Acts of Kindness
From the onset of the national COVID-19 pandemic, Pathfinder Village families, friends, neighbors, and staff members have expressed their warmth for and concern about the Village residents, school students, adult day service participants, and frontline staff. Gestures of kindness and thoughtful messages of support really do help everyone during these challenging times. Please explore our posts below to see how others are reaching out to Pathfinder and supporting our unique community and its mission.
Recently, the "Cards of Light" program sent Pathfinder Village residents beautiful handmade cards to brighten their day. These cards will be shared among our residential homes; they were all created by volunteers with Second Wind Dreams®, whom Pathfinder and the Kennedy Willis Center have partnered for the Virtual Dementia Tour® experience.
The VDT® program is a comprehensive training experience that allows staff and others to learn about the daily difficulties that someone with mid-stage dementia encounters.
Pathfinder's residents and staff will spend the next few days paying it forward by creating their own cards, so that they may be mailed out to others who could also use a smile!
Stay tuned for follow-up pictures of this Cards of Light program.
WALKING THE WALK: To show our solidarity and support for the Alzheimer's Association and individuals & families facing age-related declines, Hudson House residents walked in our community as part of the local chapter's virtual Walk to End Alzheimer's this weekend.
The Northeast Chapter had 131 participants with 26 teams, raising over $22,400 for research and program support. Alzheimer's places high demands on families and individuals, and persons with Down syndrome may be at increased risk for developing the disease as they age. Learn more about Down syndrome and the aging experience at the Kennedy Willis Center's website.
To learn more, the website of our local AA chapter.
As part of our celebration of fall, and as a prelude to National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, the entire community enjoyed a concert-on-the-lawn with Lazy II.
The weather was perfect and the trees were at peak color, and everyone was in high spirits. There were lots of improptu air guitars and some energetic dancing, all in the tradition of Pathfinder dances through the years.
Here's a sampling of pictures; we'll post more on the Pathfinder Village social accounts on Facebook and Instagram.
BIKERS WITH BIG HEARTS! Our thanks go out to the members of the Red Knights Motorcycle Club, Chapter 40, Chenango County, NY, who raised funds for autism awareness earlier this year through a bowling event; the Chapter donated the proceeds to Pathfinder Village. The Red Knights are an international organization of firefighters, EMS members, and other public servants who leverage their love of motorcycling in supporting community and charitable efforts.
Pathfinder School student Gavin B. accepted the donation on behalf of the Village and School -- what a great way to start out the 2020-2021 Academic Year! #autismawareness #RedKnights #gratitude #community #pathfinderlife
SEPTEMBER 14 – 19 is Direct Support Professionals Week! It’s a time to recognize the deep commitment that our front-line staff members demonstrate in their ongoing work in supporting the men, women, and children who receive services at Pathfinder Village. More than ever, we are indebted to our DSPs who make lives better for people with disabilities every day.
Here at Pathfinder Village, DSPs are focused on these core competencies as they provide services to individuals:
• PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST by providing and tailoring person-centered supports and services. Active listening and engaging individuals are essential to this continual process.
• Creating and sustaining positive relationships that are based on trust, respect, and appreciation for individuals’ levels of autonomy.
• Continuously adding to and refining work skills, and modeling professionalism in all work duties.
• Promoting and modeling healthy habits in daily living.
• Supporting and creating a safe home and campus environment that supports and values personal independence.
• Creating a nurturing and comfortable home life for individuals.
• Creating and supporting community-based opportunities so that people with disabilities may experience social inclusion and may contribute to their communities.
Please join us this week in celebrating the important difference that Direct Support Professionals make in our communities. And, as always, we extend our sincere gratitude to our front-line workers, who are helping to keep people safe, healthy, and socially engaged during these challenging times.
Part of keeping physically distant but socially engaged is to come up with novel and fun events for everyone. Over Labor Day Weekend, the Enrichment Department came up with a great scavenger hunt activity. The weather was perfect to go on a search-and-explore mission!
If ever anyone needs to beat the blahs, just go out and find these items:
o 4 maple tree leaves
o 1 broken CD case of a female country singer
o 1 newspaper
o 1 print of one of your big toes
o 1 banana
o 1 winter hat
o 1 rubber glove, filled with water and tied off
o 1 unopened snack from the snack bin
o 1 apple or banana
o 1 stinky sneaker
o Signature of a housemate
o 3 wildflowers
o 1 Mileage Club necklace
o 2 used up markers
o 1 partly used word search book
o 1 bathing suit
o 3 rubber bands
o 1 piece of dryer lint
o Something with your favorite sports team logo on it
As our Otsego Academy students get ready for a learning-packed semester, they know the importance of keeping fit and taking a workout break. Fitness improves one's overall brain power and readiness to learn. Here, our students demonstrate their Just Dance skills ... join in where you are!
