Merrick, Inc., provides pre-vocational & life enrichment opportunities to over 375 adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Our mission is “To empower adults with disabilities through vocational and social opportunities, and to guide them toward realizing their goals and dreams”
Our goal for this year's Give to the Max Day is to highlight and supplement funding for the partnership between Merrick and Dodge Nature Center.
The clients who work at Dodge let their light shine daily! They share their gifts with the world through hard work keeping the Dodge Nature Center barn and grounds in tip-top shape, and that includes helping with the animals, too.
Some of the crew have been with the animals since birth, even holding them as newborns. A special bond is shared between these clients and the animals they take care of. It is a powerful experience to watch someone who has always needed their own caretaker to be the caretaker for another living creature.
The crew at Dodge also shares the unique responsibility of being a public "face" of Merrick and adults with I/DD to the many, many schoolchildren who visit Dodge on field trips. How empowering for these clients to show others what is possible.
"The A Team", as they are called by Dodge Nature Center management, is a group of six clients supported by one staff member who work year-round at Dodge Nature Center in West St. Paul.
Cora Ligday is that one fortunate support staff who for the last seven years oversees the crew. Cora said, "Every day is truly a joy. This crew is fun to be with and very funny. They enjoy being together and really get along." Five of the six clients on the crew have been working at Dodge since the partnership began in 2001.
The type of work they do varies on the season and needs of Dodge staff. Some frequent tasks include:
Faith, a member of the Dodge crew, has worked in the preschool building on the Dodge grounds for the past five years. She sits in a warm, brightly colored office folding small napkins the children will use at lunch. When asked about her work she exclaimed with a wide smile, " I love my job!" She performs a variety of tasks including laundry, sweeping, setting up for lunch, paperwork, and general much appreciated help to the preschool staff.
Please help support "The A Team" so our partnership with fellow nonprofit Dodge Nature Center continues to grow and thrive and show others what truly is possible for adults with disabilities in today's world.
More about who we are:
A human services organization that began in 1964 and now supports over 375 clients, employs over 100 staff, and coordinates services throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area from our wonderful energy-efficient building in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota. In the summer of 2012 we opened a program site for Adult Day Services (ADS) and Memory Care Services (MCS) in downtown North St. Paul.
The following are examples of how your support benefit clients in our program:
• Resources to discover each individual’s preferred life passions and enrichment activities;
• Support for client self-advocacy groups, conferences, and political activities;
• Specialized equipment to enhance programs and improve client safety; and
• Therapeutic programs like horticulture, pet, art, music, & assistive technology, etc.
Previous results include:
• Over 105 clients participate in weekly self-adovcacy groups - more than any other DT&H program in the State of Minnesota. In 2012, 42 self-advocates attended the Creative Options conference. Self-advocates also conducted ten presentations to other DT&H's, disability groups, and at conferences in 2012.
• Merrick is a source of economic stimulus in our local community. Dr. C. Ford Runge, a parent of a Merrick client and local economist, published a study demonstrating that Merrick "gives back" nearly $3 in local economic benefit for every $1 of state funds invested in our program.
• Through a competitive bidding process we were selected to become the official supplier of office copy paper for the State of Minnesota.
Keep updated on all things Merrick by joining our mailing list: http://bit.ly/merrickmailinglist