May 2021
Beneficial retail store partnership meets many needs
Business is booming at the newly relocated Burnsville HomeGoods store, and ProAct is working closely with managers to match people with disabilities with job opportunities.

HomeGoods shares a retail space with T.J. Maxx, and Marshalls also operates within the same group. ProAct has placed people in jobs at stores in Eagan, as well.

“ProAct is one of the better ones I’ve ever worked with in my career,” said HomeGoods Store Manager Portia Gray, a 21-year retail veteran.

ProAct employment specialist Ted Stam tries to match the people he has to the needs of the business, Gray explained. He also asks how the manager feels about each person’s work, what’s happening, if they need more training. “So, they’ve been really good,” she said. The combined stores in Burnsville have some $24 million in annual sales.
Employment specialist Brianna Otto supports Annika Schmillen, who is expanding her capabilities and impressing managers.
Silent auction items, SpringForwardMN for ProAct Autism Center
ProAct is offering three exciting baskets of recreational items in a Facebook auction that runs through May 5. A Weber grilling set with Von Hanson's Meats gift card; a Duke Cannon Body Set with reusable ammo can perfect for bait and tackle, Working Man's Facewash, body & face wipes, News Anchor Hair Wash, Bourbon Bar Soap and Bloody Knuckles hand repair; and, a Self Care Basket with SakitToMe yoga bag, collapsible tote bag, champagne flutes, water bottle and sparkling juice.Top bidders are posted each weekday at noon. Email bids to Amanda Ballard.

Also, from May 1 to 11, you can help establish ProAct's "Inside the Walls - A Center for Autism" by giving through "SpringForwardMN," an online campaign that's engaging nonprofits across the state. Help make this a reality for the increasing number of people with autism ProAct serves. Many items are needed to equip and supply the space with items including lighting, swings, couches, weighted blanket and other sensory tools. -more-
Inclusion central, fun for south metro church
Two pastors at Emanuel Lutheran Church are "all in" when it comes to including people with disabilities in daily church life.

Randy and Howard Falls, who also attend ProAct, help out with vacation Bible school in the summer, where young people get to know and accept them. Randy sings in the choir at the Inver Grove Heights church, and the two help with services, lighting candles, ushering and taking offerings.

“The people in the congregation accept them for who they are, treat them with respect, and do not hesitate to listen, to hear about their new shoes or their new outfit,” said their sister, Claire Falls.

The GUPPY program (God’s Unique People Praising Yahweh), is attended by 16 individuals with disabilities and their support people. The individuals live in group homes or with family. Their fellowship grows through worship, devotionals and enjoying snacks together.
Randy and Howard Falls, above engage with churchgoers in many ways, and Pastor Tom Evans and Mike Mulso, below, are particularly helpful.
Eagan site hosts county COVID vaccine clinic, reaches 300
by Kim Feller, VP of programs and services

We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with Dakota County to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to our participants, their families and caregivers; as well as staff and community members. We believe in providing a safe environment for our participants so when we were asked to help pilot the pop-up clinics at ProAct’s Eagan location, we jumped on it.

We know vaccinations are an essential component to ending this pandemic, and we also know many of our participants were getting lost in the vaccination process. The clinics eliminated that barrier for our participants. -more-
Plant sales May 5-7 and 19-21
Mark you calendars for ProAct's plant sales in Shakopee from May 5 to 7 and May 19 to 21. Sales run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Shakopee location, 792 Canterbury Road, Suite 132. Thanks for your support.
ProAct is hiring
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Virtual classes show off work on crafts
Virtual craft classes are popular at ProAct and they climax with participants’ completed creations to share for all to enjoy. People bring out their creative ideas and gain from the social interaction, said instructor Dannielle Mullins. There are compliments and encouragement.

Participants receive instructions ahead of time and collect supplies. Many have assistance at their residence and people work at their own pace, said Mullins. Projects are new each week and the class runs through the end of June.
Donations prompt long awaited theater excursion
Ready ... set ... action! ProAct in Shakopee made its first community outing in more than a year, to Marcus Theatres, which opened early to accommodate program participants.

Snack orders were sent by email making the payment easy and efficient. “Our participants loved getting back in the theater and look forward to future outings,” said Day Support Services Manager Ali Brown. “You could feel the smiles under their masks.”

From Shakopee participants:

“I gave a two thumbs up for the movie and thank you for also the movie I had a good time” – Sam

“I gave the movie two thumbs up and would like to do that again, best outing I’ve had.
– Kahyleen
Snack Attack cart answers craving's call, teaches customer skills
Vending machines at ProAct in Shakopee had to be retired, but snacks continue in "Snack Attack" fashion.

A cart has replaced machines, thanks to an idea from a residence. It's run by one participant and one staff member. And, pop, chips and candy bars are still being offered. Proceeds help cover costs for fun activities, said Day Support Services Manager Ali Brown.

Customers learn more about handling money, waiting, ordering and etiquette. "We think it will bring a lot of smiles!"
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ProAct, Inc. | 651-686-0405 |