.  The heinous actions of a group that tried desperately, but unsuccessfully, to change our democracy do not distract us from what is most important at Venture.  We will always be dedicated to continuously growing a community where people are safe and our differences are respected and appreciated.  This is how we have always put our best foot forward in service to others.  Nothing that happened this week can do anything to weaken our resolve.

Shaws – Give Back

We are so excited to share that we have been selected to be a part of the Shaw’s GIVE BACK WHERE IT COUNTS Reusable Bag Program, which is designed to make it easy for customers to contribute to their local community while supporting the environment.

For the month of January, each time a $2.50 reusable GIVE BACK WHERE IT COUNTS Bag is purchased at the Shaw’s located at 178 Main Street, Sturbridge, $1 will be donated to Venture. This is a great way to raise awareness, support the environment and fundraise for our cause. We can begin by spreading the news to our friends and family. Call, send emails, and post on social media. The more people who learn about the program and purchase the GIVE BACK WHERE IT COUNTS Bag during the month of January, the more money we will raise. To learn more about this program, please visit shaws.bags4mycause.com

Giving Tree -Thank You

Thank you for your generosity this holiday season!  We are so grateful for your contribution to our Giving Tree program, especially during such a challenging year.  We are inspired by the kindness of community members like you who are committed to making the holidays great for the people we support.

The gifts you donated were specifically requested items for individuals in our programs—each and every gift was personally selected especially for them. 

Thank you again for helping us to provide holiday cheer.  Happy New Year from Venture Community Services!

2020 Satisfaction Survey

Venture strives to provide superior support services to individuals with developmental disabilities. By taking the time to give your feedback, you contribute to our continuing efforts to improve our services to fit the needs of the individuals we serve.


Thank you in advance for your time. Your response is requested prior to January 31st, 2021 and will be reviewed by the Office of Quality Assurance and responded to as necessary.


#GIVINGTUESDAY

#GivingTuesday (Tuesday, December 1, 2020) is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.  This year on #givingtuesday, get into the holiday spirit! 

We are hosting a virtual giving tree to help provide gifts to the people we support. You can help ensure everyone has a special gift under the tree that was selected just for them!


HOW IT WORKS & HOW YOU CAN HELP

Visit the Venture Wish List Here – if you use AmazonSmile (see below) you can also find the list in your Amazon account under ‘your lists ‘ then ‘AmazonSmile Charity Lists’


Browse the list and select item(s) you want to purchase and add them to your cart


Select ‘this item is a gift’ so we will know who it is from and we can thank you for your generosity.


Checkout as usual and select the Venture Gift Registry Address for the shipping address so the items will be delivered directly to Venture’s Administrative Office.


We will wrap the gift and have it delivered directly to the recipient to open and enjoy just in time for Christmas.


Please purchase items to be delivered no later than Friday, December 11th so we have time to wrap and deliver prior to the holiday. 

If you have any questions, please contact Paige Mador  at 774-922-1135Thank you in advance for your generosity!


AMAZON SMILE

Did you know that you can support Venture while you shop at Amazon year round? All you have to do is visit: smile.amazon.com and select Venture Community Services as your charity of choice. That’s it! Amazon Smile now also works in the Amazon mobile app. Just activate it in your settings. Happy Shopping and Giving!

Shop & Donate

Shop & Donate at the Same Time: Did you know that you can support Venture while you shop at Amazon? All you have to do is visit: smile.amazon.com and select Venture Community Services as your charity of choice. That’s it! The Amazon Foundation will donate .5% of all purchases to Venture. Amazon Smile now also works in the Amazon mobile app. Just activate it in your settings.

Happy Shopping!

Washington Needs To Work Harder

by Mike Hyland, Venture President & CEO – The Covid-19 pandemic really has made 2020 a year unlike any other.  At every turn, we can see how things have changed in our daily lives.  We wear masks (well, most of us), we shop differently, our children go to school differently, and too many local businesses have had to close their doors for good.  Human services agencies have not been immune to the financial strife caused by the pandemic and now, more than ever, we need the people tasked with leading this nation to do what it takes to support us.  Sadly, they aren’t even trying to do that right now.


The people in the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the White House simply need to work harder.  It seems they spend all day every day bickering and posturing rather than moving forward.  Pandering has replaced leadership and complete abandonment of professionals who work with disabled people has replaced accountability.  It is unfathomable that no one in our federal government has taken the time to publicly acknowledge the amazing work these professionals do to keep others safe and that the work is both vital and commendable.  Instead, this work has been privately ignored while these elected officials spend their time sticking their tongues out at one another.  Wow!


Massachusetts has always valued the work done by human services providers but the Commonwealth is now facing a significant fiscal crisis as the Baker administration tries to come up with a workable budget for this new fiscal year that began in July.  In order to properly fund agencies that are still realizing extraordinary expenses due to the pandemic, Massachusetts needs the federal government to do its job and create a relief package that supports the work that Venture and others do every day.  Instead, the Senate (with the approval of the White House) has passed a package that raises a collective middle finger to human services agencies by completely ignoring us and the House of Representatives has turned their attention to political posturing.  Once again, WOW!


I know that the political climate in D.C. is both toxic and dysfunctional, probably more than at any other time.  If there is one thing those elected officials should be able to agree upon, it is the work being done by millions of people to help others every day is important.  This work also requires specific and immediate support, either directly or through money funded through the states, in order to continue at the high level people deserve.  Waiting another however many months for elected officials to get to it is entirely unacceptable and even dangerous.  These people know what they need to do and they need to work harder now to do it.

TogetherVenture

Promoting Inclusion, Diversity and Equity for all Venture employees.

As part of our continuing commitment to ensure all Venture employees feel included and supported, our TogetherVenture program will consist of the following:


AWARENESS DAYS

Various days throughout the year will be highlighted to promote education and awareness of differing groups of people.


FORUMS AND TRAINING PROGRAMS

  • We commit to providing education to all our staff
  • Venture has partnered with the African Bridge Network and Simmons University for a comprehensive study: Pathways to Leadership Among Foreign-Born and Native-Born Human Services Workers: Equity and Inclusion
  • Employees are encouraged to participate in our Bias Training
  • Virtual and in person forums and employee discussion groups will be held as a resource to address concerns with diversity and inclusion that may be effecting them.

MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

Our mentorship program will ensure all employees have the tools and knowledge to advance their careers.


We want to hear from you.

Do you have suggestions on improving or enhancing your work environment in regards to inclusion, diversity and equity? Please reach out to us at together@venturecs.org



Message From Our CEO

Venture is, has always been, and will always be a safe place for all our employees. Everyone is important; every idea is an opportunity to make us better, and everyone’s experiences matter. We celebrate our diversity and are grateful that we employ people from over 30 countries, each one of those professionals working to make a difference in someone’s life. Our strength as an agency comes from people who are all different from each other working together to do the same thing; help those who need it. I have watched in amazement as our nurses have worked tirelessly and seamlessly to keep people safe from the pandemic. One department of people of different ages, different experiences, different beliefs and from different countries all doing the same work in order to help others. This is one example but it highlights what happens here every day and that is what defines us. Not our differences but the way we benefit from them in service to others.

The agency will continue to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone we employ and support. We all come from different places but we ultimately end up being the same. It is what makes us successful and it is what we can all depend on when things around us get far too complicated.

~ Mike Hyland, President & CEO


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