FREE Blast – February 2020
Legislative Advocacy Day in Albany
FREE joined together with the East End Disabilities Associates Advocacy team to speak with Senator John Flanagan in Albany. The discussed the importance of advocacy and the #3for5 Campaign, which focuses on improving services and supports across the health and human service field in New York State. Thank you Senator Flanagan for always taking the time to meet with us and for showing how much our advocacy and our services mean to you.
NY ABLE Presentation with Tom DiNapoli
FREE hosted New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli who presented on the New York State Achieving a Better Life Experience (NY ABLE) Act. The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps opened the event attended by families, individuals and provider agencies. NY ABLE allows New York State residents with disabilities to save for disability expenses without the risk of losing their benefits from assistance programs like SSI, Medicaid, HUD, and others.
Mercy First Intern Graduation
FREE held a Culminating Event for Mercy First Interns who completed their internships through our Workforce Development Program. FREE’s Workforce Development Program provides college and career readiness to various school districts in Suffolk and Nassau County. Mercy First, a residential school for youth in foster care, has been partnering with FREE for over 3 years giving us an opportunity to provide the program to youth in care. Students received curriculum based training in addition to various workshops held by guest speakers focusing on character building/leadership. Students were then placed in different departments to complete a 10 week internship in Bethpage. A very BIG thank you to all the participating departments, without your support this program could not be possible. Congratulations Interns!
FREE Players Ensemble & FREE Style Dancers at The Miss Amazing Pageant
The FREE Players Ensemble and FREE Style Dancers had the opportunity to perform at the Miss Amazing Pageant in NYC. This pageant gives girls and women with disabilities to express their passions and talents. This was the first performance for the FREE Style Dancer Lyrical group. The groups had a great time and were super thankful for the opportunity.
Winter Wars at St. Joe’s Gym
Program Without Walls recently had their first “Winter Wars” at St Joe’s gym. Some of the activities featured were tug of war, a snowball fight, life-size tic tac toe and we made some of our favorite staff into snowmen.
Valentine’s Day Celebration at FREE!
The Theater Day Hab Program, run out of FREE’s Old Bethpage location, recently held a Valentine’s Day Party. Individuals had the opportunity to dance along to the DJ, mingle, eat snacks and enjoy each other’s company. Our PWW program also joined in on the fun with their own party, hosted at FREE Hauppauge.
WBAB Visits the Performing Arts Program
Radio 102.3 WBAB gave a visit to FREE Bethpage to speak to the performers of the FREE Ensemble and the FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corp. Our individuals were able to express their challenges and triumphs performing and what it means to them to be able to perform on stage.
Adelante Valentine’s Day for Seniors
On Friday, February 14th, Adelante of Suffolk County hosted a Valentine’s Day party for members of their Senior Nutrition program at their headquarters. Adelante was decorated for the occasion and the seniors were able to eat, sing and dance together. The festivities were capped with the crowning of the Senior King, Rev. Dario Falconi and Senior Queen, his wife Melida on Valentine’s Day. The couple has been married for 58 years.
Music Therapy Assisted Living
Every other Tuesday individuals from PWW Bethpage go to Regency Assisted Living in Glen Cove to work with the seniors. They interact and assist the seniors during arts and crafts projects with PWW staff Fran. They also help provide support during music therapy groups facilitated by our music therapist Rich. The residents sing along to songs from way back when such as Let Me Call You Sweetheart and Daisy Bell as well as patriotic songs. Everyone is also encouraged to participate in instrument play and movement. It is a fun and rewarding experience for all involved!
Mamma Mia is Coming Soon!
FREE Players will be performing Mamma Mia! Click here to get your tickets today.
Thank You Rewards
FREE has been sharing with everyone the Thank You Rewards, showcasing the Valued Team Members who go above and beyond what is required of them. These Valued Team Members have exhibited behavior that inspires all of us to go the extra mile. If you would like to nominate someone for a Thank You Reward, please contact Pat Hogan at PHogan@FamilyRes.org. Winners of a Thank You Reward receive a gift card and thank you card to show our appreciation.