Gardening Update!

 

Opengate Day Program Garden 2017!!!

Pumpkins, Basil, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Sunflowers, Zinnias, Marigolds, Peppers!

In May we posted about Garden Beginnings with pictures of our Marcy Street Ladies tending to the seedlings in the greenhouse.

Seedlings were planted in our outdoor beds and our Day Program individuals watered, weeded, and coaxed the plants to grow. The fruits of their loving care has paid off.

As you can see, we are moving towards an abundant harvest very soon!


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Recurring Donations Explained

Options to donate

Why every nonprofit needs the option…

Research shows that options for donating is the best approach to reach existing donors, especially those who have lapsed in giving, as well as procuring new donors. One of the easiest ways, and found to be the most successful, is “recurring giving.”

One company’s case study states that they increased their overall donations by nearly 48% just by offering the option of recurring giving.

Along with asking for one-time donations in the year-end appeal, Opengate also offers a way for donors, old and new, to begin paying forward by allowing monthly installments for gifts. Many potential donors are simply not in a position to make a lump sum donation and may not give at all because of that fact. Example: If only 100 new donors commit to a mere $10 per month for one year it will earn $12,000!

Nonprofits like Opengate benefit from monthly giving because of the regularity of monthly revenue which allows us to plan expenses and fundraising campaigns more effectively. Line item budgets, as well as unexpected expenses such as replacing or repairing items, are able to be done on a more timely basis and plans can be made for more outings and events for individuals.

Recurring donations allows nonprofits to build better relationships with loyal donors, increase donor retention, and allows a more desireable approach to new donors. The success of recurring donations allows nonprofits to decrease the expensive costs incurred for printing and mailing appeals to a list of existing donors.

According to Dr. Adrian Sargeant, Professor of Fundraising at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University: “Over 70% of people that we recruit into organizations never come back and make another gift. Compare that to an 80% first-year retention rate for donors who give through a monthly giving program. A small monthly amount can easily fit into everyone’s budget, even alleviating the financial demands of families and individuals who struggle but wish to give something.”

Research shows that no matter what the age demographic of donors, most people are paying bills online, often through automatic payments. Digital payment platforms allow you to donate online, whether one time, or by setting up a recurring donation, billed to you monthly, or automatically deducted from your credit card or bank account. Digital payments offer quick, easy, and secure methods to donate and feel good about your gift.

We have included the option of a one time gift or a recurring donation below as well as on our Support Page which includes all of the other options Opengate offers donors to contribute.

What is your plan for support this year? If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us at postoffice@opengateinc.org or call 914-277-5350 and we will direct you to someone who can help you in your giving decision making.



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Employee of the Month, June 2017

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Congratulations to January McRae for being voted Employee of the Month for June, 2017!

January McRae continuously demonstrates unwavering professionalism, compassion and trust to the residents she serves, families, staff and outside entities.

Recently during a shortage of nursing staff she readily agreed to work overnight shifts to ensure the health and safety of residents.

Her knowledge and care of the residents in Frankel house was acknowledged and praised by auditors on a recent state survey. She is an asset to the agency.

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January McRae, June 2017 Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month is an honor bestowed on an a staff member by the nomination and votes of peers within the agency.


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Dr. Roger Rose Offers Successful Donation Challenge

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On Sunday, June 11, Dr. Roger Rose and his wife Alyce announced a challenge at the Opengate Annual Awards Day to parents personally matching any donations received over the following week. Parents rose to the call and donated a whopping $10,225 that the Roses’ will now match, bringing the grand total to $20,450.  

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Dr. Roger Rose

The Roses are parents of one of our individuals and have enlisted a matching donation challenge in the past. They are long time generous donors with a commitment to raise funds for necessary projects. Dr. Rose serves on the Opengate Board of Directors.

In 2001 the Roses saw a need to restore the greenhouse at our Somers location. The greenhouse is where our residents plant seedlings for our vegetable gardens. They take pride in the gardening process which is also used as a teaching and skill building tool. Of course, the best part is the harvest when they can actually eat what they’ve grown. By restoring the greenhouse, the Roses have also restored another way for our individuals to learn and work.

Like most nonprofits, Opengate has seen its share of funding cuts with possibly more on the horizon. We are grateful for patrons like Dr. and Mrs. Rose who recognize the needs we have and actively pursue ways to assist us in meeting our financial responsibilities.

“Since the founding of Opengate over 40 years ago by parents committed to the well being of their adult children, we are always amazed by their generosity when the need arises.”  Chief Operating Officer, Randi Rios-Castro

In the coming year we are in need of replacing worn out furniture and updating a few of our homes. These projects are expensive and not covered by our funding sources. We anticipate more supporters will be inspired by the benevolence of the Roses and commit to future funding projects.

Thank you, Dr. and Mrs. Rose for your continued support.


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Finding Humor, A Way to Better Understanding

 

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Conversation about disability is often somber and serious while attempting to be a voice of education about grim circumstances surrounding issues people with disabilities face on a daily basis.

However, as dire as conditions may be perceived for both a person with a disability and their caretakers, there can be a balance between serious and joyful experiences.

In steps humor. No, not the kind that makes light of a disability or uses inappropriate comments just to sound funny, but the kind of humor that produces laughter and a lightened heart.

What’s so funny about disability, you ask? Nothing; but a healthy sense of humor can often encourage and help get through an otherwise difficult time.

Television and movies have finally stepped up to portray people with disabilities as a significant part of the entertainment world, and to hire individuals with disabilities as actors.

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Marlee Matlin

One breakthrough actress who entered the scene many years ago is Marlee Matlin who is deaf. Her radiance and personality shines in each of her roles, yet she is not defined by being deaf. And she laughs! Her laughter and sense of humor allows us to see past her disability and experience her as the beautiful human being she is.

A recent popular television series, Speechless, is based on a family with teenagers, one with non-verbal cerebral palsy seeking someone to be his “voice.” Not only does Speechless portray a mother/advocate who tests the limits, but the dynamic of a family whose world is consumed by caring for the sibling with a disability.

Speechless portrays the sacrifices of the parents and the frustrations of the other siblings, however, what comes through this fictional family is love for each other, truth, and humor about their everyday obstacles and how they overcome.

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Cast of Speechless

The character of JJ, who has cerebral palsy in real life, is depicted by actor Micah Fowler and, truthfully, he is the funniest character. As his character develops, we see he has teenage thoughts about girls, beer, and pranks, all played with heart and humor. JJ and his disability bring the family to the brink of some unsettling situations, but he is also the glue that holds them together.

Kudos to Speechless creator, Scott Silveri for urging others to cast individuals with disabilities in upcoming roles. Silveri, whose brother is the inspiration for the ABC comedy,…. “acknowledged that despite his personal experience he has not always done his part to include people with disabilities on screen.” 

By honestly portraying the joy and laughter experienced by individuals with disabilities in a public arena, it allows those who are not disabled to better understand the richness their lives can hold. It doesn’t change everything, but often it can begin a desperately needed dialogue, one that crosses the barriers of disability.


 

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To stay apprised of the activities taking place at Opengate we invite you to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn, as well as subscribe to our Newsletter and Blog.

 

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