SMILES Center for Independent Living empowers people with disabilities to build and live the life they intend for themselves.
People with disabilities want to achieve the same life and career goals as everybody else; to work, live, play, shop and contribute meaningfully to community life. They want to make a difference in their community just like anybody else.
Through programs and services at SMILES Center for Independent Living, SMILES members and volunteers are making that difference. Volunteers such as Gerry Horvat, Carol Lietz and Sharmen Christoperson, who support people with disabilities through the Senior Companion Program.
SMILES programs and services assist people with disabilities to find and choose what they need and want from available options in south central Minnesota, and develop the skills they need to be able to act on their choices, and live a life of self-determination and empowerment.
Scott Smith is an empowered person. Scott recently moved to a new apartment in a new town. He started coming to SMILES because one of his friends is a member, and, being new in town, he wanted to meet people who like to do the same things he does.
Scott attended the Block Party, a collaborative event that promotes Disability Awareness. As a graphic artist, he was interested in the arts activities designed for people with significant disabilities. He volunteered to video record using adaptive wheelchair tools to paint a floor mural.
For Scott, it was a life changing experience. He had never created art on such a large scale before, and his reaction was, “It was a mind blowing experience.” You can view the video by clicking the picture link above.
SMILES motivates and empowers people to be successful with their lives. Scott decided to go back to school and finish his graphic arts degree. He is an active member of SMILES Center for Independent Living, volunteering his skills and talents, serving on a board committee, and leading others in their pursuit of self-determination.
People who are empowered to make a difference in their communities define SMILES. You can be a part of SMILES and make a difference, too, by giving a person with disabilities the opportunity to accomplish their goals and succeed like anybody else.
Your donation makes a difference by providing advocacy, living skills training, self-determination workshops, lending library items, and individual support. Donations help with the purchase of equipment people need to be successful with those activities, such as outriggers for water or downhill skiing, and delivery sticks for individuals who curl from a wheelchair.
A $10 donation provides materials for an activity or workshop. $20 provides membership for yourself or by gratis for a consumer. $35 covers the cost of providing companion services, registration fees or small lending library items. Select from the options on the right, or designate your donation to a specific program. It's easy, just "click, contribute, change your world."