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TVS Participants ‘Bake for Good’ with King Arthur Baking Company

TVS Participants ‘Bake for Good’ with King Arthur Baking Company

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Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) participants from INTERACT spent last Friday morning learning how to bake scones from scratch with the King Arthur Bake for Good program thanks to the recent partnership between TVS and King Arthur Baking Company.

“Baking is a wonderful way to connect with others,” said Bake for Good Program Manager Amy Driscoll. “We were thrilled to have a chance to meet some of our TVS partners and share our love of baking.”

Bake for Good is King Arthur Baking Company’s free outreach program with the main goals to learn, bake, and share. TVS participants practiced math and science skills while making scones from scratch.

They learned to measure dry ingredients, mix in butter, and were able to customize their scones with either blueberry jammy bits or cinnamon.

“Even our participants that don’t like to get their hands dirty were kneading and working the butter and flour mixtures like champs,” said TVS INTERACT Supervisor Brooke Wilson. “Working with King Arthur crew was a wonderful experience – everyone was kind, helpful, and inclusive.”

Each baker made half a dozen scones to enjoy later and share with family and friends. After the event, the INTERACT team was able to keep the extra baking supplies to support their baking club at TVS.

“The Bake for Good event was a great way to show how business and mission can be even more interconnected,” said TVS VP of Business Development and Marketing Beth Rich. “Having King Arthur as a partner is a benefit to TVS and our community in so many different ways, and we could not be happier working with them.”

Looking ahead, King Arthur Baking Company will be in the Greenville area from November 2 – December 22 for their pop-up store and has plans to continue teaching the Bake for Good program in schools across Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.

Successful Art Showing for TVS No Limits Artists

Successful Art Showing for TVS No Limits Artists

Party Animal - acrylic on wood uses abstract lines and colors to create a fun and colorful cow sticking out its tongue.

During the month of April, the art exhibit “Just Passing Through” was shown at the Transylvania Community Art Council (TCArts) gallery. This annual show promoting the Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) “No Limits” artists highlights a variety of subject matter, different medias, and lots of color.

“At the Arts Council, we look forward to the “No Limits” artists’ exhibition each year. The quality and variety of the artwork in the exhibition is exceptional, and each artist has his or her own unique style,” said TCArts Executive Director Kathy King. “My favorite part of the show is the opening reception and visiting with the No Limits artists, most of whom really enjoy talking about their artwork – and seeing it exhibited in the Gallery.”

This year the TCArts hosted two separate opening receptions to accommodate all the “No Limits” artists. Both day and evening receptions welcomed community members, family members, and artists as well as snacks and beverages for refreshments. Visitors had a variety of painted animals, geometrically country quilts squares, and other nature themed media to see.

“From the flowers to the feet, to all the funky animals we painted, it was all a lot of fun. Many days we went home covered in paint ourselves,” laughed TVS INTERACT Supervisor Brooke Wilson.

TCArts remits 100% of the sales price to the artists and this year, the gallery did exceptionally well with 75% of the artwork having been sold.

“I feel like after the first few hours of the show being on display it was already a success. In my opinion, success is measured by much more than just monetary value,” reflected Wilson. “Success was looking around the gallery and seeing nothing but smiles and joyful conversations amongst the artists, families, and community members.”

Looking ahead, the TVS “No Limits” artists will be featured at the Transylvania Chamber of Commerce as their featured Artist of the Month in August and is planning an internal holiday themed art sale near the end of the year. 

Click here to read the Transylvania Times article about the event.

Highlights from Just Passing Through

TVS celebrates Direct Support Professionals for National Recognition Week

TVS celebrates Direct Support Professionals for National Recognition Week

“Our DSPs at TVS are life changers,” said Brooke Wilson, INTERACT Supervisor. “They are the heart and soul of all our programs.”

In honor of Direct Support Professionals (DSP) week, Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) has planned a Superhero themed pizza party for their DSP, as well as, other Superhero themed gifts and recognitions.

