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.
6-1-2020 Virtual Splash Path Fun
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