Small Steps, Big Dreams

Supported employment is one of the most important supports that we offer at George Chambers. For those of you who don’t know what supported employment is, we created an award-winning video a few years ago about that very subject, which you can watch here. (There’s also an episode about it on our podcast!)

Supported employment helps give individuals with disabilities access to greater independence. One way this is achieved? A paycheck. And, today, we want to tell you about someone very special to us at George Chambers, a young woman with a very specific dream for her future…a dream that has now become a reality.

Her name is Chelsea Harris.

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Chelsea moved to Calhoun from Powder Springs and attended the SET program at Kennesaw State University. This program assists students with job skills in various areas, which proved beneficial for Chelsea when she set out to find employment. Her dream job, she said, was “Chick-Fil-A because it’s a Christian company with good morals. And I love eating there.”
(Who doesn’t, right?)
With a heart for serving others and a deep love for God, Chelsea soon snagged an interview with Chick-Fil-A and was hired. Last week, she began work as a host in the dining room, greeting patrons as they walk through the door and checking on them as they enjoy their meals.
Chelsea is one among many in supported employment programs across the country, and her story proves just how important these supports are. But more than anything, it proves that anyone, anywhere, can have a dream and see it come to life.
Cheers to you, Chelsea! And congratulations!
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Our First Health Fair

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to our first (hopefully annual) health fair last Thursday! It was a great success and we couldn’t have done it without the hard work of everyone on our staff, especially Robin Williams, as well as the following vendors who took valuable time out of their day to participate:

Gordon Hospital

Ken Carson

After God’s Heart Ministry

Calhoun CNA School 

Tender Touch

Floyd EMS

Lunsford Agency

Calhoun Fire Department

Healing Hands

Floyd Medicine Center

Blood Assurance

Fitness First

Mother Nature’s Eden

We spent the morning giving tours of our facility and training center, connecting with students from Calhoun CNA school, enjoying conversation with all our vendors, doing giveaways, and maybe even getting a massage (or two) from Healing Hands Massage Therapy. We also received an incredibly generous donation from KVW Services, Inc. which will go towards the Bailey Building grocery store in our new training facility.

It was truly a wonderful event and we hope to see everyone (and more!) back in 2018!

A few photos:

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Weekly Wrap-Up//04

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Happy Friday! It’s our favorite time of the week again, and we’re back today to share some of the best links from around the web. These articles had us laughing, cheering, and nodding our heads like, “Yes, AMEN.” Grab yourself a coffee, sit back, and enjoy.

“Not special needs. Just human needs.”

Yes, we already shared this on our Facebook page, but we’re sharing it again because it’s JUST. THAT. GOOD.

Women Doing Work to Erase Disability Stigma

Because this will never NOT be awesome.

Medicaid Is Safe, For Now.

Don’t mind us. We’re just happy dancing over here.

Where A Kid Can Be A Kid

For every parent who has had to endure yet ANOTHER Chuck E. Cheese party, this just bumped them up a few cool points.

 

Weekly Wrap-Up // 03

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It’s that time again! Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite links from all around the web this week. Here’s hoping you enjoy them as much as we did.

Happy Friday!

Down Syndrome And The Stories We Tell

Stories matter. (You’re gonna need tissues for this one.)

Here’s What People With Disabilities Want You To Know

Listen up, y’all.

A Documentary Featuring Man With Autism Who Communicates Using Disney Characters Short-Listed For Academy Award

Well, it’s got OUR vote, anyway.

I Want To Set The Record Straight About Introverts

And all the ISTJ/ISFJ/INFJ/INTJ/ISTP/ISFP/INFP/INTPs said “AMEN.”

Pope Francis Encourages Moms To Breastfeed In The Sistine Chapel

Pope Francis: Doing The Lord’s Work.

Happy 2017!

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Now that what many viewed as a tumultuous 2016 has passed, we are looking to the new year with equal parts excitement and hope. It’s easy to get bogged down in what seems like the never-ending cycle of tragedy and loss, but there is always light in the darkness.

And how do we know that? Because we woke up this morning.

The sheer fact that you are alive today means that this moment has a purpose. Such an idea requires diligence and intentionality if it’s to be lived effectively—if we are to really embrace today for the gift that it is—and that can be a challenge. We rush from one thing to the next—checking tasks off our work, family, and social calendars—because in many ways it’s what we’re required to do. But how we schedule our lives determines how we live our lives.

Is it cliche to ask that in 2017 we learn how to live slowly? Perhaps.

But cliches ring true because they are rooted in truth.

Living slowly in 2017 is not asking you to stop being busy; it’s asking you to stop filling your lives with things that zap your energy, to stop saying yes to things when you should be saying no, and to cease the endless striving for more. There will always be tasks that require sacrifice and effort on our part, and they won’t always be enjoyable…but it’s time to ask ourselves: Are they beneficial? Are they useful? Are they meaningful? These are the things we want to spend our time doing in 2017.

There is important work to be done. There will always be important work to be done. But let’s get busy doing what matters, not running a race that doesn’t belong to us.

Cheers to you—and to all of us—this new year. May our days and our lives spark a new hope in our world.

Grand Opening and Open House!

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Last Tuesday, we hosted the ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration for our brand new employment training center. It was a perfect day! We hosted visitors from all across the community and the state, including GA House Rep. John Meadows and Calhoun Mayor Jimmy Palmer, and celebrated with music, food, and even a fun little photo booth.

It’s been a long road to get here, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the people in our community. If you’d like to learn more about the grand opening, as well as the training facility itself, please check out our mentions in the Calhoun Times below:

Groundbreaking made on George Chambers Resource Center

George Chambers to host grand opening for facility that will train adults with disabilities

George Chambers holds grand opening for recent expansion

 

 

Weekly Wrap-Up // 02

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Happy Friday! Today we’re hosting another weekly wrap-up, where periodically we share our favorite posts, articles, videos, and stories from around the web. We want to focus on the positive things that people are doing to impact their communities – whether that’s supported employment, equality for those with disabilities, giving, or speaking out for the voiceless in our society – and leave you ready for the weekend with a smile on your face. Which shouldn’t be too hard considering it’s Friday and the weekend is supposed to be GORGEOUS.

Mock CVS Store Helps Adults With Developmental Disabilities Train for Jobs

Much like our training center will do upon its completion, this store gives adults with developmental disabilities the chance to learn hands-on skills that will prepare them for working lives and greater independence. Right on!

March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! 

Learn more about what this month means and why it’s so important.

5th-Graders Ditch Recess for Sign Language Club So They Can Chat With Deaf Classmate

Somebody take these kids out for ice cream, STAT.

Chick-Fil-A Has the Answer to Our Communication Problem

Chick-Fil-A has just introduced cell phone coops, cardboard boxes created for families to put their cell phones aside during meal time. And (BONUS!) if they complete the challenge, theyget free Ice Dreams. (Okay, tell the kids learning sign language they need to go to Chick-Fil-A.)

Did you like our post this week? Share it with your friends on social media using #GCRCWeeklyWrapUp! You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram @GCRCOfficial and Like us on Facebook, too. Have a great weekend!