We are so thankful that our wonderful Produce Manager Brandy is able to return back to where she belongs at Pathfinder Produce. Quality inspections and customer service are her top priority! Stop by and check out our produce each Thursday from 10 to 3 p.m., and say hello.
After the storm, comes the reassurance of a rainbow.
Photo by Emily, from Gilbert House, looking toward the campus.
After a brief hiatus, our Village News Reporters are eager to share "all the news that's fit to print" and then-some! Today, Reporter Linda M., who loves Broadway and Baseball, reminded us how great an actor Claude Rains is in The PV News, our campus bulletin:
Claude Rains is in the 1943 "Phantom of the Opera" movie in technicolor.
The ladies at Mohawk have been creating crafts, enjoying their favorite games, and trying some adventurous activities involving green hand prints and lemons. It looks like they're having a grand time, and we're thankful to our Adult Day Service and Residential Teams for sharing the pictures with us.
There's always something to new to discover if one just finds the adventure in all that comes your way!
July 29, 1980 was the day that 43 individuals moved from the Otsego School, Edmeston, to their new community just up the road, Pathfinder Village. The seven homes and school that had been built on a 23-acre cornfield pointed out a new path for people with Down syndrome ... one of independence, fulfillment, and belonging.
Today, July 29, 2020, is being observed in its own way, as the pandemic has caused a change in plans; we've rung the Chapel Bell 40 times, the residents have created some great birthday art, and there are plenty of birthday balloons and cupcakes. And as we enjoy these "birthday gifts" we are forever thankful to the families, friends, staff, leaders, and community partners who have helped Pathfinder each step of the way, and who have provided so many opportunities for individuals over 40 years.
The Pathfinder community is blessed with a campus that is large enough so it allows us to safely offer individuals different hobbies and pursuits through scheduled activities. Our various departments -- Enrichment, Nursing, Residential, and Day Services -- have shown great teamwork and organizational skills to add to the residents' days with varied activities.
A change of pace is good for everyone, and the residents really enjoy walking through their community, waving a safely distanced "hello" to other community members and staff, and savoring their unique and enriching home.
Congratulations to Pathfinder Village's own Brittany Goodrich, Director of the Kennedy Willis Center on Down Syndrome, and Lesley Woodward, Finance Assistant, who graduated this week as members of the Leadership Otsego Class of 2020. This program is one of the area's most highly regarded continuing education programs.
Offered through The Otsego County Chamber, Leadership Otsego is a dynamic, interactive program that engages emerging and existing leaders in a six-month program that broadens their knowledge of community organizations and sharpens their leadership skills. Through a series of thought-provoking sessions, Leadership Otsego develops the leadership potential of participants and builds a solid foundation of informed citizens by exploring the resources, opportunities, challenges, and issues affecting Otsego County.
Our beloved Bakery is open, thanks to the ingenuity of our Food Service and Corporate Compliance Teams ... we'll offer a fresh menu of baked goods and hot/cold coffee favorites from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. each weekday morning. If you have a special order or breakfast sandwich order, please call ahead at 607-965-8377 x 123. (The grill is closed at 10:30).
Come to the west side of the Village Commons building, and follow the signs to our service window. Gary or Joanna will be happy to take your order and speed you back on your way!
We appreciate all our customers and ask that everyone follow our safety standards of sanitizing your hands, wearing a mask to cover both your nose and mouth, and keeping socially distant.
With lots of planning and working with families, our wonderful Pathfinder School Staff opened up our Summer School for our students. We're so proud of how our students and their families have stepped up to our new protocols and procedures to keep everyone safe.
Enjoy this Facebook album from our very own Independence Day parade (no account is required to view the album).
This June, we honor our Class of 2020 members, Ethan and JT -- we've enjoyed watching them grow and achieve so much during their Pathfinder School years.
Enjoy this video that our school staff collaborated on to celebrate this most-unusual school year. We're so proud of all that our Pathfinder School students have accomplished as they've charted new territory!
Pathfinder is cautiously reopening some of its beautiful campus to the community, and our outstanding staff at Pathfinder Produce are doing their part to help our customers and neighbors with their fruit and vegetable needs.
