Monday, October 20, 2014
   
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Thankful for a ‘good life’; giving to help others

Mildred NienaberMonday, October 20, 2014

One generous donor, Mildred Nienaber, is helping build success in the 16 Mosaic agencies holding Partners in Possibilities fundraising events this fall by giving $2,000 toward each event as a leadership gift.

Mildred knew about Mosaic from a young age. Her family supported Martin Luther Home (now Mosaic) in Beatrice. She and her husband Bill lived in Beatrice when they first married. Although they later moved to Colorado where Bill built a successful carpentry and construction business, Mildred remembered the good things done for people by Mosaic.  

When Bill died in 2009, Mildred moved into a senior living apartment and gave Mosaic the home that the couple designed, built and lived in for more than 47 years. Her gifts to Mosaic now total more than $600,000 and she has placed Mosaic in her estate plan.

“It is important to help others,” she said.

Mildred is quick to talk about the many blessings she has known. They include faith, a long and happy marriage, family who care for her, good health, financial security, and many other things – “a good life,” she says.

Thank you, Mildred, for sharing your blessings.

 

Volunteers support Mosaic in many ways

Bargain BoxThursday, October 16, 2014

This ‘throwback Thursday’ photo shows early volunteers at The Bargain Box Thrift Store in Beatrice. The Bargain Box was started by The Children’s Guild, an organization founded in 1961 to support Martin Luther Home and School, which is now Mosaic. The store is run by volunteers, each of whom must provide at least 50 hours of service every year as a member of the Guild. In 2014, the 52 members contributed more than 7,000 hours of volunteer labor.

The store’s mission still supports Mosaic. At the organization’s annual luncheon earlier this year, the Guild presented Debbie Herbel, Executive Director of Mosaic in Beatrice, a check for $35,000. Over the years, the organization has given more than $500,000 to Mosaic. This year’s check was the largest annual gift the Guild has ever given.

Across Mosaic, thousands of volunteers play an integral part of Mosaic’s mission every year. Some come for one day of service, others come every week. Volunteers provide everything from friendship and direct support services, to advocacy and work with sustainable funding.

Have you thanked a volunteer today?

The bigger meaning of having a job

2014 EDAM Poster Online

Friday, October 10, 2014

Back in 1965, the superintendent of Martin Luther Home wrote: “Of all the things that a (person with a disability) is often denied, one of the most important is work. A job is more than a place to go everyday … it is even more than a means of earning a living. In our society, a person’s work is closely related to status, and status to self-respect.”

Those words are still true today. People with disabilities often face obstacles when trying to find a job.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. It is an opportunity to highlight the talent that people with disabilities bring to the workplace and to acknowledge the employers who already create an inclusive work environment by including people with disabilities.

A few facts:

  • Research shows equal or better safety records, turnover and absentee rates, job performance ratings, job assignment flexibility and amount of supervision for employees with disabilities as compared to those without disabilities.
  • Employers report that hiring employees with disabilities contributes to improved morale and productivity throughout the company.
  • Polls show that 92% consumers reflect favorably on businesses known to hire people with disabilities, and 87% prefer to do business with these same companies.

Let businesses that hire people with disabilities know that you are aware and care that they’ve done the right thing. A job is more than just a paycheck for the people Mosaic serves.

Cutting coupons to cut expenses for people

Liz P CouponsTuesday, October 14, 2014 

Liz Pagel, Direct Support Associate, has brought her hobby of couponing to Mosaic in Macomb. Liz said that she has always used coupons, but really got serious about it around four years ago.

She decided to bring her hobby to Mosaic about a year ago. Staff originally began using coupons for grocery shopping to help with the tight budget in the homes. But once the staff noticed how they could make the budget stretch, they moved on to client-care supplies.

Employees have now taught people served how to use coupons to purchase their own hygiene supplies to help their often small spending allowance stretch to things they want, like going out to dinner or to a movie. Recently, all of the individuals in two homes were able to purchase enough supplies such as deodorant and shampoo to last them two months for just the cost of the sales tax. Liz said that, at a time when agency funding is tight, all Mosaic homes could benefit from this practice. She said apps like Walmart's “Saving Catcher” are making saving time and money easy and fun.

In addition to teaching Mosaic clients and staff how to coupon, Liz has held two couponing classes in the community, created a Facebook group, and she writes and creates deals for whatsyourdeal.com. She also was voted Direct Support Associate of the Year by her coworkers on Sept. 14.

Thank you to Liz and the rest of Mosaic in Macomb DSAs for your hard work and forward thinking to help people, and Mosaic, prosper.

Plan to attend employee benefit meetings

Benefits enrollment

Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014

Mosaic’s cost for our employee health care plan is more than $25 million annually. Because of changes required by law and a recent history of higher claims, Mosaic’s costs to provide this benefit are increasing. Thankfully, we are able to offset some of the increased costs by using $2 million from the reserves we hold as a self-funded program, but we also needed to change our health plan offerings.

For 2015, Mosaic will still offer a free health plan for employees, but there will be plan design changes. Employee benefit enrollment will begin soon. It is important that employees attend local informational meetings to learn about these changes and be able to make informed choices.

Be sure to watch for announcements of local meetings and plan to attend. The meetings are also good reminders about other benefits you receive as an employee.

Health care fact: Tobacco smoke contains more than 60 chemical compounds that are known or suspected to cause cancer. Besides cancer risk, smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke can lead to other conditions such as heart disease and respiratory problems.  October is "Living Smoke Free" Month. Challenge yourself to live a smoke-free month. Learn more from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska.

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