May/June 2021
A Memorial Day Message
How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our
heroes and she-roes.” - Maya Angelou
On this Memorial Day weekend, I hope that you are able to spend time safely with loved ones as we reflect on the heroism and sacrifice from brave Americans that have allowed us to enjoy this day.

During this time of remembrance I personally think of my father, Rajah Rutnam. He was in the U.S. Marines for ten years from 1954-1964. He had immigrated from Sri Lanka only 2 years prior. Thanks to the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952, he was the first immigrant from the island nation of Sri Lanka to set foot on American soil.

He proudly stepped up to the opportunity to serve his new country, the United States of America.

Witnessing his dedication to the right of freedom was humbling. This thought motivates me every day to ensure the men and women that TASC supports are able to fully enjoy the freedom of our country in the way of their choice.

In memory of all the heroes whom are no longer with us. Have a great weekend.

Dennis Rutnam
TASC Executive Director
1st Photo: Rajah Rutnam 2nd Photo: Rajah and Dennis during his 21st Birthday
TASC programs & office will be closed on Monday, May 31 2021 in observance of Memorial Day
Speaking of Heroes...Our Workforce is Honored by the California Assembly
On Monday, May 24, Assemblymember Chris Holden (AD-41) introduced Assembly Concurrent Resolution 41 to honor Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) serving Californians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The CA Assembly voted unanimously to honor the DSP workforce. There were 69 co-sponsors of this resolution.

COVID-19 has shed light on our community’s unsung heroes, including our workforce that has been supporting clients throughout the pandemic. TASC is so grateful of the well-deserved recognition for all DSPs across the state of California. We will be sharing this video with all of our staff members to know their hard work and dedication is appreciated.

Assemblymembers Lackey (AD-36), Frazier (AD-11), Wood (AD-2), and Arambula (AD-31) spoke in support of DSPs and acknowledged the urgent need to fund increased wages for our essential workforce.

TASC thanks these representatives for their support. Watch the incredible words spoken by them in the video above.
Senator Stern Seeking Nominations for Nonprofit of the Year
TASC's District Senator, Henry Stern, is looking for nominations for the nonprofit of the year.
From Senator Stern's post:
"Amid the uncertainty and tragedy over the past 14 months, non-profit organizations across the 27th District, and across this nation have been working overtime and then some to help those who have needed it the most. I want to recognize those non-profits who have truly provided significant assistance and help to people here in the 27th District, but to do that, I need your help. If you know of or have worked with a non-profit group in the 27th District that did exceptional work during the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to hear from you! Who are they? What did they do that you found to be so important, so inspiring, or so beneficial to you or to people here in our community?"

Nominations can be made by clicking here. Let them know by Friday, June 4th!
Save the Date! June 21 - August 12, 2021
As we await for a safer time to fully gather, we have decided to continue our fundraising efforts virtually. Usually the summer months is when TASC would hold our largest fundraising event of the year.
 
Instead, we have decided to hit the “virtual road” with a Summer Road Trip Fundraiser raising funds to support TASC’s critical services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

This virtual adventure will explore what inclusion means to TASC for those we support. On this road trip, stops will be made to show how TASC individualizes our client’s journey to create their most personally meaningful and successful lives.

Follow along between June 21 - August 12 and Save the Date for the Closing Ceremony on Thursday, August 12 at 7PM. View our website for a preview of more information by clicking here.
Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness month. While it's the last few days of the month, the awareness and tools for this topic do not have an expiration date.

Mental Health Awareness is intended to break the stigma, share stories and resources surrounding mental health. According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 5 US adults aged 18 or older (18.3% or 44.7 million people) reported any mental illness in 2016.

The pandemic intensified mental health related issues. The CDC also reports that during late June 2020, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on the mental health of people of all ages, and now more than ever it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles that commonly prevents individuals from seeking help.

Mental health and wellness is the cornerstone of TASC's services for clients. Through the help of TASC's mental health programs, we've seen first-hand the benefits of therapies, counseling and all around wellness of body and mind.

One way to check in with yourself is to take a mental health screen at MHAscreening.org. It’s a quick, free, and private way for someone to assess their mental health and recognize signs of mental health problems.

Additional Resources are available here. Know that you are not alone, there are many tools to thrive.
Upcoming Events & Community Resources
June 21 - August 12

Event: TASC Summer Road Trip Fundraiser

Mark your calendar for the virtual Summer Road Trip Fundraiser.

Every two weeks, we’ll focus on different paths and interests that are important to our clients. Emails will be sent with interactive ways to learn more. Follow along on social media with the hashtag #AbilitiesAdventure.

Learn more at TASCservices.org
Thursday, June 24
4PM - 5PM

Event: Dementia Informed Support for Caregivers & Families

The Alzheimer’s Association - California Southland Chapter provides a free educational program and consultation to families caring for a loved one living with intellectual/developmental disabilities and dementia or those at risk for developing dementia.

For more information or to register (and receive Zoom Link) please call:
Michelle Quiroga-Diaz, LCSW at 818.446.1687 or email mquirogadiaz@alz.org
Mission Statement:
The Adult Skills Center (TASC) provides innovative and proactive services that empowers individuals with diverse intellectual, developmental and mental health needs to achieve their highest level of independence and realize their greatest potential.

TASC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution will have an immediate and direct impact on TASC’s ability to improve the lives of the men and women we serve. Your contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Tax ID: 95-4116924
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