On Thursday, June 18, the market reopened with new hours, from 10 to 3, and offered both Curbside Ordering and Walk-In Shopping. The Produce Team carefully mapped out every detail to provide our patrons a safe, yet enjoyable, shopping experience.
As our market coordinator summed up, "We know all of this seems pretty intimidating but we promise we're still the same friendly folks you've come to know over the years. We appreciate all of the support we have received and look forward to seeing your happy faces, or rather--eyes!"
This weekend we had a special drive-by in honor of Chris, who volunteers at our local fire departments; the parade was organized by Village Staff and members of the West Edmeston and Edmeston departments. It was quite a thrill to have our area firefighters celebrate one of their volunteers in recognition of his dedication to public safety and community service. You can see the parade on our Facebook page (no account required).
Thanks to all our firefighters for all you do for Pathfinder and our local communities!
Click here to see a few scenes from our Informal, held on the Residential Square this summer where there was plenty of room to dance and enjoy music!
Practicing Wellness is an Act of Kindness to yourself and can help you remain at your peak, even during challenging times. Maura Iorio, our Senior Director of Education shared this final Wellness Wednesday video as a guide to maintaining balance during the pandemic. Watch her video here on YouTube.
With the onset of warmer weather, residents and students have been getting ready for this year's modified Splash Path event. Following safety protocols and without co-mingling residential homes, everyone took to our walking paths in the Village on Saturday, May 30. All residents and staff showed off their colorful tie-dyed tees, another fun project that was part of the build-up for the event.
Our Village photographers were there and shared an online album on Pathfinder's Facebook page. The link is below; you need not have an account to enjoy the pictures: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PathfinderVillage/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10158056418246999
Thanks to major sponsor Brown and Brown of New York, Pathfinder Village is reintroducing its popular Splash Path 5k and Fun Walk as a virtual event, set for Saturday, May 30. To register, go to our page at Race Roster.
The virtual event encourages people to get outside, run or walk where they are, and have their own colorburst event (get creative with biofetti, colorful and wacky clothes, colored water). Then share selfies and videos of their runs and walks on our Facebook Virtual Splash Path event page.
FIGHT AGAINST BORING: Our thanks go out to our new friends at Baja Llama, a clothing company that has been sending out fabric face masks to healthcare and human service agencies in support of the tremendous contributions that frontline staff are making each and everyday during COVID-19. Our mask-making heroes also include those community seamstresses and tailors who continue to supply area essential workers with masks, which are part of our go-to options in preventing the spread of the virus.
We wanted to send out hugs to all our special moms today! Here's a short YouTube video to send along our love and admiration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoxR7YmD9zI
One of our Otsego Academy graduates and Self-Direction residents, Theresa C., is currently living at home with her family. But she certainly knows how to bring smiles to all our faces through her inspirational art cards.
Theresa is forever an artist. She expresses herself in all that she does through her art and writing and uses her creativity to brighten not only her own world, but ours too. Her cards have been a welcome addition through our weeks of stay-at-home, and we can’t wait until she is back on campus!
Pastor Doug Burleigh, who so many of our residents and staff relate to, continues his regular acts of kindness by presenting messages of hope and faith using our Pathfinder Village Fan YouTube Channel. Pastor Doug has turned to tech and modified his services, but yet continues to offer spiritual messages for our community, and is assisted in these efforts by the Enrichment and Development staff.
Here's his message for Sunday, May 10, 2020. Please feel free to join us in this online time of fellowship.
To show our Pathfinder School spirit and keep in touch with our day students, the teachers and staff pulled together a YouTube video to share with our greater school community. We hope you enjoy these messages of caring and togetherness.
Michael's family enjoyed a virtual family meeting this weekend with everyone wearing their PV "Be Healthy, Be Kind, Be Patient" tee shirts. It's great that technology can keep families in touch during challenging times like these, and it warms our hearts to see everyone's smiling faces!
Some families use different platforms for online visits, depending on the tech they have access to at home. But no matter if its Skype, Facetime, or another platform, it gives everyone a great boost.
Photo Caption: Members of Pathfinder Village Adult Day Services staff, shown in this January 2020 photo, are helping friends and neighbors in Otsego County by continuing regular Pathfinder Produce "Feel Good” deliveries of fresh produce each week.
