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TIFFANY DAMITZ: Changing seasons bring new beginnings

Positions available at Bona Vista

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Last week was Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, and Bona Vista spent it thanking our staff members who provide direct care to our clients.

Direct support professionals, known as DSPs, are some of the most integral employees at our agency. They work tireless hours caring for the health and wellness needs of our clients, providing services that include hygiene, nutrition, medical and safety. In addition to these necessary needs, Bona Vista DSPs also provide services that encompass life enrichment, activity, socialization and employment goals. The work can be hard, but is rewarding.

“The care that direct support professionals at Bona Vista provide our clients is invaluable,” explained Miriam O’Malley-Long, regional vice president for Bona Vista Programs. “They are an integral part of the entire care team provided to those with disabilities that receive services here. They give up their own time with their families to be the family and support 24/7 to those that may have none. This week is such a special week for agencies such as Bona Vista to show thanks and appreciation for the long hours, the hard work and the love that they show our clients. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being exactly what our clients need each day. DSPs are essential to our mission to help those with disabilities reach their maximum potential.”

So, we take advantage of the nationally recognized week to acknowledge these staff members by showering them with appreciation and reminding them how important they are to our organization and our clients. Each day last week we sought to show these staff members some love and recognition. On Monday, we provided doughnuts to help kick off the start to the week. On Tuesday, each DSP received a new logo T-shirt. Wednesday brought about lunch and dinner pizza parties, courtesy of a generous donor in the community. Thursday's sunshine paired well with Home Team Ice Cream's treat truck that provided complimentary ice cream to our staff members. On Friday, we provided popcorn for our DSP team to snack.

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Celebrating DSP Week is a tradition at Bona Vista, but we were excited to add a little extra recognition this year with the addition of T-shirts. Though, to be honest, nothing could successfully encompass the impact that these staff members have on the lives of so many of our clients every day. A few clients were interviewed about their favorite staff members and were asked what they appreciated most. If you want to warm your heart, check out the video compilation at https://youtu.be/Acjb299rxmY or by visiting our Facebook page @bonavistaprogramsinc. You will not be disappointed.

If you are a member of the Kokomo community and want to help our mission, you can thank a DSP when you see one. You can follow us on Facebook @bonavistaprogramsinc, on Instagram @bonavistaprograms and on Twitter @Bonavista to stay plugged in to what is going on at Bona Vista. If you are in the market for a job and are intrigued by the idea that you could impact lives at the same time that you earn a paycheck, hop directly over to bonavista.org and check out the opportunities we have available. If you are a client of Bona Vista, thank your staff and know how much they care for you, how much they love being part of your world.

Finally, if you are a direct support professional, thank you. Thank you for the long days and the late nights. Thank you for picking up shifts when staffing is short. Thank you for all of the prepared meals, fresh laundry and trips to the grocery. Thank you for the hours of board games and movies and crafts. Thank you for being a caregiver to each client, a family member to some and a friend to all.

Tiffany Damitz is staff recruiter at Bona Vista Industries.