ADEC is stronger, better poised for the future, resilient and even more flexible for the families and communities we serve due in part to the events of this past year. Fiscal 2020 (July 2019-June 2020) will be remembered for planting new seeds while experiencing the fruits of the labor of seeds planted throughout the years. Today’s harvest gifted us the tools needed to take on the challenges presented at the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Our year started with enthusiasm as our strategic plan unfolded; quickly, our focus transitioned into determination as we took swift action to address the pandemic.
We began our year with robust community initiatives that pumped our hearts with excitement. Our new annual luncheon featured keynote speaker Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. Local businesses that employ ADEC clients were honored at our first annual employment recognition luncheon. Our interactive partnership with Elkhart County Parks Department featuring Bonneyville Mill included hands-on milling by clients. In February, ADEC joined hundreds of advocates, individuals living with an IDD, and providers at the annual Valentine’s Day event at the Statehouse.
ADEC hosted events at Gaining Grounds Conference Center that drew the community into our coffee shop and Art by ADEC gallery. ADEC’s Social Enterprise was showcased at Hall of Heroes Comic Con and local Holiday Bazaars events. Our Media Spotlight Campaigns focused on advocacy that empowered the voices of our clients and families. In addition, our #teamADEC social media campaign gave way for ADEC to show employee appreciation and commitment to our staff. Furthermore, ADEC achieved the three-year CARF accreditation and provider reapprovals supporting our ongoing commitment to programs.
ADEC’s efforts were leading up to an outstanding year filled with full caseloads, growth plans, strong financials and more, but then the unexpected happened. COVID-19 affected everything we did as an agency. Thankfully, our agency engaged in disaster preparedness exercises—years before COVID-19–that equipped us with proven methods to help weather this storm.
Personal protective equipment was issued to all employees and individuals served. I am pleased to report that programs temporarily suspended are now reopened; safely, we offered summer camp for local youth.
I am humbled by our dedicated employees, Board of Directors, Committee members and our local community for their continued support. As we finish our 68th year, I look forward to a bright future illuminated by the lights of Aux Chandelle*.