Pathfinder Produce's “Good Neighbor Policy” helps Otsego residents during COVID-19 stay-at-home order
Edmeston, NY, April 21, 2020 … The current COVID-19 pandemic concerns everyone as daily routines have changed, social interactions have decreased, and accessing basic staples is a challenge. However, some Otsego County neighbors are being helped in meeting their healthy food needs by Pathfinder Produce, the mobile market operated by Pathfinder Village’s Adult Day Services program.
Since last May, the Pathfinder Produce large box truck -- featuring bright, larger-than-life fruits and vegetables -- has been traveling Otsego’s roads, bringing fresh “Feel Good” produce boxes to individuals in food desert communities every week. The produce, purchased through grants from the Leatherstocking Collaborative Health Partners, goes to pre-screened individuals who have significant medical diagnoses and no reliable access to fresh foods.
This voucher-based program is part of a larger state Department of Health initiative, the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, a multi-year effort to restructure Medicaid payments and improve healthcare delivery by reducing avoidable hospital use and emergency room visits.
Pathfinder Produce currently delivers to 100 households in the county, and directly supports over 280 individuals through the food vouchers. With these deliveries, families have greater access to fresh produce and can extend their food budgets; the deliveries also help families stay-at-home in compliance with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “New York State on PAUSE" executive order which went into effect on March 22.
“More than ever, people now need social supports and we are in a position to help,” said Paul C. Landers, Pathfinder’s president and CEO. “Not only are the essentials such as getting fresh food to people important but continuing to deliver positive messaging that we care is just as important.”
In restructuring operations during the state’s mandated shutdown, Village administrators thought continuing Pathfinder Produce deliveries would be vital for current enrollees and would continue paid work for valued Village frontline staff. Generally, the ADS staff is assisted in produce operations by their colleagues with intellectual disabilities, who also provide recipes, cooking tips and colorful pieces of art each week. Since mid-March, program participants have had to remain at their homes, due to individual medical concerns and transmission rates of the virus.
In general, the Mobile Market program builds social connections and encourages recipients to eat more fresh produce as part of a healthy lifestyle; at present, the staff arranges for socially distant deliveries to comply with Best Practices. All Pathfinder Village staff are trained in appropriate safe food handling and other protocols to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
“Like everyone, we hope that we can resume our normal operations soon for both Pathfinder Produce and our Adult Day Services at Pathfinder -- but only when it is safe for us to do so,” said Tina Heyduk, the Village’s senior director of Support Services. “We miss the direct engagement we have with our neighbors who take part in our produce deliveries and with the individuals whom we serve each day at Pathfinder through ADS.”
Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected open-access community and services provider in upstate New York. The Village was founded in 1980 to provide people living with Down syndrome and other disabilities an independent and fulfilling lifestyle. As it works to provide quality supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities, the Village also offers highly successful educational, day services, pre-vocational and outreach programs. To learn more, visit, or visit our fan page on the popular social networking site, Facebook.
Pathfinder Village's current prevention and self-isolation efforts were highlighted in this recent story by Reporter Libby Cudmore at the Freeman's Journal/All Otsego.
To round-out our Village celebration of Easter, members of the Ithaca Men's Football squad shared their video greetings with our residents. We appreciate the athletes' concerns for everyone at Pathfinder, and send the entire Ithaca College community our best wishes for their continued good health as we all shelter-in-place.
The outpouring of support from college students for Pathfinder Village always leads to great things and broadens everyone's horizons. And even though we are separated right now, we find a thread of hope in our growing friendships with these young adults.
Holding an Easter Service has long been a tradition at the Village. This year, we decided to pull together an online Easter Service for the residents to enjoy from their homes.
Director of Enrichment Paula Schaeffer contacted Village Chaplain Doug Burleigh and her friend, Puppeteer Patty Gracey, who videotaped segments and sent them to Pathfinder's photographer Lori Grace, who added some music and posted the short video on YouTube.
Friends and family are invited to watch the service as well, at our traditional gathering time of Sunday at 2 p.m. As an introduction to the service at Pathfinder, the Delaware Suite residents will ring the All Faith's Chapel Bell.
It's gratifying to know that the residents will once again share in fellowship as a community. Other Easter observances will include egg dyeing, decorations, and a special holiday dinner.
From the entire Village, we wish everyone a memorable and safe Easter.
While it's true that life is different at Pathfinder these days, it's also true that we are living by our Be Healthy, Be Kind and Be Patient motto. Members of our Residential, School, and Day Service staff, led by ADS Coordinator Mike Cornell, demonstrate kindness in sharing upbeat pictures of individuals keeping busy through our daily Village newsletter, The PV News.
