CATCHING UP WITH VISIONS!
SUMMER RECAP & FALL 2023 PREVIEW
This summer and early fall, Visions celebrated birthdays, welcomed new staff and participants, while making time to tend to the Visions garden, conduct community service, and enjoy BBQ parties! We welcomed Ms. Lisa Rogers and interns, Willetta Fleming and Yesenia Ramirez, to our team!
Birthday Shoutouts go to:
July Birthdays ----
Kim "FooFoo" Ross
August & September Birthdays----
Make sure to keep am eye out for the November 17th Gospel Extravaganza, our first Gospel Performance ever, as well as the following: Visions Halloween Party & Parade, with prizes for the best costume; Visions Game Afternoons & Nights with pizza; and the Visions Pancake Breakfast - all happening before you know it! Some meals from the pancake breakfast can be delivered.
The extravaganza and breakfast will be fun ways to celebrate and fundraise for our first OVERNIGHT trip to Reno, Nevada! Around May 16, 2024, Visions will enjoy two days at the Grand Serra Resort Hotel in Reno. Proceeds from the fundraisers will be used to secure rooms, transportation, and activities for 30 individuals, including volunteer staff.
Also, look out for the pop-up thrift store table, with clothes, books and household items that were donated for our fundraising!
To donate to support Visions and the adventures and activities planned, email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org :).
CATCHING UP WITH VISIONS!
SPRING 2023 EDITION
This Spring, Visions has formed brand new community partnerships, welcomed a new participant, and held a birthday party that all enjoyed. Participants were thrilled by these developments and were especially happy to welcome a new member of the tribe, Tom Milton. Tom and family have started visiting regularly, with Tom starting to come five days a week.
“Everybody in the program likes Tom,” Kennetta Wright said, when asked how he was being received by the community at Visions.
As Visions’s participants get acclimated to their new Hilltop space, they have also started working at the San Pablo Public Library on Fridays, putting together packets of hundreds of small envelopes for the Contra Costa County youth services summer reading program. With the introduction of this new organizational partner and service opportunity, participants learned to submit volunteer applications to work and contribute on a regular basis. All together a cluster of eight is providing this service.
“Having Visions conduct volunteerism, doing service at the library, is part of our mission because it takes you to another level. Helping young people read is a part of our mission to be of service and support literacy in the community,” Ms. Gwen Captain said. The local YMCA is also interested in working with a Vision participant, using the Germ Blasting service. Ms. Gwen also plans to restart the service partnership with Sojourner Truth Church on Thursdays.
Additionally, it's always a source of joy and a privilege to provide support services that will benefit not only our participants, but their families and care providers as well. This is what Visions believes "Wrap Around Services” truly are. In this spirit, Visions is happy to announce that TyRell Buggs recently became a father to his beautiful daughter, Amiyah.
“Amiyah is now considered a part of the Visions extended family. Visions has been providing support services for TyRell since 2018, and he is one of our beloved stars,” Ms.Renee Moore said. Amiyah’s first birthday was on April 1st; Visions staff and all of TyRell's peers wrapped love and support around TyRell and his daughter by throwing her a party! Everyone enjoyed eating pizza, playing games and watching her unwrap her gifts. All had a wonderful time celebrating with TyRell and his family.
KEEPING UP WITH VISIONS!
WINTER 2022-2023 EDITION
It’s been a whirlwind of a winter season at Visions. Staff and volunteers recently completed Visions’s big move from the city of San Pablo to an elegant office space in the business district in the city of Richmond at Hilltop. The new space near the YMCA is modern with a professional touch, while offering ample room for learning and social activities.
Gwen Captain, CEO of Visions, worked tirelessly over the holidays to ensure the Hilltop office space would have new and gently used furniture and computers. There is now a sleek-looking conference room for larger meetings and a reception area at the front door with comfortable chairs. Staff members have finished the final touches so that Visions has art and other welcoming content on the walls to welcome participants when they arrive to work, learn and have an enjoyable time with others.
“This move was a labor of love, and the results, I have to say, are extraordinary,” Ms. Captain said, while touring the office space on a Friday night and ensuring it was shut down after another busy week at Visions.
In the tech section, touch screen all-in-one computers, furnished by the nonprofit Renew, will soon be set up with the latest software for consumers to safely surf the web using state-of-the-art technology. Kandea Mosley Gandhi, a newcomer to the team, helped secure the computers over the holidays while taking care of marketing, communications and other projects with Ms. Captain. Ms. Kandea's professional background is in nonprofit management and community engagement, so she was able to jump right in as a natural fit at Visions.
“It’s rewarding to work with Ms.Captain and meet the staff, as I reach out to supporters to secure resources and needed support for the community based organization,” Ms. Kandea said.
