In-person brings out smiles, celebrating service, Leisure Center coming

It’s nice to see you and nice to meet you are common courtesy phrases in our culture. Social or human services often go much deeper, picking up on a person’s tone, nonverbal cues, body language, and even mannerisms to form an impression of how “someone is doing.”

Face-to-face helpful

Our post-mask environment at ProAct has brought out the smiles, which can be contagious and were missed for too long. Whether one is a participant, staff, family member or friend, face-to-face interaction improves learning and innovation, helps people overcome limitations and can be a calming factor to many.

We all need positive relationships and to feel a sense of accomplishment. It just makes for a more satisfying day, and many such days put together can bring about a more fulfilling life.

Service Awards underway

Those days have become years, milestones for the people we serve, and this is the time of year to celebrate. Service awards are being presented across ProAct’s sites. Saying thanks, presenting a certificate or plaque and small gifts are a tradition that people savor and talk about in the weeks before and after.

Joy in service

Really, it’s as much fun, or even more fun, to watch the joyful reactions of people who feel valued, understood and a part of a community. There are bingo games, dances, community outings, volunteer missions, creative activities . . . I could go on and on about all the things we do.

The energy just spreads. When people come to our sites for meetings, they can sense it. Small teams meet to make plans for our participants, and larger groups gather here to hash out details and make decisions on more widespread concerns.

At the state level, we are thankful for the work of the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR), a group that our former CEO helped to create. The conferences and advice shared between colleagues are invaluable as we navigate the systems and regulations we work with each day.

‘Leisure Center’ chance to support in new ways

Lastly, I want to plant a seed for the upcoming Give to the Max Day on November 17. It is a bit of a kickoff for the holiday season, when we express our appreciation for the people and causes we hold dear. This year we are asking for donations for our Leisure Center, a place set aside where our older participants can go for quiet, puzzles, games, movies and social interaction.

We at ProAct are grateful for those who choose us, believe in our mission and see the value in what we do. We cannot go it alone, nor would we want to, for this journey is one to be taken together.

Judie Foster-Lupkin

President and CEO