Take a look at highlights of the year from CEO, Tom Gillespie
Industry Leading Advocacy: Living Well staff, people supported, and families gathered at Day at the Capital back in March to speak up with strong and educated voices. Our elevated advocacy and media efforts were very successful. Living Well is receiving significant increases in reimbursement of our services. While we did not receive all we advocated for, this is a significant step for our mission. Mark your calendar for March 19, for 2024 Disability Day at the Capitol.
Grew More and Stronger Relationships: We are approaching another record setting fundraising year with a focus on legacy and new relationships along with community partnerships. At Living Well, we go beyond the basics and without relationships across our community who advocate for individuals living with disabilities, this would not be possible. We enhanced our focus on individual giving and hired a new Individual Giving Manager, Jamee Yung, who fits beautifully into the Living Well team.
Thanks to Volunteer Manager Kathy Anderson’s everlasting passion for building our network we have more volunteers than ever, nearly 1000 volunteers shared their time and talents with Living Well in 2023.
There was more news in the media featuring our mission than ever before. This lead to not only increase contributions but increased hiring and both are essential for the future of our work.
The development team planned the Gala that was wildly successful and a whole lot of fun. Over 350 people gathered on a beautiful summer night and learned more about our mission as well as saw the premiere of our video featuring the Southcrest House. The generosity of this year’s event blew us away. Everyone had a night to remember.
Strengthened our employee relationships and saw our DSP role return to a community focus: Despite industry difficulties throughout the country, Living Well had the best employee survey results ever. There was a large increase in the number of new hires as well as an increase in retention. The executive team in conjunction with the HR team enhanced employee benefits while saving staff money, and there was a much-appreciated staff bonus.
In October we had our yearly Staff Recognition event that honors employees with milestone anniversaries. All staff with over five years at Living Well are invited, and those celebrating 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 year anniversaries receive awards. You probably wonder how many can be celebrating 45 years—this year there were three! And half our staff qualify for an invitation. Which means that even with a staff shortage, we have some long-standing employees who show up for years and decades, because the work matters, and they love what they do. Watch the news clip here.
This was a year of community, inclusion, and planting seeds of growth: Board Chair Kevin Pleasant, said it best when he said, “It felt like we were really a leader this year. Brand wise and who we are, it feels like more people know about us now.” Adding, “We are not the best kept secret in town anymore and I think that is good. This is the year we showed up.”
To our supporters, friends and families – Without you we simply could not fulfill our mission. Because of you, we can show the world that disability services are worthy of support and advocacy. Happy New Year—with luck and lots of great work, may 2024 be even more exciting and advocacy filled.
Join our mailing list and never miss out on invites and information. Click here to get a weekly email! Want to volunteer? Contact Kathy.Anderson@livingwell.org. Want to donate to the final end of year giving push, donate here.