Ms. Captain said she would like to give a special shout out to other newcomers as well, including Tariq, Erica and James. Ms. Captain said she was also thankful to longtime Board member, Laura Briggin, for her generous gift that helped cover the cost of the new computers.
Upcoming events for participants and their loved ones include the annual Valentine’s Day Talent show that will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, February 17th. Preparations are already underway with Thursday and Friday practice sessions for the entire team. Do mark your calendars to participate in the fun. Other activities will include new ready-to-work workforce development and soft skills trainings that the staff is developing to offer fresh, stimulating experiences as the new year gets off to a roaring start!
KEEPING UP WITH VISIONS!
SUMMER-EARLY FALL 2022
Touring Jelly Belly in Fairfield, hitting the theaters for the new Jurassic Park movie at Century Theaters at Hilltop in Richmond, and spending time with friends preparing tasty meals were among the highlights at Visions this summer as the community began to reopen with the waning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Consumers say they love being back and that it feels like things are getting back to normal,” staff member, Kim Randall, said.
Kim said the best part of being back in-person for summer was just spending time together and getting back to some of the flagship programs Visions participants know and love, like the “Kindness Project.” The project is a chance for the Visions team to serve as ambassadors, giving back to the dozens of seniors who visit the medical facility for care.
“We give bags of mint and water, granola bars, maybe a piece of fruit,” Kim began. “Each consumer gives them a bag when it's their turn to distribute the bags; the seniors can’t believe that we do this for free!”
During Thursday “Cooking for One” class, the team picks up food pantry boxes and practices meal prep that can be performed at home.
“Today we had a stir-fry and sweet potatoes; we cut up vegetables and made infused water with lemon, everyone has a job,” Kim said proudly.
Other highlights included a trip to East Bay Vivarium off Fifth Street in Berkeley that sells reptiles, including pythons and turtles. Aside from trips to new and interesting destinations, Visions introduced a new morning group session in which consumers focused on understanding new vocabulary words. Practicing new vocabulary and public speaking are critical for consumers who want to attain opportunities in the community because these skills are transferable when they are being interviewed by potential employers.
“We have a word chart and they will explain what the words mean to them. Words like equality, adversity, and peace. We wanted to see if they knew what the words meant and what they meant to them,” Kim said.
Visions also wants to recognize its new staff, as well as consumers who’ve demonstrated outstanding service or progress in their contributions to the community. They include Raven for working with Marla. Together, they made a beautiful flower on canvas with different colored rose petals that they then signed and installed on the wall at Marla house. Chris also was highlighted for outstanding participation in “Cooking for One” with the help he’s given to Ms. Tina, who leads the activity. Lastly, Jeremiah was celebrated for doing his best to keep the kitchen and dining areas nice and tidy by sweeping. New staff members welcomed aboard included Mrs. Alberta, who everyone was eager to meet.
Special events coming up in the months of October and November that will be fun and engaging include a painting/coloring contest; “Pizza in the Park” behind the old PG&E building in Richmond where folks will feed the ducks and participate in a scavenger hunt. Visions is also planning to see the movie “Till” about Mamie Till-Mobley’s empowering activism for justice for her son, Emmett Till. The woman who made allegations against Till ultimately confessed to lying, making up the entire story, and participating in a state cover-up decades later in 2017.
“Stay tuned for more from Visions,” Ms. Gwen said, “as the team ramps up with a menu of choices and possible events for the fall season!”
APRIL- JUNE 2019
In the month of April, our consumers sweetly participated in our new Pop-Up Kindness Project. A project created specifically to offer support and show love to our seniors. As you may know - there are a multitude of seniors who live in our surrounding community who could use the gesture of kindness extended to them; through free bottled water, hand sanitizer, snacks & treats. Check out this Youtube video for the Kindness Project.
*Meals on Wheels Luncheon Visions’ consumers and staff were honored at the Meals on Wheels annual volunteer luncheon. Visions’ does several weekly routes, delivering nutritional meals to seniors in our community. Check out this video on the event.
*Transition Fair The WCCUSD Transition Fair was on Saturday, April 27; Visions’ staff and Owen Bragg attended the fair to showcase the work Visions does with consumers when they transition from high school into adulthood. Owen introduced his new Sugar and Pepper books entitled, Shorts By Owen Bragg. The books has three short stories teaching social skills to children and disabled adults. Check out more information on the blog: www.fizzletown.biz and check out this video:
*Meet Visions Adult Day Program Staff:
A. Renee Moore,
PT Program Manager
Manager Kim Randall, Senior Vocational Counselor
Through person-centered planning, Visions consumers have been working on a “Listen To Me Booklet”, gathering self-discovery information about their strengths, challenges, likes, dislikes, hobbies, and personal skills. This information is used to support consumers, so they can become their own best advocates.