DSP week is a way to nationally recognize all direct support workforce supporting people with disabilities. A DSP is defined by Wilson as, “a person who truly cares, commits themselves, and values their job or purpose. They have the best job ever walking alongside the most amazing folks as they explore, grow, and change the world – one day at a time.”

You might have seen TVS DSPs volunteering with participants at the local animal shelter or participating in a Rotary Club sponsored 5K or even a DSP supporting a client working at a local business.

“TVS always recognizes the DSPs year-round,” said Wilson. “But this week is a way to celebrate each individual DSP with the recognition of all the extraordinary, unique gifts and talents that they bring to our participants and each other.”

TVS currently staffs almost 30 DSPs that provides supports to two separate day programs (INTERACT and Life Skills), two residential group homes, individuals living home in their own homes, and numerous individuals with jobs in our community.

It is hard to describe a job that does not fit into a box, however, DSPs at TVS are a little bit of everything including; teachers, nurse assistants, chauffeurs, Zen Masters, exercise instructors, and more. “The most important duty of a DSP is safeguarding the health, safety, and welfare of the participants,” said Carla Hill, TVS Programs Manager. “Followed by ensuring that each participant is living their best life, whatever that means to each individual.”

TVS DSPs have a willingness to be challenged, a heart for all individuals, and have their own talents worth sharing. Hill says, “When they find that talent, it is a spark of magic and you can see how meaningful it all is. They bring their own unique talents to our team.”

“Every day I get to see the excitement and enthusiasm that our DSPs bring to their jobs to assist individuals,” said Hill. “They build relationships with individuals and share in the experiences and exposures that may not be an opportunity without the support of our awesome DSPs.”

TVS DSPs are engaged with people 24/7. “They are a very significant part of the lives of the people we support,” said Hill. “The most challenging part of the job is keeping a tough boundary with a therapeutic verses friend relationship.  With a huge heart, I thank all our DSPs for what they do to ensure that TVS participants are treated with respect and dignity.”

Highlighting all their dedicated and hard work Program Manager Suzanne Byers said, “we work hard to make sure our DSPs are well-trained and focused on person-centered services.”

Byers continues, “We recognize it is a difficult job as a manager or a supervisor and we want to do everything we can to support staff so they can support participants. Without DSPs individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) and their families would struggle to find the supports they need.” 

Currently there is a DSP workforce crisis. There is a high demand for services with no workers to fill the spots and limited recognition for those working in those jobs. “We continue to promote Direct Support Professionals as a recognized career,” said Byers.

If you see a TVS DSP out in the community stop and let them know how appreciated they are.

Read the Press Release from the Transylvania Times here. 

 

TVS sponsors Cornhole Tournament!

TVS sponsors Cornhole Tournament!

TVS was proud to sponsor the first annual cornhole tournament with the Rotary Club of Brevard. TVS hosted the event on Saturday, June 11 and had eight teams in the competition. Six of the teams were composed of INTERACT participants and Direct Support Professionals and the other two teams were TVS employees. 

The TVS teams included The Cornadoes, The Blue Devils, The Fireballs, Super Women, Thundercats, Rein Free, J & K, and The Replacements.

It was beautiful weather for the double elimination tournament. Food was catered by Hawg Wild BBQ before the final match started. Walking away with trophies was TVS employee team, J & K, James Gardin and Kyle Leahy.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the Brevard Rotary and TVS INTERACT participants, we hope to do it again!

TVS Receives Blue Zones Project Approval

TVS Receives Blue Zones Project Approval

TVS is proud to celebrate becoming a Blue Zone Project Approved Worksite. The ribbon cutting was enjoyed by Blue Zone representatives, TVS Wellness Committee members, and INTERACT participants that join the weekly walking Moai Blue Zones group. 

“TVS is an incredible asset to our community as a worksite of opportunity, care, and devoted employees,” stated Blue Zones Project Organization Lead, Sarah Hankey. “Their community engagement and dedication to the well-being of their staff and families deserves recognition. Blue Zones Project has worked with their leadership for the past year to increase educational wellbeing workshops, provide opportunities to join in community events, and secure a wellness committee that will continue this mission for the life of the organization.”

Read the full article from The Transylvania Times