February 2017 FREE Blast

March 1, 2017 | Featured, FREE Blast

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TRI in the News

We are excited to share that TRI was featured in New York Industries for the Disabled’s (NYSID) Newsletter for being Member Agency of the Year!  Also spotlighted was Thomas France, an individual who receives services, for being named Employee of the Year.


Fancy FREE Valentine’s Day

Fancy FREE celebrated Valentine’s Day by making delicious Chocolate Covered Strawberries!


PWW Paint Day at Fancy FREE

Individuals in our Community-Based Integrated Day Habilitation Program enjoyed a fun day painting at Fancy FREE with the Fancy FREE Day Hab program participants.  Everyone was so excited to be able to take home a beautiful piece of art to hang on their walls.


Adelante Weekly Homeless Shower Program

Adelante started a program that provides weekly showers to the homeless population in Central Islip.


Adelante Cardiac Health Events

Southside Hospital hosted Adelante’s After School Program for an evening of Cardiac Health Education and nutrition information.  Dr. Harold Fernandez shared his story as an immigrant with the visiting students.  Northwell Health / Southside Hospital brought free services (blood pressure, glucose, BMI, and Cholesterol Screening) as well as CPR training to Adelante’s community. Two Physicians were on hand providing free one-on-one consultations in English and Spanish.


FREE partnered with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office in Youth Re-Entry Task Force

Valued Team Members, Regina Savarese & Gerard Cairns, presented on FREE’s youth services to the Sheriff’s Youth Taskforce.  FREE is partnered with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office to help reduce recidivism by working to assist young adults returning home from incarceration to lead positive, productive lives.


TRI / ACDS Pen-Pal Program

Valued Team Member, Jacqualeen Scholl, initiated a Pen-Pal Program.  TRI had sent out the first batch of letters, and are expecting response letters from their new friends at ACDS in the very near future!


Congratulations PRONTO!

We would like to offer a BIG Congratulations to our Valued Affiliate, PRONTO of Long Island, for making it to the Finalist Round of the 5th Annual Long Island Imagine Awards!


Special Needs Got Talent

On February 4th, BroadHollow Theater Company and FREE brought “Special Needs Got Talent Competition” to the BayWay Arts Center Stage. The event was a huge success and featured on News 12, FIOS and local Long Island newspapers. The main objective was to show the community the strengths and talents of people who are differently abled. Children and adults from all parts of Long Island performed that night. The contestants were then judged by Celebrity Judges from the band Twisted Sister as well as wrestler Mick Foley and radio DJ Joe Rock! Winners took home prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place.


Melville Chamber of Commerce

FREE hosted the Melville Chamber of Commerce’s February Round Table Meeting.  We had the opportunity to tell the members about who FREE is and talk about the many services and Affirmative Businesses we have.  The day was ended with a tour.  Everyone in attendance was very impressed with our agency, and we look forward to fostering relationships with our new friends in the future!


Speakers Bureau

The FREE Your Mind Speakers Bureau presented to the Community-Based Integrated Day Habilitation program participants.  Everyone was in awe of the amazing speeches that their peers were making.  Be sure to keep an eye open for future speaking engagements so that you too can have the opportunity to be truly inspired.


FREE Lightening Snowshoe Team

The FREE Lightening Snowshoe Team displayed amazing feats of athleticism at the 2017 New York Special Olympics Winter Games!  The team took home 2 gold medals, 2 silver medals, 2 bronze medals, and 2 4th place ribbons in the 50 and 25 meter races.


Cradle of Aviation

On February 1st, FREE’s Workforce Development Class from Wyandanch High School participated in a field trip at Cradle of Aviation Museum in Uniondale in which they received a tour of the museum and learned about Long Island’s aviation history.  In addition, they received a special career-related talk from three retired renowned NASA engineers about the field of engineering.


BIANYS Long Island Chapter Meeting

The DOH/Traumatic Brain Injury service department hosted the Brain Injury Association of NYS (BIANYS)- Long Island Chapter meeting in Hauppauge on 2/16/17. TBI survivors, family members, FREE team members and community advocates were in attendance to discuss advocacy initiatives within the community and TBI Awareness month, which is March.

The Brain Injury Association of NYS (BIANYS) is a non-profit organization which assists with brain injury education, prevention and outreach. The Long Island Chapter hosts monthly meetings within Nassau and Suffolk county for TBI survivors, family members, service providers and community members.


Roberto’s Sidekicks

This past December, one of our families received devastating news. Roberto, a spunky nine-year-old boy who attends our Saturday Respite program was diagnosed with Leukemia.  As I’m sure you can imagine, this was quite a shock for the family. They are suddenly faced with a ton of medical expenses, on top of their everyday expenses. On Sunday, February 26th, we hosted a fundraiser at the Miller Place Applebee’s. All proceeds from this pancake breakfast went directly to Roberto’s family as they continue to fight for recovery!


DSE and DSW Valentine’s Bake Sales

Individuals form our After School Respite Program hosted bake sales at Day Services East and West for Valentine’s Day.  The individuals expressed interest in taking a special trip of their choosing and wanted to raise money to use towards this outing!


United Way Awards

PRONTO of Long Island, Inc. – $12,100 – Healthy Living 

Adelante of Suffolk County – $27,648 – Youth Leadership and Family Education

Skills Unlimited, Inc – $14,500 – Long Term Sheltered Employment

TRI $7,000 – Supported Employment


UPCEA National Engagement Award

The national organization for continuing and online education, UPCEA, has recognized the SPD-FREE Partnership with a national UPCEA Engagement Award! This award is a welcome confirmation of the wonderful work FREE and SPD have accomplished together under Carolyn Jankowski’s leadership.  Please join us in congratulating Carolyn and Dr. Christopher D. Long on this noteworthy and well-deserved recognition.



Community-Based Integrated Day Habilitation program participants love to do yoga!  It is a perfect way for the guys to let go of all their stress and truly feel relaxed.


Friendship Trees

Each of the class rooms in FREE’s Theater Day Hab Program created a friendship tree on Valentine’s Day to describe all of the good qualities each participant has.



Community-Based Integrated Day Habilitation enjoyed a trip to ClayTime in Huntington.  The guys loved being able to choose a ceramic piece that they could then paint in any style of their choosing.


Congratulations Angela!

Congratulations to Valued Team Member, Angela Maguire, for winning the Valentine’s Day Raffle Basket, supporting FREE’s Annual Advocacy and Disability Awareness Conference!