This act of kindness boosts morale for the entire community, as it's nice to see pictures of our friends doing well and meeting the present challenge in good spirits. Kindness ... pass it on!
Our plans for our Pathfinder School and Village Spirit Week were delayed, but this week we are doing a virtual Spirit Week! Our Facebook page will feature collages of Spirit Week photos sent in by our students' families and school staff as the week rolls on. (Our Facebook page at the above link is visible, even without an account).
Today is Spirit Week Sports Day -- and all along we've been receiving greetings and best wishes from the athletic teams of Colgate University and Ithaca College. We wanted to share with our families and friends a special YouTube video, prepared by the Raiders' Women's Hockey Team, which will make everyone smile.
Our thanks go out to our new friend, Beth Lannier, who has been sending us short videos of stories and updates with her dogs to share with our residents. These mini-visits add a new element to our days as we enjoy fun stories and see the adventures Beth, Mia and Gigi have each day. (We can't share stories due to technical issues, but here's a little intro clip. Click on this link).
NOTHING SAYS LOVE LIKE PIZZA: Earlier this week, our entire Village was treated to a pizza dinner by the Robinson family through the very popular "Make Your Own Pizza Kits" supplied by New York Pizzeria in nearby New Berlin. Everyone in our region absolutely loves "Frankie's pizza" and it was a great deal of fun for the residents to make their own pizzas and enjoy them with their housemates.
All culinary activities are a great opportunity for our residents to enjoy the creative process, learn about nutrition and health, and understand more about safe food handling practices.
As our good friends Frank and Betsey would say, "Mangia!"
March Acts of Kindness
3/31 - Overwhelmed
With Gratitude: Last week, in response to our request, our Pathfinder Village families made it their mission to support our community by mail-ordering an incredible array of healthcare safety supplies (masks, gowns, gloves, essential oils); art materials; paints and brushes; games and puzzles; flower seeds; coloring books with crayons; sidewalk chalk; bubbles; tie-dye tees, and even a Caribbean steel drum. Other families sent along monetary donations, to assist our efforts in keeping their loved ones safe. We are so moved by their generosity and in how they reach out to us to learn what more can be done during these challenging times.
As of Monday, all of these items have been delivered among our residential homes, offering new activities for the residents to try as they practice heightened physical distancing at home. Our Residential, ADS and Enrichment staff members are developing regular schedules of structured household activities which has helped people stay engaged and socially connected as we all progress through the PAUSE-NY protocols together.
As always, we are grateful for our families’ involvement and constant support. We will share more of their stories here and on our social media in the weeks ahead.
3/30 - Hello from Susan
Recently, our good friend Susan Levine, MA, CSW, took a walk in her community and videoed her best wishes to her friends at Pathfinder Village. Susan, along with Brian Skotko, MD, has presented several workshops and seminars at Pathfinder through the years focused on sibling relationships for people with Down syndrome. You can watch her greeting at https://www.facebook.com/PathfinderVillage/videos/...
Thank you all for your continuing and generous support of our remarkable and inclusive community for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.
3/29 - A Helping Hand
Pathfinder Village CEO Paul Landers helps with the community-wide effort to make cloth masks to protect workers and help contain COVID-19.
3/28 - A Novel Lunch Date
Last week, as our Adult Day Services staff and participants were becoming accustomed to new schedules, DSP Roxanne found a fun way to have a lunch date with Amanda,who lives at home with her family but receives day services at Pathfinder. Roxanne and Amanda have grown close through their daily work together,and they missed one another.
Roxanne arranged to travel to Amanda’s hometown on a nice day, purchased takeout food from a local restaurant, and placed it at Amanda’s front door. Then Roxanne took her lunch to her vehicle, which was parked in front of the house. Amanda was thrilled by the surprise, and the two shared a nice lunch and great conversation, with Amanda sitting on her front porch.
3/27 - Making Masks
Our sincere thanks go out to the local folks who sew who have helped Pathfinder Village by making washable, reusable masks for our Direct Support Professionals to wear. These crafty folks have really done a great job!
3/26 - Colgate Hockey Hello!
Good morning. I'm a Colgate women's hockey alumni. Our team has heard you are closed due to the pandemic. I just wanted to reach out, and you should be hearing from some more of my teammates, and send some love from afar! We know their families are missing them dearly and just wnated to let them know we are thinking about them too! Sending hugs and love from their forever Colgate family.
3/25 - Families Acts of Kindness